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It’s all fondant & games

Bossier City resident Tina Chambers shows her granddaughter, Jaynie Chambers, how to use an airbrush machine to add Pearl Sheen to her cake. Three and a half year old Jaynie will be entering her Under the Sea birthday cake into this year's Icing on the Cake Competition.

Icing on the Cake competition has top decorators battling it out for bragging rights­­

Three and a half year old Jaynie Chambers sat quietly in her grandmother’s kitchen putting the final touches on her Under the Sea birthday cake.

There are 10 candles lined up in a row and even a green fondant turtle ‘swimming’ on the side of the blue and white marbled fondant cake. She added a coat of Pearl Sheen with an airbrush machine to make it shiny, almost resembling the shimmer of ocean water.

This will be Jaynie’s first time entering the children’s division at this weekend’s Icing on the Cake Competition. The annual event, hosted by Quota International of Shreveport, is a place for cake artists of all skill levels from around the country to bring in their cake creations for judging.

The theme this year is “Greeting Cards” and, according to the event’s Facebook page, there are more than 90 cakes entered in the fourth annual event.

Bossier City residents Tina Chambers (Jaynie’s grandmother) and Bonnie Merchant are among the entrants vying for a first place win. This will be Chambers third time entering and Merchant’s first time, but both say they are looking forward to seeing everyone’s hard work come together under one roof.

“Everybody loves cake,” Chambers said. “It’s a good, family friendly show with fun planned all day long.”

The cakes represent a variety of experience levels, ranging from children to amateurs up to professionals, and judged in various categories (wedding cakes, theme – greeting cards, buttercream only and special occasions).

Chambers, whose cakes have earned her second place in previous years, has entered two cakes into the show. Merchant has also entered two cakes, which she began working on about two months ago.
Before the cakes are ever seen publicly, they are pieced together, layer by layer, starting with a general design.

“There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes,” Merchant said.

The first step, Merchant said, was deciding the shape and size of the cakes as well as a design or theme. She then selected colors, ordered supplies and spent countless hours covering the styrofoam cake dummies in fondant, completing each cake tier with handcrafted, decorative items to match her intended design.

Merchant said she created molds of the seashells she found in Daytona Beach, Fla., which happened to be the same day she met her husband, for one of her cakes. Her hope going into this weekend is that someone will like her cakes and appreciate the time she put into making them.

Chambers spent between 40 and 60 hours on one of her showpieces. She hopes this competition will be a time to rekindle old friendships and serve as a learning experience just as her previous years have.

“This contest is great for getting yourself to go outside of the box and try new things,” Chambers said. “It makes you push yourself and work harder for the next year.”

This year’s Icing on the Cake is said to be bigger than ever with a schedule filled with new activities and opportunities. The event’s Facebook page states there are five live demonstrations, 14 vendor tables, two live mystery box challenges, a silent auction and door prizes to be given away. Lunch will also be available to purchase and vendors will be on hand selling a variety of creative cake tools and tasty treats.

Also returning for the fourth time is Food Network Cake Champion Bronwen Weber and her team of talented cake artists.

Cakes will be on public display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The live mystery box challenges will begin at 10:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

The day will conclude with an awards ceremony. Proceeds from the event will benefit Bossier Parish Community College Culinary Arts Program and Quota International of Shreveport.

Quota International of Shreveport is an organization dedicated to serving the community by providing a valuable service. Quotarians enjoy making a difference locally and internationally.

The fourth annual Icing on the Cake Competition will be held Saturday, July 13, at Bossier Parish Community College in Building F (Administration Building). Tickets are $5 for general admission or $20 for an all-access pass to all the shows and classes of the day.

For more information, visit www.QuotaIcingonTheCake.com.

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