Saturday, January 22, 2011

Worlds Largest SOHC - DAY 4

For all the action watch each day as it unfolds on YouTube:

It’s the end of day 4 at PC, where we are still attempting to make the worlds largest Sydney Opera House! This was make or break time, the goal was to have all of the sculpting completed by the end of the day so that the cake could set over night and we could cover it with icing tomorrow! However there were a few hiccups, and we are now definitely one day behind schedule.

Today was all about sculpting the Opera House, all we needed to do was sculpt the shape out of the cake ‘blocks’ representing the twin sails of the Opera House.

The Tenors were on the morning shift and came in raring to go, they attacked the second smaller set of sails with gusto and managed to have it layered and set up quickly, it was not finished when everyone left the night before so they did some great catch up work.

Meanwhile back at the ranch the sculpting on the larger sails was moving slowly as Jean-Michel and two talented volunteers struggled with the shape of the Opera House. However as much as JM tried something was wrong! An hour ticked by.

Conclusion: the internal boards of the cake were too big, giving us 'dummy' lines to follow. This meant that instead of relying on measurements and computer programs we would have to revert to the old fashioned method of carving by sight. Unfortunately we had lost valuable time and work was stalled until the problem could be resolved. In addition carving the Opera House by sight nearly fried everyone’s brains…..just look at the thing!

Carving by sight is made even more difficult when you recognize that the Opera House does not have a flat base, the sails are going up by increments at the front. We then all agreed that we could only do it by using the sail styro foam tips as a guide and matching the base cake to the tips. This was a problem was they had not been carved yet!! Everyone raced to the styro cave………………..

Now we had the tips we could start carving, it was by now 3pm, we had lost hours of project time! With only 1.5 hours to go, this is what the cake looked like. We had to make some progress and fast.

After an intensive pow wow meeting…………..Jean Michel managed to weave some magic. Although we needed each set of sails finished, at this point it was a huge achievement to get to this stage and required great problem solving skills and some super talented cake decorating.

While sculpting was stalled there was still work to be done, one tedious but enjoyable decorating job is making ‘little people’. The goal is to create at least 200 of them! By the way we are not employing minors, the 7 year old red-head is my daughter Estelle!

The volunteers today were just like having the Planet Cake team, they are the best people I have worked with for some time….and they are more professional than most decorators I have met.

However signs of stress were definitely starting to appear!!

A huge thank you to Jono, who with little sleep has carved styro foam, made boards, created templates, calculated cake volume, learned how to ganache a cake in 5 minute and without whom we probably could not have done this project!

By some type of miracle Jean-Michel and the volunteers managed to get the cake to this point before we left all dog tired and unable to look at the building for much longer without risking brain paralysis, although we are behind schedule I am thrilled with the shape and watching this beast of a cake emerge from its ‘block’.

Tomorrow we must must must,…………..catch up, its an early start of 6am for many here at SOHC headquarters. Wish us luck!!

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