Cakewalk all the way

Cakewalk all the way

Joonie Tan quit her mundane marketing job to nurture her love for baking and decoration by becoming a cake artist. This was one of the best decisions she made. Started in 2012, ‘180 Degree Celsius’ is where Joonie handles customised cake orders, be it wedding or birthday cakes.

Any customisation and sugar artwork is done by Joonie. She is a dedicated cake artist and a faculty member of Lavonne Academy on Baking Science and Pastry Arts.

“When I bake and decorate a cake, I find inner peace. My work alone inspires me to reach a peak in my profession. With this venture, I have obtained a lot of happiness and now I’m a happier person. I have found my passion and joy in my work, which is the most important and biggest achievement for me!” she says. She was mentored by Chef Kong Yik Hong, a silver medalist at the Asia Pastry Cup and also the owner of ‘Feves De Choco Pastry Art Creation’ in Malaysia. She was also trained with a few international sugar artists like Margeret Carter from Australia and Kelvin Chua from Malaysia.

Joonie is an expert at baking wedding cakes. She says there is a lot of demand in the market. “Almost all cake artists or bakers are making wedding cakes now. It provides an immense opportunity to artists to explore their talent and creativity,” she adds. One of the biggest challenges she faces are the lack of knowledge on the clients part and the amount of time that goes into making customised order. She says that the most common question clients ask is “Why is it so expensive?”.

 “My response is that it takes hours to make one cake. A three-tier wedding cake usually takes about a whole week for preparation, from planning to execution. If there are a lot of sugar flowers involved, it will take a longer time.

Generally the wedding cakes cost from Rs 2500 per kg onwards, depending on complexity of the design. A customised cake is definitely not just a cake – it’s an art in itself.” Joonie describes an incident where a couple refused to have a wedding cake on their big day, “There was a couple who refused to have a wedding cake.

The wedding was a massive event but the couple refused to have a wedding cake for their own wedding! We had to force them to have a cake, and we made a humongous six-tier wedding cake that stood more than five feet tall. The design got a lot of recognition from international cake artist forums and has been featured a few times in local fashion magazines.”

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