Baking has always been my “thing.” I actually considered going to Culinary Arts School instead of medical school but decided that baking should continue to be my hobby rather than my profession. I am Egyptian and for many years I worked on improving my Egyptian pastries and publishing an Egyptian cookbook, “More Dining on the Nile.“
However, cake decorating really launched my baking obsession to another level. In August 2013 I decided to step it up a notch for my daughter’s 8th birthday cake. Up until then, her birthday cakes were popped out of a Wilton mold and covered in buttercream. But that year I took a couple of cake decorating classes and that was it for me! I have done a lot of experimenting and researching since then with different media such as modeling chocolate and ganache and different buttercreams and, of course, different fondants.
I have continued to take cake decorating classes both online and in person. About two years ago my church asked me to make a cake a month to celebrate children’s birthdays and this has been a great blessing. It has allowed me to practice my passion and bring joy to the little ones (and some bigger ones) at church. I also love to experiment with the culinary treasures of other cultures. You can really make a connection with other people when you can talk about the breads and desserts that trigger their childhood memories.
My husband, Stephen, is Hungarian-American and he has provided much of the moral support and comic relief in my kitchen. He is the architect and carpenter behind all of my cake structures. But he has also been the gateway into Hungarian patisserie — one of the richest traditions in the world.
I still practice medicine and am a general pediatrician with Nemours’ Children’s Hospital in Orlando. I love taking care of other children during the day and my children in the evening but once the kids are asleep — its play time!
This blog is my notebook. I found that I needed to keep detailed notes about what works, what doesn’t and the questions that are still unanswered. An online notebook is ideal because I can store pictures, links and share recipes with my other cake decorating and baking-obsessed friends. In the gallery you will see the amateur cakes I started with and my more recent, sharper looking cakes — because I’ve learned something from all of them.
Thanks for talking cake with me and welcome to my updated site!
Sally Elias Keszey