the haute couture of pastry decorations takes over Périgueux

Hélène Robert, who has spent her entire professional career as an artisan baker, has always been interested in “cake design”, which she discovered twenty years ago in the United States. But at the time of retirement, the one who settled in Périgueux in 2002 wanted to put on the apron again.

“Cake design is something that works quite well. There are many requests for weddings, wedding cakes, or for special occasions. And then I like teaching”, summarizes Hélène Robert, who therefore decided to open this unique school in Aquitaine . She will welcome her first trainee next week, in the laboratory dedicated to this practice which is in vogue in Anglo-Saxon countries, but whose profession is not recognized as such in France.

Easy-to-mold raw sugar

“I learned cake design in the United States and I took a six-week diploma course in Canada last year,” continues Hélène Robert. It’s not limited to ”cupcakes”. We can do many things. The paste for the decorations is like a sugar modeling paste . It’s very pleasant and it offers more possibilities. If you know the technique, you can quickly do simple things. »

Sugar figures, decorative elements, flowers and other fantasies can be made simply with raw sugar and food coloring. They are then placed on a certain type of cake, which crumbles little and has a sufficiently long lifespan to allow the decoration to be shaped for several hours.

Thus, a “cake designer” will not work, under his sugar dough, pastry cream, mousses, whipped cream or Bavarian cream.

On the technical side, the utensils are reminiscent of those used in creative hobbies and scrapbooking . The spirit level is even part of the panoply when it comes to mounting a wedding cake.

” It’s not very complicated. There are techniques to learn. From the moment you master them and want to, anything is possible”, insists Hélène Robert, specialist in sugar flowers and who has as many books on botany as on pastry.

For all levels

If the practice of cake design is often associated with mothers who experiment with decorating in their kitchen for the birthday party of the youngest, the technique is of growing interest to professionals . Last October, Hélène Robert organized the first cake design fair in Lyon and the feedback was very positive.

In Périgueux, the former baker will offer several formulas (1). The number of trainees should be limited to six people. The complete cake designer training will last six weeks. Food professionals will be able to learn the recipes, decorating techniques and assembly of “wedding cakes” for a week. Finally, class hours for the general public around specific themes, are also planned for those who just want to impress their guests.

(1) The complete six-week course is just over 6,000 euros, the one-week course for professionals is from 1,098 euros and the courses for the general public cost 30 to 60 euros. Information: