A former teaching assistant with a passion for baking, who created a top-class entry for the world’s largest cake competition, has been spurred on by the success to turn her sweet sideline into a full-time career.
Cake International, a global platform for cake decorating and sugar arts aficionados, is held annually at Birmingham’s NEC and Grace Savage could scarcely believe it when she walked away with a bronze award, last November.
By December, she was bidding a fond farewell to pupils of Hornsea Primary School and saying a fondant hello to a new life filled with sponge cake, sugarpaste and ganache.
“It was my first time at Cake International and I entered the carved/ sculpted cake category,” said Grace, of Molescroft, Beverley.
“The entries had to be 100 per cent carved from cake and 100 per cent edible and, given the extremely strict marking scheme, I felt a huge sense of achievement just from entering.”
The cakes were marked in five areas – overall design and concept; visual appeal/wow factor; degree of difficulty/complexity; quality of workmanship and attention to detail – and Grace’s depiction of a mouse from the Brambly Hedge classic children’s book series earned her a coveted bronze award.
Based on Brambly Hedge creator Jill Barklem’s illustration of Poppy Eyebright resting in an armchair, Grace’s cake took about six weeks in total to make.
“I was brought up with the Brambly Hedge books,” said Grace, who is the daughter of award-winning Yorkshire artist Tracy Savage.
“It’s all about the detail and everything had to be edible, including the cake board. My cake board took about 14 hours alone to get it to look like little terracotta tiles.”
Grace’s photograph of herself with her winning cake was shared by the Brambly Hedge company – which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year – on social media.
“I’m planning to enter Cake International again this year but I’m waiting to see what the categories are,” said Grace, who first caught the baking bug about ten years ago.
“I’m really inspired by my mum, who has her own business, and my grandma taught me the basics of baking.
“The first cake I made was for a friend’s daughter and it was seeing her reaction to it – it was a princess castle cake – that started everything off.
“This feeling of happiness was something I wanted to spread further and I began making cakes as a hobby for friends and family.”
Grace first set up her Grace Eva Cakes bespoke cake business in December 2018, while still working in education.
“I would be up until 3am finishing off a cake, some nights, and then up for work at 6am.
“Originally I wanted to go into teaching. I ran the baking club at Hornsea Primary for a couple of years and it was amazing – I am still getting messages from parents now about what their children have been baking.”
Grace receives orders for all kinds of celebration cakes, cupcakes and biscuits and has gained qualifications to build on her cake decorating talent.
“I’m doing a course next week with Poppy Pickering Cake Design, a company in West Yorkshire, whose wedding cakes I really admire.”
Visit graceevacakes.co.uk for more information. Grace Eva Cakes can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.
Source: Thanks https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/special-features/baker-grace-savage-epic-cakes-3962614