Learning the craft
I am self taught. I have learned the craft of making and decorating cakes through years of research and experimentation, trial and error. Practice is the key. Doing things repeatedly, again and again. Making mistakes and learning from them. With every single cake I make I learn something new. With every new technique I try there is another waiting in the wings to get its moment. I read books. I scour the internet. I watch youtube (a lot!). I am always on the lookout for new ideas and new inspiration. Cakes are my passion.
When I began making cakes I learned an awful lot from looking at other people’s designs, trying to decide how things were made and put together, and ultimately having a go myself. Sometimes things went well, sometimes they didn’t. I read a huge amount of books. I owe a great deal to cake designer and author Lindy Smith, whose cake books are written with such precision and attention to detail that I was able to follow her step by step through a whole cake. Not a lot of books are like this, there are normally gaps where the reader has to do a bit of guess work. You will see Lindy’s name crop up a few times in my cake gallery.
And I found I had a knack. I seemed to be able to produce surprising results, and that spurred me on to make another cake. And another. And another. I progressed from studying and recreating the designs of others to creating something of my own, and putting my own individual stamp on my cakes.
All my cakes are hand made and decorated by myself, using the freshest, best quality ingredients. My flavours are tried and tested, and I have spent many hours trying out different recipes to find the best ones.
I make every one of my decorations from scratch with the exception of sprinkles/nonpareils (the tiny hundreds and thousands). I make the majority of my decorations from sugar, with wafer paper making an occasional appearance.
It’s all in the detail
The things I love the most are the small details. The things you have to look hard to find. I have been known to spend a ridiculous amount of time on the tiniest cake details, just to get things exactly the way I want them. OCD, perfectionism, attention to detail – however you label it, it all comes down to the same thing. The greatest care taken over every single aspect of every single cake. I do not cut corners. I have never said “that’ll do” and thrown in the towel, settling for a result I wasn’t 100% happy with. As a result, I have to admit, I’ve stayed up far too late on more occasions than is probably good for my health, all because it’s just not possible for me to settle for anything less than the ‘perfect result’. And my cakes are not perfect. Far from it. I have never yet reached that goal. But with every cake I strive for it.
I also love going that extra mile, and creating cakes which are different and memorable, with all their intricacies and tiny details. For example the mad hatter cake, the trainer cake, the sugar pram which was a working model of the real thing, the checkered flag cake with fully operational sugar cars which could be ‘driven’ up and down the race track and ‘parked’ in their garages, the scale replica of the Gibson Hummingbird guitar.
OK, quite proud of this one. Working sugar model of Sonya Hughes' silver cross pram, for the top of Nicole's baby shower cake. I knew my engineering PhD would come in useful one day 😂
Posted by Caroline Halliday on Sonntag, 21. Mai 2017
My most OTT cake was the AFRC corporate cake. This became a fully blown project, a labour of love, and as such it has its own section on my website.
For many years I made cakes as a hobby for friends and family. I had always toyed with the idea of turning my cake making into a business, but there always seemed to be a reason (or an excuse) not to do it. It was at this point that I realised (lightbulb moment!) that in fact I was doing it already, and had been for some considerable time. And so Cake Halliday was created, and I am thrilled about it. I am so excited at the prospect of the numerous cakes which haven’t been conceived yet, and the endless design possibilities for each and every one. Could the next one be yours?