Why teach?

I am and will always be, first and foremost a teacher.

Since I started working I´ve been teaching.

I began as an ESL English teacher in Venezuela about 20 years ago and I am still teaching up to date between the Cake and Gelatin workshops, online classes and even went back to teaching English.

Why do we (cake decorators) teach?

I never knew the importance of asking myself this question until recently, this is because I realized that nowadays everyone teaches something, we all want to be the one with the ultimate method, we want to be the one that stands out from the crowd and tells how things are done.

Now, in the light of recent events and the changes that our society has been facing due to this virus we´ve had to rethink our businesses as cake designers and teaching, especially online, has grown immensely over the last seven months. 

But as great as any of us can be at their crafts; cake design, modeling, cookie decoration, royal icing, baking, and so on, not all of us are capable of teaching.

Sorry but it´s true!

So, what makes a good teacher?… many things but I will start with planning!

Why can´t all of us just teach?… we sure can, we just really need to prepare for it.

Can we all learn to be a good teacher?…most definitely!

So, I am starting with the word ” planning”

In all my time teaching that has been the key to a successful class, committed students, great results, and much more. That is why I am creating a new course for any cake decorator or cake designer who wants to improve their teaching skills or even start teaching.

However, I want you to go today with a minor idea of what this is all about, so for that, I am starting with this article´s title question: Why teach?

When you think about “The why” you are instantly setting a path for your teaching journey. By asking yourself the reason for teaching, and any reason is valid, you are deciding how to teach, where to teach, who to teach, and when to do it.

So, ask yourself:

Am I teaching for the money, student´s satisfaction and accomplishments, vocation or fame?

The answer to this question will be the core of your teaching path.

First, all of the reasons are good, you just must decide how you approach them.

If you are in it for your student´s satisfaction and transformation, just by accomplishing the result of the project you are teaching you´ll succeed, congrats!

Students are your clients and they will come back and spread the word if they feel happy, to make them achieve the results you are offering, your success is guaranteed.

Vocation! , it is your life´s calling, you can´t stop doing it, so you will be motivated and happy, and a happy teacher equals a happy student, so they will recommend you and come back for more.

Money...hello…no one works for free; we deserve to get pay for what we do and well paid by the way.

Teaching can be a hard and exhausting job, it is not only a couple of hours of class is all the work you do before and after that counts, so please, think about the money and learn to charge well for your work, as that is one of the keys to keeping yourself motivated and your business running.

Fame, why not?  If you are a famous cake artist people will want to learn with you, and if you are a good teacher you´ll be famous in your field.

Closing the circle, that means that you´ll have more and better students, you will be famous in a good way and because of it, people will learn from you and you will gain more money.

Once you get a hold of WHY are you teaching, you can move on to build your teaching strategy.

This means you can focus on what to teach, how to teach it, where to teach it, and when to teach it all because you have a clear purpose and you have your goal set!

Do you want to get deep into these concepts and let me help you build your teaching method and  teaching techniques, let me invite you to be part of my community on my Facebook page The Art Cake Experience and my Facebook private group: The Art Cake School Group.

I´ll be live on  Facebook live Tuesday Oct 29th at 3:00pm (GMT+1) where we can talk about all of this and I´ll be happy to answer any questions and to help you with your teaching journey.

I really hope you like this post, if you did, please like, share and comment and don´t forget to subscribe to my blog.

See you live on Facebook. Link here: https://www.facebook.com/theartcakeexperience

Love

Cristina

Nutella Filling!

 

Homemade Nutella filling:

Who doesn´t like Nutella? 

I just love it!

There is something magical about mixing chocolate with hazelnuts, and to add that into a very rich chocolate cake is even better.

Nutella filling can be a very popular one and even though you can use the Nutella directly from the jar, it can be too sweet or too thick to add to your cake.

Let me share with you the recipe I use. It is not absolutely mine, found it online but it really works.

