Gigantic elephant cake wins SA baker the ‘Oscar’

[caption id="attachment_228995" align="aligncenter" width="630"] Dot Klerck’s award-winning cake sculpture[/caption]

South African master baker Dot Klerck is flying the flag high for South African wildlife conservation after winning the Best Showpiece award at this year’s international Cake Master Awards for her life- size elephant and calf cake.

The awards, also known as the ‘Cake Oscars’, took place in Birmingham in the UK last Saturday, where Klerck’s ultra-realistic elephant mother and calf, complete with tusks, outshone the likes of Alice in Wonderland, a 3m high Statue of Liberty cake, as well as a replica of a real-life wedding gown. According to Klerck, the aim of her Elephant and Calf project was to raise awareness of the ongoing brutal killing of elephants, and to give people the opportunity to get a feeling of how majestic the animals are. “Not too many people can gaze on an elephant in their lives,” she said. “The life-size sculpture was an opportunity for them to see their beauty up close,” she said. Klerck collaborated with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw) and The Elephant Project South Africa in constructing her masterpiece. According to Elda Thomas, founder of The Elephant Project SA, Klerck’s achievement is creating global hype for conservation.

For the life-size elephant cake, Klerck used 1200 eggs, 120kg of chocolate, and 160kg of edible fondant. It took 14 days to construct and weighed a whopping 1.2 tonnes when it was unveiled for the first time at the Good Food & Wine Show in Cape Town in June. Building an elephant was similar to running an ultra- marathon, Klerck said. It took a lot of stamina and, as all mammoth tasks go, “you have to take it one bite at a time”. The award was motivation to continue using her craft to raise awareness, she said. Klerck has already teamed up with conservation activist group BloodLions in a project that will continue to help to shed light on the canned lion hunting industry. Her project for next year will include a life-size cake depicting a pride of lions, including a lioness, lion and cubs. South Africans were often “blind to what’s happening in our own country”, Klerck said. “Many international visitors are also ignorant about the impact of canned lion hunting on the conservation of lions and the environment. “Until we make the world aware it will go on. In the end it [canned hunting] just tarnishes South Africa’s image,” she said. Ian Michler, of Bloodlions, described Klerck’s next initiative as “a unique way to spread awareness about lions as well as the brutality they are subjected to through South Africa’s predator breeding and canned hunting industries”. “This event will allow the message to reach an audience we may otherwise have never reached. It’s a great idea and we are thrilled to be the focus of Dots next initiative.“ says. Last year, Klerck was also nominated in the Cake Master Awards’ Best Showpiece category for her life-size rhino cake.

Last year, Klerck was also nominated in the Cake Master Awards’ Best Showpiece category for her life-size rhino cake.

  • For more conservation- related projects visit http://conservationaction.co.za