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This Class Takes the Cake – for a Ride

May 14, 2013

Wedding cake final exam  
Adam Gueldener removes his group's wedding cake after it survived a treacherous ride over an
obstacle course for the final exam of the cake production and decoration class at Forest Park.

How does a multi-layered wedding cake get to the reception in one piece?

This question was answered  during the final exam for students in St. Louis Community College’s baking and pastry arts class in cake production and decoration.

For Chef Casey Shiller’s and Chef Deb Hennen’s final exam, students spent several class periods building, baking and decorating multi-tiered wedding cakes at the Forest Park campus.

On the morning of May 9, students arrived early to load the three-tier cakes into the back of Shiller’s catering van and held their breath as he took the goods on a rugged road course, over speed bumps, potholes and rubble.  If the students’ cakes remain intact, they pass the course.

Each group of students who rode along the obstacle course nervously make small talk as Shiller hit the gas, slammed on the brakes, and jostled the passengers and precious cargo for the trek around the Forest Park campus.

“I was thinking, ‘I hate this road,’” said Emily Lipson. “We were all laughing to break the tension in the van.”

Each time Shiller backed up to the loading dock, anxious students piled out of the van to learn their fate.  As for Lipson’s group?

“It survived, so we’re all good,” she said. “It’s all over, and I’m still sweating.”

The cakes then were displayed and served to family and friends at a cake tasting reception immediately afterward. Students also were graded on flavor, filling, icing and decoration, taste, and presentation at the reception.

“This was a very talented class of students,” Hennen said. “I am extremely proud of them all.”

“It takes many hours to make a wedding cake, and only fractions of seconds to destroy it,” said Adam Gueldener , another student relieved that his creation had withstood the test.

And when it was over, Gueldener simply said with a sigh, "Let’s eat cake.”