When the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) held its 2010 National Leadership Conference at Kendall College in July, pastry chef and instructor Erika Webb wanted to do something extraordinary to celebrate the organization’s 65th anniversary. Naturally, she baked a cake.
But not alone, and not just any cake. The “cake” that Webb and recent Kendall baking-and-pastry-arts graduates constructed consisted of three tiers of Styrofoam with a base of 3 by 1 feet. The middle tier was just more than 2 by 1 feet, and the top tier was about 18 inches by 1 foot. A 1-foot-plus gumpaste cake topper crowned the “confection.” Once completed, the creation, frosted in the official FCCLA colors of red, black and white, was so heavy it had to be transported on a flatbed cart.
“We worked on it for nine days,” Webb says. “I had never worked on something this large, and we had to account for decorative mishaps due to humidity. But all told, it was a decent first effort. My student helpers—all recent graduates—were really great. They helped with icing the cake, fondant work and gumpaste flowers and designs.”
But what did the 3,000 FCCLA guests eat at the anniversary celebration at McCormick Place? Webb came to the rescue with pre-sliced sheet cakes. So everyone got to have his or her cake. And eat it, too!