Whose idea was it to attempt the world’s largest chocolate flower bouquet? Well…mine. It sounded like a great idea at time! Chocolate flowers are something Savour excels at, so this would be easy, right? Wrong, but the challenge was certainly worth it.
The flower making part was a pleasure. With Paul Kennedy’s (pictured) expertise and our great working dynamic, this process was flawless.
We decided on an Avatar inspired theme and F. Mayer Imports came on board sponsoring the event with Callebaut chocolate. We had a venue and a fantastic event with The Cake Bake & Sweet Show, where everything looked great. Then we thought about the logistics. How do we transport 200kg of delicately-made flowers the 5km from Savour School in Brunswick to the Cake Bake & Sweet Show at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre?
For the Guinness record all the flowers had to be pre-made. So Paul and I started this painstaking flower-making process six months ago, recruiting Australian World Chocolate Master Rebecca Carins, my apprentice Jean Kirkland and Savour volunteers Janine Sang, Yuliana Sutanto, Maggie Wong, Jason Kwon and John Law.
Some of the individual pieces took up to eight hours to create, with a total of 2000 hours of combined labour to create all the flowers. We created and designed new concepts in flowers, utilising different shaped petals, bases and stamens, with no two flowers the same.
The record was based on weight, so each flower had a solid chocolate base to try and build up the weight criteria.
We started with a solid sphere or egg and then created and formed the petals individually with a knife or spatula by dipping it into tempered chocolate and curving them before they fully set. Once set, we then dipped each petal individually in tempered chocolate before attaching it to the base. Once the flower was complete we then coloured the completed bloom with tempered and coloured cocoa butter, often shading the flower with different colours.
Then we come back to transportation. It took 19 individual trips to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, feeling every bump and poorly maintained road along the way. There were a few casualties, but the majority of the flowers made it in one piece.
The best part of this process is that Savour now has a whole botanical library of new flowers to incorporate into our hands-on chocolate flowers class. With events like this all the Savour staff put in that little bit extra, in particular Paul Kennedy. In the process we forced ourselves to grow as pastry chefs and learn and adopt new techniques.
We chose the Cake Bake & Sweet Show as the venue for our world record attempt because of the large crowds it attracts for each show and the perfect audience, which is a combination of professional pastry chef/baker, cake decorator and food enthusiast. Also, the calibre of international and national demonstrators is some of the most talented in the world.
The next Cake Bake & Sweet Show will be held in Sydney from the June 12-14, 2015… we can’t wait!