10 Minutes with: Lovin’ from the Oven by Corinna Maguire

6th Feb 2017

Corinna creates personalised cakes based on your ideas and truly brings them to life

Corinna studied Graphic Design and found a knack for creating beautiful images…it was baking, but on a different platform! It wasn’t much later that she returned to the kitchen and began making unusual and over the top birthday cakes for her own kids.

When did you first start decorating cakes? I wish I had an original story for you here but I started the way most cake decorators did…  I had kids!  Birthday cakes were needed and I found another outlet to get creative.  And so it began. Where did you learn your baking skills? I have always loved baking and trying out new dessert recipes – mostly pies actually!  I don’t do so many these days as the cake decorating has happily taken over now. How did you become such a good artist? I do have a mother and a sister who are painters so I suppose it runs in the family.  I’m also a Graphic Designer too, so there’s a bit of creativity going on already.  But in saying that, my figures were simple neckless wonders with 'cankles' just like everyone else when I started out too.  It’s taken lots of time, practice, pushing my limits and trying a little harder each time and I’m still working on it! How would you sum up your style? I’m seriously stumped at this question. People say they can recognise my style – but I’m not sure what that is.  I suppose I like to try and get a bit of movement, a little extra detail and sometimes emotion into them.  But to put me into a category…. I really wouldn’t know. What is it that most appeals to you about sugarpaste modeling cakes? I love to create things with my hands.  I’m stuck behind a desk on the computer half of the time – so it’s nice to break free and get stuck in to modelling a cake for a change. Where do you get your inspiration for creating new designs? To be honest I try and stay away from the computer when I’m trying to come up with a new design – unless it’s for research purposes.  The temptation to recreate something is hard once you’ve seen it.  So instead, I have a load of random photos on my phone of things that I’ve come across on my travels that I’d love to ‘cake’. What’s your design process? Well if it’s for a client they often have ideas themselves.  Usually too many!  So I try and either narrow it down or combine them.  If I’m doing a realistic cake, I get out the sketchpad and the ruler for proportions and the math skills (that I thought I would never need in school) finally get used.  And if it’s a wedding cake (which I don’t do too many of) I do up some digital sketches for the clients to be able to visualize with me. What are your top tips for sugarpaste modelling? While I’m able to use modelling paste it wouldn’t be my medium of choice.  99% of my modelling is done with modelling chocolate.  I find it far more forgiving than modelling paste so if I was giving tips on modelling chocolate:
  • Use tight fitting disposable gloves when working with it. It gives you a far smoother finish. You might think the fingerprints aren’t showing up – but you’d be surprised in the difference.
  • Silicone tools such as Cerart and Sugar shapers are great to use with modelling chocolate. They blend out seams like a dream.
  • Don’t let the chocolate get too hot as it will sag and melt. If you suffer from hot hands (like I do) you can work with an icepack and a tea towel to keep your hands cool.  Just be sure that your hands are dry after cooling down.
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