Monday, January 17, 2011


A photo sent to us by excited Sydney Opera House Cake volunteer 14 year old Abeni from QLD, see you tomrrow!

This evening I have eaten a whole packet of rocky road chocolate biscuits, they are 210 calories each. I am scared, and like I mean it I really am scared, not about weight gain but about the big bad SOHC! Since my last post I have made a plan, changed my plan, developed a strategy, ordered 16 times too much Styrofoam and eaten a lot of food. Let me share with you what going on.

It’s the night before the Planet Cake team and 22 volunteers attempt to create the worlds biggest Sydney Opera House Cake to be presented at the Opera House on Australia Day, I have registered this for the Guinness Book of Records and have every intention of keeping you updated daily via facebook warts and all! Facebook/sydneyoperahousecake

Because of the shape of the SOH obviously construction has been fraught, everyone has a different opinion, weight has to be considered, and I have to decide on cake flavor, of course its chocolate mud. I want the volunteers to make it not watch PC staff making it. The biggest question I have left for last, how were we going to attempt the sails? I really only wanted to speak to one man, cake genius Jean-Michel Raynaud. Jean Michel has worked for me and is brilliant in his own right, he is to big cakes what pro surfers are to big wave surfing, he truly is a master. He also happens to be incredibly cool; I managed to catch up with him late last week and as we sat back having a coffee in the sunshine on Sydney harbor, looking at the SOH. In the company of Jean-Michel, it all seemed possible. I relaxed, for 10 minutes………….

Jean-Michel and I both agreed on a construction plan and he was able to make lots of suggestions and finger wagging warnings about all of the potential perils, using chain saws to cut Styrofoam was dangerous and not highly recommended. However we will need to use some Styrofoam to alleviate the weight, I don’t want to use too much. We agreed on using Styrofoam for the tips of the sails and the rest to be sculpted if possible, if there is still a weight issue we could put some styro right at the base. Then JM dropped his bombshell, he would not be able to assist directly in the project, at this point I think I left my body and started to free fall into panic. This means I am the only person consistently managing the project, the world suddenly seemed a very lonely place. Jean-Michel has assured me he is only a phone call away, just like the life line phone calls in who wants to be a millionaire!

JM and I agreed on a lot of things but the main agreement was that success of the project and the ease of the execution will rest with the plans and the boards, this means it’s all up to one crucial person…no stress Jono!

This is gorgeous Jono last night, not looking so gorgeous because its 11pm at Planet Cake and he is putting together the first of the 3 boards that will make up the base of the Opera House, each board is 1200 x 2400, making up a total board area of 8.64 m². The will be a set of sails on each board and the board at the back will accommodate the small sail structure and stairs!

Jono is a life saver he is making all the base boards, drafting all of the dimensions crafting all the internal boards! He is currently working out the volume of cake required; we are predicting we will need to bake 800 x 8” square cakes, Just in case you will be making your own colossal SOHC I will let you know the final cake count.

The scale of our cake will be larger than this SOH model you see above; the highest sail of our cake will be 1.25 m from the base. You can see how big the cake will be by looking at Talin and Margie on the 1:50 scale drawings below that we will be using to construct the cake, the model above is based on a 1:60 ratio.

The SOHC volunteers arrive at Planet Cake at 10am tomorrow morning, I am so excited about meeting everyone, one volunteer is travelling all the way from Dubai, and we have numerous volunteers from all over Australia, one from New Zealand and lots of decorators, genuinely excited about working on such a unique project.

The group of 20 volunteers will be divided into 3 teams which will then be split again into 2 separate shifts a day, so in reality the will be 9 volunteers per shift split into 3 teams, all working on one of the 3 ‘boards’. The volunteers will be greeted with an orientation meeting and then we are all boarding the bus for a SOH tour and lunch. The information packs are waiting, rosters finalized and work stations set up, soon the madness will begin!!

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