Ingredients: 

  •  200 grams of dark chocolate.
  • 100 g. of heavy cream.
  • 1 tablespoon of butter. The original recipe was unsalted, but I like to use salted butter
  • 200 grams de Nutella

How to:

First melt the chocolate in Bain Marie or in the microwave at minimum intensity so the chocolate won’t burn. Then add the cream and the butter little by little mixing well until combined. Finally add the Nutella and there you go!

Let it rest and cool before using, I like to leave it on the fridge overnight for better texture. Just take it out of the fridge about 30 min before using.

This makes a delicious and very firm filling great for cakes or piping into a cupcake.

Hope you like it!

Don´t forget to like, comment, share this post and subscribe to the blog for more recipes.

Love,

Cristina.

 

 

Instagram-Link in Bio for Cake Business

Hi, my sweet friends,

Here I go again with the importance of using social media platforms for your cake business. This can make the whole difference in the way clients see your work and it is a great tool to find new costumers and target your niche.

Social media platforms continue to be a big help for me and have been a game-changer for my business. I try to cover as much ground as I can using Facebook, Pinterest, groups, pages, web site, and online school. However, one of the platforms that actually works for my audience is Instagram, and using ” Link in Bio” has been a game-changer for me.

So let me share with you a few tips that work and actually makes your life easier so you can dedicate your time to be creative and make beautiful cakes while you keep your community informed and updated.

Your Instagram profile has to be one of the most complete business cards you can find. Just by opening your profile, your audience has access to:

Diapositivo4

  • You
  • ( picture)
  • Contacts
  • Bio
  • Purpose
  • Brand
  • shop
  • stories
  • IGTV
  • Location

When you use “link in bio” funnels it gives a whole new dimension to your brand, because with just one click, your client can have access to all your social media platforms, and much more. Specially when you are a baker or a cake decorator, that as we know, we don´t have much time to be in Social Media at all hours of the day. So giving a window to your clients and followers that is always open, is a great tool!

In my case, I use the @Tailwind service to link my bio to all of my social media platforms only by using the free plan I have the opportunity to have my ” Link in Bio” and to schedule Instagram posts and Pinterest pins. This  gives my community the opportunity to go directly to my Blog, my Online School, YoutTube channel, Facebook, Facebook Groups, and to contact me to place an order of cakes and gelatins.

Check out my Instagram: @cristina_theartcakeexperience and click on link in bio to see it for yourself.

There are many other platforms that offer you the link in Bio possibility, some are free other not but it is a great tool to use.

For now, leave me a comment below with your Instagram link and I´ll be more than happy to follow you!

Don´t forget to like this post, comment, share, and subscribe.

Hope you liked it!

Love,

Cristina

Art of Pottery- An international cake art collaboration.

I think by now you are all familiar with the concept of a cake collaboration, but just in case you are just joining this blog, let me explain a little bit.

In the international world of the Cake Design , many times a year, artists and bakers from around the globe use the online tools to get together around a theme and create not a competition, but a collaboration showcasing their work that can be cakes, cookies, busts, figures and many more as long as it is edible.

This cake collaboration is one of the many amazing events of this year and the theme is about Pottery!

I had the great pleasure to be part of it, along with 64 artists that created pieces, cakes, cookies, modeling and so much more just beyond believe. They are just amazing.

Our dear host, Tasnuta Alam form Bangladesh who now lives in Aberdeen, UK came up with the idea to join cake artists around the globe, and together celebrate the Art of Pottery.

Why? I asked her.

“I do gardening and for small plants I like to use stylish pottery for home decoration.” – She said.

For Tasnuta, pottery’s color, texture, design, pattern attracted her so much. and as a cake artist, she got an idea!

Tasnuta Alam

She told me, “suddenly It came to my mind, what if we carry out the pottery ideas on sugar art, how will it be? As I thought, I started planning. But never imagine it will outbreak my expectation. The whole “Art of pottery” collaboration team has done outstanding work.” She replied.

