Beautiful desserts and extravagant cake designs created by local chefs were showcased during the Evening of Decadent Dessert hosted by Children’s Services Centre (CSC). This annual fundraiser involved auctioning off decadent sweet creations to raise money for programs and services needed for children with special needs.
The desserts in the live auction were paired up with services and items as part of a complete package. A vintage 1946 Chevy classic truck cake was paired with, gas certificate, oil and filter change. The barbecue cake came with stainless steel BBQ and teddy bear picnic cake with a picnic paraphernalia. These were just a few packages that had over 400 guests oooing and aaahing.
A tradition took root 16 years ago in the foyer of the Red Deer College with a few simple cakes and has evolved into an elegant sit down evening affair of champagne, wine, hors d’oeuvres and, of course, lots and lots of sinfully tempting desserts!
“This is a special year for us,” explains Jackie D’Costa, a director of the CSC. “This year marks the 25th anniversary for the CSC.”
To celebrate their silver anniversary, Decadent Dessert Night featured two special cakes to commemorate this milestone. One was a elegant anniversary cake created by Linda Lachance, a former CSC board member while another “framed picture cake” was created by D’Costa herself.
The elegant silver anniversary cake was wrapped up in almond flavoured fondant and featured hand drawn embroidery and edible gum paste Calla Lilies.
Not being out done, D’Costa’s cake was surrounded by an edible antique-style picture frame constructed from rolled fondant and chocolate Baroque style molding, that were hand painted with edible silver pearl dust. The center of the cake featured a digital frame that captured 25 years of CSC memories. I have to admit, displayed on art easel this cake was so “picture-frame” perfect that I passed it three times before realizing it was really a cake!
To find out how Jackie created her picture frame, check out my blog on bprda.wpengine.com.
The package that brought in the most money in the live auction was a full slab sheet cake that was decorated by baker Shawna Learning of Save-On Foods (North) Bakery in Red Deer. Though the two layer vanilla cake covered in whipped butter cream icing could tempt any dessert enthusiast it was the edible logo of St. James Gate printed on rice paper that raised the bidding to a whopping $6,000. This cake gave the winner an in-home performance by the popular Celtic band in Central Alberta — St. James Gate.
Their music is a testament that not all things sweet need to end up at the hips! To find out more about the band and where they will be performing in the coming months check out their web page. http://www.boysofstjamesgate.ca
The second package that generated $4,000 included hot air balloon ride. Red Deer CO-OP Park plaza baker, Doreen Proust, created a tall floating hot air balloon cake to represent this package. Sculpted from rice cereal, the three-dimensional balloon floated above a vanilla cake iced with fluffy cloud like butter cream icing.
The Golfing package generated $1,100. Here, was another cake which had many participants do a double take. The metre-long golf bag cake was sculpted from strawberry caramel marble cake with strawberry caramel filling, whipped crème fresh and the entire cake was covered in marzipan.
This golf bag also came with edible golf clubs made from cereal treat and covered in marzipan. The golf theme cake was designed and decorated by Chef Michael Card and sous chef Rieley Kay of Wolf Creek Golf Resort. It took 30 hours and Chef Michael claimed that it was the first time they had attempted a cake of this calibre. What a successful first try!
Decadent Dessert Night was a night of pure indulgence that, I am sure, sparked the inner artist in all that attended.
Madhu Badoni is a Red Deer-based freelance food writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch for Madhu’s Masala-Mix blog on bprda.wpengine.com.