Be­ing treated to sweet ca­reer change

Rexine Hawes finds her niche in cake dec­o­rat­ing - but de­cides to re­main in jour­nal­ism for a while - for this Re­porter Chal­lenge story.

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place -

I al­ways thought one of the best things about par­ent­ing was be­ing able to bake cre­ative cakes for chil­dren’s birth­days.

When I was a child, birth­day cake was round or square, choco­late or ba­nana and covered with sim­ple ic­ing and can­dles.

Sim­ple and com­pletely en­joy­able.

The re­quests I now re­ceive from my chil­dren are Bar­bie, Dora, Frozen, teddy bear and cowthemed.

While I am quite at home in a kitchen, and bak­ing is one of my favourite ac­tiv­i­ties, cake dec­o­rat­ing is not.

The pres­sure to pro­duce an edi­ble mas­ter­piece is quite stress­ful.

So when I was chal­lenged by Bil­lie Brock­le­hurst to test my cre­ative tal­ents at Sweet Treats Cafe, I was de­lighted for a chance to de­velop my cake dec­o­rat­ing skills.

I was also a bit con­cerned that Sweet Treats mum and daugh­ter team Denise McIn­doe and Danielle Rat­cliffe might be dis­ap­pointed with my ef­forts.

I had vi­sions of them telling me, kindly, that I should def­i­nitely stick to a ca­reer in jour­nal­ism.

Well, I am happy to re­port that I sur­prised my­self - and hope­fully them too.

We de­cided on an en­chanted for­est, which in­volved a plethora of dec­o­rat­ing skills.

Thank­fully my job was cut in half, as the sponge cake was al­ready baked and iced.

I could go into fur­ther de­tail, but I think the photo for this story speaks for it­self.

I tried my hand at mould­ing, paint­ing, pip­ing and rose mak­ing.

There are so many tools that go into cake dec­o­rat­ing.

One could eas­ily max-out a hus­band’s credit card on pip­ing bags, ic­ing tips, rollers, cutting tools and paint brushes.

McIn­doe and Rat­cliffe use Do you have a chal­lenge for our re­porter? Send in your sug­ges­tions to: rexine.hawes@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz those tools like an ex­ten­sion of their own hands.

They cre­ate roses and leaves ‘‘just like that’’.

They have been op­er­at­ing out of Sweet Treats in Bake 1st, next door to The Ware­house for six months.

How­ever, they will soon run their busi­ness from a com­mer­cial trailer, ded­i­cated solely to cake dec­o­rat­ing.

To fine tune their skills, they go to as many work­shops as they can and re­search on­line.

It can take the ladies up to four hours to bake and dec­o­rate a cake.

They bake birth­day cakes, cater­ing to ages from 1-101, spe­cial oc­ca­sion cakes and cake top­pers. Cup cakes are also an op­tion. So, was this re­porter chal­lenged? Yes, I would say so.

While I don’t imag­ine switch­ing ca­reers just yet, I do feel more con­fi­dent and I am very grate­ful for the chal­lenge.

PHOTO: RACHEL PRIDHAM/SUPPLIED

Re­porter Rexine Hawes with Sweet Treats own­ers Denise McIn­doe and Danielle Rat­cliffe.

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