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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Covid gets a sumptuously sweet makeover in Bengaluru

Cake baked in the shape of the novel coronavirus, coloured bright orange and wearing a white mask, has become a favourite for many at the 46th Annual Cake Show in Bengaluru.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: December 30, 2020 8:01:55 pm
A cake baked in the shape of coronavirus at the Annual Cake Show in Bengaluru. (Express photo)

The coronavirus may have had a telling impact on mankind, but it couldn’t take away the creativity of some cake designers in Bengaluru who have given the virus a delectably sweet makeover. The sugar model of the novel coronavirus, coloured bright orange and wearing a white mask, has become a favourite for many at the 46th Annual Cake Show in Bengaluru, an iconic event visited by thousands every year.

“Even after seeing people around them contracting the (Covid-19) infection, many in Bengaluru aren’t following the protocols and safety measures, are wearing mask improperly or even stepping out without one. This is why we thought of gifting a mask to a model of the virus itself to send out a strong social message,” Samie J Ramachandran, a cake designer who has organised the show this time, told indianexpress.com.

However, the pandemic has significantly affected the footfall at the event. According to the organisers, the exhibition has logged only around 10,000 visitors this year from the time it began, a week before Christmas. “Even till last year, we used to draw 18,000 visitors daily. However, with Covid-19 regulations in place, entry is allowed to only 25 to 30 people at a time. But we are delighted that many turned up for the event with their children, strictly following the protocols laid down by the government,” Ramachandran said.

The exhibition this year is themed around characters that are popular with children and showcases 22 cakes in all. “While adults could still step out amid the pandemic, children were largely confined to their homes with hardly any entertainment. We decided to design these cakes specially for them in a bid to gift them some moments of joy this festive season,” Ramachandran said.

Leaning Tower of Pisa cake.

A computer engineer-turned-cake artist, Ramachandran said that around 3 tonnes (3000 kilograms) of sugar was used to bake the cakes on display this year. “My personal favourite is the 16-feet-tall model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The cake leans at 4 degrees, similar to the monument, and this was the toughest challenge we faced while assembling the cake. While getting all mixtures right for the structure was quintessential, it took almost seven days for different pieces of the cake to be assembled,” he said.

The team behind the cakes comprised 17 others, including pastry chefs, cake designers and budding cake artists from different states and two from foreign shores as well.

Hala Rehan, a cancer researcher-turned-cake engineer said, “Anyone can make cakes for birthdays and special occasions but it takes precision, passion, and hours of hard work to make life-sized cakes. Each piece that we have made has been lauded as pieces of art by many. Working on these for months, after completing the mandatory quarantine period for crossing international borders amid the pandemic, was really worth it.”

Rehan, who arrived in the city from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to be a part of the team that prepared cakes for the exhibition, added that her favourites included the Centaur, the Christmas Crib, and The Lady in Black apart from the model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Tom and Jerry shaped cake.

The iconic scene of ‘Rafiki’ lifting a newborn ‘Simba’ from the ‘Lion King’ and cakes themed on ‘Tom and Jerry’, Nataraja, and Lord Ganesha have kept many glued to the models.

“The Tom & Jerry cake is our favourite this time as it helped me share pleasant memories of the characters with my parents and children, who, too, are huge fans of them. Each one (model) had a story to share and the conversation around them made us feel exuberant,” Shalini Menon, a software engineer who visited the exhibition with her family, said.

The exhibition is being held at the St Joseph’s Indian High School ground and will be on till January 3.

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