And that is the absolute true, the work was beyond amazing.

My piece was inspired by Portuguese ceramic work from the north region of Portugal. The inspiration image was a holly water fountain from Coimbra. I just adapted the design of the cake from it, add a few colorful elements and raised the color scheme a little bit to make it colorful and shiny.

Cristina Arévalo

I must confess something. It was not my most thought work, I didn´t spend much time planning it and making it and it was not something I am used to as I work more with modeling and sugar dolls. However, it turned out amazing and the best part is the amazing welcome my cake had form many people and above all from my fellow cake artists. It was a very fulfilling piece for me.

Now, let me show you some of the amazing pieces of this collab and leave you with the link to the official Facebook page so you can enjoy all the details of their work. Art of Pottery- An international cake art collaboration

We are 64 Cake artists from 21 countries around the world come together to represent “Art of Pottery” an International cake art collaboration which is hosted by Tasnuta Alam. She is a Cake International’s representative and multi award winning cake artist. This collaboration is all about worldwide pottery’s art, texture, pattern, design and all. We have tried to carry out this inspiration to our work through wedding cake, cookies, cupcakes, sculpting cake, bust cake, figurines.

I can only thank Tasnuta Alam for curating this amazing collab, for inviting me and for giving me and many other artists the opportunity to push our creativity to new limits and improve our work, because at the end of the day, that´s what a collaboration is about.

And if you liked this post, don´t forget to like, comment, share and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina

Eat the cookie dough!

Yes!

Who doesn´t make chocolate chips cookie dough and try it out and start eating it before baking?

We all do, but it is not right because of the raw egg in it, so I don´t know who came up with this recipe of edible raw cookie dough but whoever it was, thank you.

Chocolate chips cookie dough, ready to eat, no baking, just heaven!

I heard about it and had to research and try it out. I found some recipes online and I have to say that it took me some two or three to get the one that was easier to do and better to taste.
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I found this recipe on Pinterest, wish I could give credit to the author, but it wasn´t mentioned in the post,.The recipe was really good and I used it to make one of the fillings for a very decadent chocolate cake.

So here is the recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3/4 cups of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 can of condensed milk

How to make it:

Mix together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and the condensed milk and last fold together the chocolate chips.

Very Important!, keep it cool!

It is necessary to refrigerate this dough for at least 24 hours before using it. You can either roll the dough into a cake an to make a thin layer to use as a cake filling or you can form little balls to later cover with melted chocolate and eat them as cookie bites, the important part is to refrigerate and keep them cool.

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Give it a try and don´t forget to tell me all about it.

Comment and like this post and remembers to subscribe and share!

Love,

Cristina.

 

 

 

Let´s play under the sea!

Cake collaborations are a big deal inside the cake decorating world and as you´ve seen my last two posts have been about them and this one is no exception.

With this year´s quarantine and social distance, most of us cake artists have turned into online work, groups and collaborations to showcase our work, meet new cake friends and promote our business. Also cake groups on social media platforms have been growing, giving us a big sense of community and providing amazing opportunities like working together on international cake collabs.

As my group hosted their first cake collab last month, my dear friend Gerardo Zarco´s group Sugar Mad also hosted their first one and here I´ll tell you all about it.

Sugar Mad Group

Gerardo Zarco, an amazing Mexican chef and sugar artists came up with the idea of a Mermaid theme collaboration when he was still member of another group, but with the opening of his new group ,Sugar Mad, he decided to make this collaboration as their first major activity in a way of bringing his community together, which has been his goal all along.

Gerardo , alongside his great friend, also an amazing sugar artists Daniela Cabrera Godinez, decided to co-host ” In the Realm of Mermaids a Journey Through the Fantasy”, an international cake collaboration which I was part of along with 54 great sugar artists.

