How to Make a Penguin

A few weeks ago I did a week on a TAFE course called ‘Training and Assessment’ [Certificate IV]. I have done a fair bit of training over the years – accounting, tax, Oracle and on the job training. I have always enjoyed the training aspect of my jobs and have been considering whether I would like to get into training as a career.

During the week we completed some projects/assessments, including a delivery of a training session. The presentation was to be 20 minutes and could be on any topic we wanted. I struggled on what topic to do, as I didn’t think anyone would want to hear about accounting standards or even be trained in Excel. So I decided to do something around cake decorating!

Deciding what to do the cake decorating session specifically on was difficult too. Mainly because it could only be 20 minutes long. I wanted to include in the training session some sort of demonstration and also application of the techniques by the learners to get them involved. After a lot of deliberation and some Googling, I decided on a training session called “Edible Sugar Modelling – How to Make a Penguin”. I got the idea from this website:

I was pretty happy with how the training session went. Before my training session started I placed on every desk a little container that had the parts to make the penguin. My training session firstly went through OHS. Then I showed some of the cakes I have made to grab the learners’ attention. Next I showed them a picture of the penguin we were all going to make!

Michelle's Labyrinth

I then went though a few things about cake decorating and using fondant. All of these things I have self taught myself, whether through reading cook books, getting ideas on the internet or seeing things in the cake store. So hopefully I gave them some good advice!

Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

I sometimes draw my projects, especially to help with sizing. So I created a template for the penguin and gave them out to each of the learners. They seemed pretty impressed with it. I also put how many parts each colour was needed for, which some learners did not read! A couple of penguins nearly didn’t have any eyes!

Michelle's LabyrinthMichelle's Labyrinth

My last slide on explaining cake decorating/fondant was about storage. I learnt pretty quickly that if you do not want your fondant to dry out, that you keep it covered with glad-wrap. Also, after the Wanneroo show, I learnt that your fondant can fade if left anywhere near the sun! The bright pink bumblebees are no longer bright anymore!!

Michelle's Labyrinth

We then got to make a penguin! All of my learners really enjoyed doing it! I think a few of them were a impressed they actually got to play with fondant! Some of the penguins were a bit lopsided, but they all looked like penguins! I also handed out a little cupcake at the end for all the penguins to sit on. A couple of photos were taken of them right there and then, and I know at least one was uploaded to Facebook! One lady asked if she could have one of mine as she has two children (I later asked for how old her children were – a 16 year old girl and an 18 year old boy – love it!!).

Michelle's Labyrinth

I then did a recap of what we had learnt about sugar modelling and ended the session with some pictures of some amazing cakes from Richard’s Cakes Facebook page

Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

I really enjoyed preparing and running the session (although a few nerves did get the better of me!). To finish my Cert IV I need to do two 40 minute sessions. Luckily one of my friends has a Cert IV herself, so can be my assessor. However I need 5 learners. So if you are interested in learning some cake decorating skills, and are free on Saturday 10th August in the afternoon for 2 hours please let me know! Sorry no children allowed as I need to keep the session professional and my learners must be 18+. :)




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