Cake master takes on mammoth task

Lara Bester, 6, of Wellington, bids the baby elephant a safe trip to the CTICC.

Wellington cake master Dorothy Klerck has once again stunned Capetonians with a magnificent creation. Following on her 650-kilogramme rhino cake in 2016, she and her team pulled out all the stops this year to craft the world’s biggest elephant cake in aid of wildlife conservation.

The massive 1.5 tonne cake of a life-sized elephant cow and baby took over two weeks to produce and the ingredients included 120kg fondant, 1 200 eggs, 90kg sugar, 42kg of chocolate and over 35kg buttercream.

Residents and members of the Drakenstein Local Tourism Authority (LTA) gathered at the Wellington Wines Bovlei venue on Thursday June 1, to send off the pair on their perilous journey to the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where it was exhibited for the duration of the Good Food and Wine Show.

Dorothy, who is fondly known as Dot, uses her extraordinary talents, together with her profile as a celebrity chef, to create awareness and raise funds for The Elephant Project SA and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). The rapidly dwindling elephant numbers are becoming an enormously pressing issue and there exists a dire need to protect these gentle giants from ivory poaching.

Mother-artist-creator Dot lives in Wellington with her supportive husband and four children. She is the owner and maestro behind Eat Cake Party, a company that specialises in custom-sculpted cakes.

Dot’s confectionary journey started in art school, where she first honed her skills as a sculptor. Her passion for baking and her fondant and icing sugar techniques developed in earnest when she began crafting cakes for her children’s birthdays – of course, a busy brood with plenty of birthdays gave her lots of opportunities for practice.

Dot is certainly no ordinary baker. She is a skilled designer, who creates masterfully modelled cake toppers and spectacular three-dimensional cakes that place her at the forefront of her industry.

Most recently, she was a 2016 finalist in the British Cake Masters Magazine Awards – a publication that has more than a million readers globally.

Her work demonstrates how quality baking goods can be moulded into aesthetically pleasing and impactful artworks. Naturally, it does help that her husband is a cake engineer – he makes the bespoke support bases of her more elaborate constructions.

According to Dot, her inspiration comes from details, God’s creations and the sheer beauty of her surroundings. This is why she is so passionate about wildlife and its preservation. She is committed to having a positive impact upon her family and the world and supports social and environmental consciousness.

Dot maintains a good relationship with her customers and her detailed cake décor has a loyal global following. She shares her skills at cake-making courses all over the world and is regularly featured in international magazines. Dot’s mammoth task was supported by Value Baking Supplies, who sponsored all the ingredients, Wellington Wines and the Drakenstein LTA #heartwellington campaign.