1. Tell us a little about yourself, family, where do you live and what did you do for a living before making cakes if anything?
I’m Spanish, based and born in Belgium. I grew up moving back and forth from Brussels to Gijon (Asturias, Spain). I’m the proud mum of two daughters (7 and 10 years old). I’m currently the founder and designer of ChokoLate but in parallel also a legal and training assistant at an American International Law firm and a qualified translator.
2. How long have you been doing cakes and why did you get started in cake decorating… was it by accident or did you always have a passion for it?
I loved baking desserts since I was a child, I started when I was 12 making some “choux à la crème” and always asked (well I should say “obliged”) my mom to bake her own cakes…as hated the ones we found in the bakery shops in Spain.
But I really started cake decorating in the winter season of 2011, when I decided to make a cake for my colleague and try my hand at 3D figurines. I was so in love with the result and blown away by the encouragement from my friends,that I decided to launch my page “ChokoLate” in February 2012.
3. Is there one tool you cannot live without and one you don’t have yet but really want?
I would really be desperate if something ever happen to my hands and eyes. I don’t have a long metallic scraper I use a plastic ruler.
4. What part of making cakes do you like most and least?
Love ganaching, at that particular moment all my soul is completely lost in my thoughts, I find it to be a very relaxing time. Covering cakes is the part I find less funny.
5. I am just in awe of your modelling skills you always capture your figurines beautifully. Have you got one small tip that you could share with us that you use to achieve these gorgeous results.
I love taking portrait pictures a good 50mm fixed lens with an open focal 1.4 to have a nice blur behind to enhance the way you perceive your subject and allows you to be much more creative in your composition.
6. Tell us one thing about yourself that many of us might not know already.
I’m that kind of “squeamish” persons as I faint easily.
7. Do you have a bucket list and if so what might one or two of those be and it does not have to be cake related?
Taking clay sculpture classes and visiting Japan
8. What would you say has been your biggest cake challenge to date and if you could have a do-over of that cake would you want too and what about it would you change?
Designing, sewing and decorating with chocolate a dress for the Chocolate catwalk show earlier this year. If I had to do it over would have tried to display the chocolate lace differently.
9. Is there one technique or sugar skill that you have not tried yet but really would like to learn?
Piping and playing with isomalt.
10. What is your favorite cake flavor you like to make?
A dark chocolate with roasted almonds cake filled with a praline (almonds and hazelnuts) ganache.
11. Do you sketch your cakes or just wing it?
Never sketch cakes just let my inner emotions talk.
12. Do you have one significant cake that you can call your favorite so far in your career?
I don’t have any particular favorite cake as they all remind me that I can improve. But if I had to choose one among the ones I did I would definitely chose Abyss as that one I made it thinking to my sister who is suffering from mental disorder.
14. What’s the best lesson you have learned while making cakes so far?
Don’t take it for granted every time I make cakes I learn a new thing!
15. For anyone just starting out what would be one piece of advice you would give them?
Never give up, practice makes perfect! We all come to this world without being able to speak or walk but at the end we all fight and manage to do it at our own rhythm.
- Part 55: Marlene Debattista
- Part 56: Nadia Flecha Guazo of Chokolate