For the fifth year in a row, SLCC’s culinary arts students were able to compete in a game of literature and whimsy, child-like glee for the annual Edible Books contest.
Celebrating National Library Week at the Markosian Library, SLCC students rose to the occasion by representing their favorite books through the magnificent medium of cake.
From the land of Dr. Suess in One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to the young-adult romance series The Twilight Saga, the baking talents of SLCC’s elite were on display in full force.
Cynthia Alberts, Assistant Professor of Baking I & II and Cake Decorating, expressed her excitement in her students’ accomplishments.
“Students were given approximately three class periods to bake and decorate their entries to enter in the competition,” says Alberts.
Alberts went on to proclaim that all of the cakes were scratch-based, meaning that none of the cakes on display were created using cake mixes. All of these intricately designed cakes were concocted from its simple base ingredients.
In other words, what appeared as an effortlessly beautiful work of art is the brainchild of a growing culinary expert.
Speaking with Culinary Arts majors Rachel Reinhart and Annie Sullivan, the most rewarding yet challenging part of this contest was the amount of creative freedom that was given to them as bakers for this competition.
“The hardest part of this project was figuring out the proper size of the smaller details and the precise design of the piece,” says Annie Sullivan.
She gestured to the orange goldfish on the top of the cake, speaking about how it took her about five or six attempts to get the size to her approval.
Reinhart and Sullivan explained that although they were allowed to prepare for three class periods for the competition, they had to spend time outside of class in order to properly create the edible decorations and intricate details.
Sullivan described how service-learning projects like the Edible Books competition is impactful on her school career. She related this high-pressure situation to a time last semester when her class was told bake sugar cookies for high schoolers that were touring SLCC campuses.
As for the Edible Books competition, when Professor Alberts was asked about what books would have inspired her if she were in her students’ position, she responded with three books: Where The Wild Things Are, Hunger Games, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
“Children’s books lead to a more whimsical narrative,” she says, although she makes an exceptions for books such as Harry Potter and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Alberts encourages everyone to check out the Edible Books event during National Library week, although she bares one warning…
There is no guarantee that the desserts are nut-free.
Click on a thumbnail to open the photo gallery. (Photos by Ashley Stenger)