As a professional in the industry of cake design, I always try to explore new ways to improve my skills. With each new discovery, whether it be a new product on the market or a new technique to apply onto my cake, I thrive to stay current. We all thrive to come up with never before seen techniques...but then I had a thought.
How did they do it back then? How did pastry chefs and cake decorators manage to decorate their cakes using their skills. I would assume, along with most, that the tools and skills available 100 years ago were not as they are today...until I came across the Lambeth Method of Cake Decoration and Practical Pastries.
I was lucky enough to take the Lambeth Piping Skills class with the infamous Wendy Kromer. Her interest in this skill intrigued me. I wanted to learn more....
To answer your question: What is this Lambeth Method? More importantly, who is Lambeth? His name was Joseph A. Lambeth, a master in the art of cake decorating as well as cake making. He was a regular competitor and winner at the International Food and Confectionery Expositions across Europe. He was also a teacher and author of several cake decorating books.
I recently acquired a copy of his famous book. As I flipped though the pages, I was amazed. Countless techniques using gumpaste and royal icing. He even cast his own moulds at the turn of the century!
The most amazing part was flipping through the wedding cakes. As I read through the notes, my heart stopped as I read the next two words : ENTIRELY FREEHAND. There are no words to describe it!
As a cake designer, I do try to stay current. But my little trip through time has made me realize that it is also important to take a step back and really understand the art of cake design and how it all began.
I highly recommend the book Lambeth Method of Cake Decoration and Practical Pastries as it should be on the shelf of each cake designer!