When I was a kid, one of the best things about my cousins visiting us during Christmas was how all of us would go to the annual cake show organized by Nilgiris. We would stand in queues happily chatting, waiting for our turn. Then there would be the cake exhibits, often awe-inspiring not only because of their size but also the amount of hard work that would have gone into them. I couldnâ€™t wrap my head around it, especially in my later years when I started baking and failed spectacularly.
Today I know that these monuments are made with sugar paste and fondant. Also, Iâ€™ve seen several Ultimate Cake Off challenges on TV to understand how these cakes are put together with the help of rice krispies, fondant and other structural elements.
Still, a visit to the 43rd Annual Cake Show this year with my family showed me that despite knowing how these cakes are put together, seeing the finished products in person is still pretty amazing.
The main draw of the show this time is a 15 feet tall replica of the Gateway of India. The detailing is exquisite; it weighs 1,200 kgs and is made entirely of sugar. Some of the earlier creations of the past were the Taj Mahal, the Titanic, Seven Wonders of the World and last year, the show had a fabulous London Bridge exhibit, a shimmering dragon and one that resembled renowned actor, the late Shankar Nag as well!
This year, the cakes have been painstakingly created by students of Institute of Baking and Cake Art (IBCA), with some of them taking over weeks to complete. The IBCA is a landmark institute in Bengaluru where people can get training to become professional bakers. More than a decade ago, I too had participated in one of their weekend courses for home bakers, where I not only learnt how not to ruin cakes I baked, but I also understood the science behind baking as well.
Another creation at the show that caught my eye was the chocolate bull and bear representing the stock market. But what really took the cake (pun intended) was a traditional bride, getting down from a palanquin. The bride looked real, and her ghagra and the lace on her dupatta made from sugar lace were simply marvellous. The jewellery too had been made of icing sugar.
Some of the other exhibits that had several people clamouring for selfies were a glittering mermaid, an elaborate sugar castle, a serene Buddha, a dinosaur and an artistâ€™s easel with a canvas covered entirely with flowers.
Apart from the cakes, there were also various food and lifestyle exhibits where people can samplie several free goodies before heading out to the numerous food stalls to grab a quick bite. The usual chaats and kathi rolls aside, there was also an akki roti and puliyogare stall that seemed to be doing great business.
The cake show is on till January 1 from 11 am to 9 pm at the St Josephâ€™s Indian High School grounds, opposite Kanteerava Stadium. The entry tickets are priced at Rs 60. Do try and drop in there this festive season and appreciate the hard work that has gone into making these marvellous works of art.