A sweet treat
Like many children, Jada Outerbridge was more interested in the icing than the cake.
The Somersfield student was taught to bake by her mother Janice, but has since exceeded her talents in design.
“I used to always be in the kitchen helping my mom bake cookies, cupcakes and cakes for special occasions,” Jada said.
“Then, I started getting really into it. I found it exciting. I started baking cupcakes for my class and my family and friends.”
The 16-year-old has created a YouTube channel Lovin’ Sweetcakes. The series of tutorials focus on cake decorating skills and techniques.
Using fondant, she said, can be particularly tricky.
“It’s hard to get it perfect, but once you get used to it, it’s easier to use.
“Fondant is basically like Play-Doh, so if you bring all the creases down to the bottom it’s easier to have a smooth surface on your fondant.”
She created Lovin’ Sweetcakes for her personal project, an S2 initiative that focuses on the community.
“At home I would teach my cousins different techniques They said I was really good at teaching, so that helped me with the YouTube channel,” she said.
She really got into designing three years ago. She dragged her mother to Cynthia Fishington’s community cake decorating class because, at 13, she needed a chaperon. She ended up taking the beginners’ and the advanced classes.
“After doing those cake decorating classes, I started making cakes for my family and friends for special occasions,” she said.
As word spread, requests started pouring in from strangers.
It became a “minibusiness” in no time.
Her art classes at Somersfield have helped her with her creativity. Cake carving is her latest focus; she made a cake for her cousin in the shape of the classic Nike Jordan.
“My favourite part is when everything comes together and you can step back and look at the outcome,” she said.
Viewers can see the results on her channel of eight videos. The real challenge was in playing the part on camera. She had no previous experience in video making.
“I wrote out scripts but I found that it was harder to read from the scripts instead of just taking it from my mind,” she said. “I kept messing up on what I was saying because I was getting nervous. You have to pretend like the camera’s not there and act natural.
“I used a lot of my prior knowledge from cake decorating classes to help me speak.”
Commenters said she had “amazing talent”; the positive notes lifted her confidence.
“A lot of people comment on my videos and it really boosts my spirit in cake decorating,” she said.
Her project officially came to a close yesterday, when Somersfield hosted its annual project fair. The channel will continue beyond the deadline, however.
Jada plans to apply to culinary schools when she finishes high school. She hasn’t ruled out studying in Europe where cities “have fine detailed pastries”.
“I like that sort of thing; making everything precise and pretty. I started thinking maybe I could make a career of this when people I didn’t know were asking me to make cakes for them.”
On family vacations she scours shops for cake decorating tools and moulds. She has relied on YouTube tutorials to hone her craft.
“The reason I had the channel in mind for my personal project is because I was inspired by a YouTuber named Yolanda Gampp. She takes videos of her making different cakes every week and she teaches us how to make the cakes.
“She kind of gave me the idea. The main message I wanted my project to get out was I wanted to encourage young children to get started on their career early because it will benefit them in the future.
“No matter how young they are, I think they should get a head start. That’s what helped me know a lot about the career I want to do. It helped me plan for my future.”
Visit Jada’s YouTube channel at http://lovinsweetcakes.my-free.website</i>
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