As Gerardo told me , the idea was to present to the world of cake design his new group and to showcase the amazing pieces of his great cake community.

He started with 80 subscriptions and received a total of 54 pieces, all mermaids and merman, under the sea scenarios and fantasy all around.

His idea has always been to support each other as a big cake community and to see their members happy doing what they love.

It was a great opportunity for new artists to work on their first cake collaboration and showcase their work to the world as well as an opportunity, and I have to say an excuse, for many of us to get into the magical world of Mermaids and let our creativity run free.

Here is my Mermaid, Amethyst Coralie a bas-relief piece I made using sugar paste, modeling paste, gelatin paper and rice paper sails. Of course, she had to be purple and I just love how she is emerging form the waves. I used an illustration as inspiration for this one.

I can only invite you to check out all these amazing pieces and to get to know the artists by visiting the official Facebook Page and sharing your support with us

Link Here: https://www.facebook.com/Sugarmadgroup/?hc_location=group

Check out some of the great work by these artists

I realy hope you enjoy all of these amazing pieces and this small post to celebrate another great cake collaboration and one amazing group.

So, don´t forget to like this post, comment, share and subscribe.

Stay Creative!

Love,

Cristina

Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

Yes,

Big Potterhead in the house!

Guilty of loving all the Harry Potter books and movies. So, being me and having the most amazing group fo cake friends in our Facebook group Cake Friends Stay Creative. I decided to do a very fun activity with our group to celebrate Harry Potter´s birthday.

It all started just a few months ago and with the idea of a cake collaboration. We didn´t have too much time to make a big cake collab in just two months so I decided to run a cake collaboration for next year about Harry Potter. However, I asked in the group if anyone would be interested in participating in some live demos for July 31st ( Harry´s birthday) and the answer was so overwhelming that me, being me, decided to make a big event in our group that included: A full day of live demos, a mini cake collaboration and the share of Harry Potter edible creations in the group. And it was fantastic!!!

I can go on and on about how wonderful it was, about the help I had from amazing cake friends, about the enthusiasm and love from my fellow cake artists to participate but this post is really about showing you our ” small” but FULL of talent cake collab and to showcase my fellow cake artists amazing work and to tell them how very proud and grateful I am for each one of them.

I have no words to describe the talent, my heart is full of joy for their commitment and participation, and I humbly thank them for going along with my craziness and be part of this celebration.

So, without further ado, let me show you our Harry Potter Birthday Celebration- International cake collaboration 2020 edition

Meet my witches and wizards!

Aleja Jijón 

Angel Torres

Carolina Lopez

Cristina Arévalo

Doaa Ahmed

Vanesa Graneros

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Eva Jimenez Garcia

Gerardo Zarco

Maythe Del Angel

Melissa Ramirez Galindo

Sabrina Mattia

 

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Sofia Silva

Tanjia Rashid

Umme Kulsum

Yerka Germion

 

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Please follow our page and like the amazing work of these artists as well as getting to know them and follow them on social media.

Harry Potter Birthday Cake Collaboration on Facebook

This is just the beginning for these cake artists and many more will be part of next year’s BIG celebration and a Harry Potter Magical Cake Collaboration 2021 edition.

For now, don´t forget to like, comment, and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina

 

Steam Cake International Collaboration 2020 edition.

It´s being a crazy year so far, we all know that, but in the world of cake design and artistic cake decoration, one of the things we artists look forward to is the international cake collaborations.

Usually are organized by fellow cake artists, picking a theme and inviting cake designers from all over the world to create an artistic edible piece and participate.

Some people from our community have mixed feelings about collaborations. It is a demanding and expensive experience, that for some points of view don´t bring many benefits to the artists.

For me is absolutely the opposite. It is time-consuming and can be expensive, but very rewarding.

We meet people and fellow artists from around the globe, the sense of friendship makes us not only praise each other´s work but share it to audiences from every corner of the planet.

