HOUSTON - You know the phrase “It’s too pretty to eat!” That could be the motto over at West Houston’s family owned Memorial Bakery.
There, they don’t just bake, they compete and win too. It takes a careful hand to create and craft eye-catching sweet treats, from storm troopers to angry birds.
At Memorial Bakery, their specialties are custom cakes and cookies.
On Wednesday, decorator Elizabeth Balderas worked on a towering graduation cake, complete with a graduate’s cap and tassel.
“Everything on the cake you can eat. The cap is Rice Krispies.” said Balderas.
She also competes, traveling to cake and sugar art shows across the country. Typically, there are hundreds of contestants.
Her specialty is sculptures. She did an elaborate mermaid, which took weeks to complete and recently won 1st place at a competition in Oklahoma.
She said she gets ideas from just about anywhere and starts with a good picture of the item.
“My mother, she knows how to paint. My father was carving. So, I have both of their artistry from both sides.” Balderas said.
The cake and sugar art contests are like fashion shows for food. Most people wouldn’t order the intricate designs, but Balderas says, contestants enter to find and experiment with new ways of making things pretty and exciting.
Rachel Fang-Lin, who owns the bakery with her husband also competes. She just won a 1st place in Austin's Take the Cake show.
Fang-Lin jokes, “For the last competition I went to, I didn't even have time to eat.”
Her specialty is flowers. As far as tips for others, she said, “Use the right color and download a lot real flowers’ pictures.”
She added it takes a least 20 minutes to do just one flower. They can take up to two days to dry so patience and attention to detail are key.
Fang-Lin's flowers look amazingly real. From roses and lilies to orchids and cacti, it’s hard to believe they are made of sugar.
Does it ever hurt for people to eat these designer desserts? She said, “We made the flowers for them to enjoy. I am so glad they can try.”
Fang-Lin also teaches. Her last class was with 20 people for a birthday party. Students usually prefer simpler, less time-consuming techniques, so they can get to dessert, faster.
To register for classes, click here.