We are inspired to be better, we learn from other cake designers, our work is placed amongst great artists and it is the perfect excuse to push our limits and create very artistic pieces that our regular clients won´t even dream of ordering.

And, amongst many, and believe me when I say, many cake collaborations there is one in particular that holds a very special place in a lot of hearts.

The Steam Cakes International Collaboration

Why?

Well, first of all, it is run by great artists and human beings that happen to be Portuguese and represent the great talent of our country, Carla Rodrigues, amazing sugar artists, teacher and award-winning cake designer from Portugal and her dear husband João Pimentel, a great video maker and multimedia artists, both of them create the perfect match to make possible this amazing Steam Cakes International Collaboration, that already counts with many editions and happens to be the winner of the 2018 cake collaboration award at  Cake International.

After last year´s pause, it came back as strong as ever, counting with 129 artists from all over the world that created the most amazing pieces all around the topic of Steam Punk.

It is for everyone to enjoy, Steam Punk lovers and not only so.

 

I happen to be part of it for the second time and I have to say that I went far and beyond with my piece.

I not only created a sugar modeling piece, but I also created a story, a part of me went to this sugar dolls, and to prove it, let me share with you the video I made introducing the characters of my work.

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I will write the whole story off this Steam ( Freak) Circus in another post just for you to enjoy it.

For now, I can only invite you to check out this amazing collaboration with great artists and amazing sugar work.

link: Steam Cakes- Steampunk Collaboration

Don´t forget to leave some love for them on their Facebook page and remember to like this post, comment, share, and subscribe to my blog.

Love,

Cristina

Fresh strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting.

IMG-20170827-WA0006For this super strawberry cake the secret is to use fresh strawberries and …. gelatin, yes GELATIN!

Let me share the recipe with you, I hope you like it!

For the Cake:

250 grams of butter

2 cups of sugar

4 eggs

1 strawberry gelatin sachet

½ cup of milk

½ cup of fresh strawberry juice

½ cup fresh cut strawberries

3 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

 

Preparation:

In a mixer, first, add the butter and sugar until it forms a soft and light dough.

Then add the eggs one by one until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. On a different bowl, mix together the powdered gelatin sachet with the flour and baking powder.

Alternately add the flour and the milk to the cake batter.

Finally, mix by hand in an involving movement the strawberry juice and fresh strawberries.

 

For the cream cheese filling:

2 packages of cream cheese

250 grams of icing sugar

zest of a vanilla pod

 

In a mixer, mix the cream cheese with icing sugar and vanilla, until you get a fluffy cream.20170827_112449

I used edible gel dyes for the three shades of pink. I divided the cream into three equal parts and then added the dye, varying the amount to obtain three different shades.

Finally, just fill the cake in equal parts and put the three shades of pink around.

It is very important to refrigerate the cake between each step and to keep the temperature of the cream cheese cool.

 

This cake is recommended to keep in the refrigerator until party time.

 

Hope you like it,

 

Kisses!

Important Measures

Making cakes and desserts can be in some cases a nightmare for some people who like to cook freely and without using any measures.

For me making cakes and gelatins is sort of like a ” Science” just using a different measure can alter the result of my dessert and make it all go worng.

When I teach my gelatin classes I really insist to my students to use measuring cups or weight the ingredients. So, here I leave you a little help and information on how to measure the ingredients for your cakes and sweets.

 

Medidas Importantes!1

 

Some Tips!

Use good measuring cups and spoons

DON`T ignore the instructions!

One cup of sifted flour is not the same as “sift one cup of flour”

Use spoons to fill the cups instead of filling the cup directly from a bigger container

After filling the cup, level the dry ingredient using a spoon or a knife. 

When measuring liquids , make sure your cup is set on a leveled surface. 

And don´t forget to set your scale to 0,00 before starting!

But most important…have fun!

I hope this info is somehow useful and helps you in your baking.

Don´t forget to like this post, comment, share and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina