Debbie Brown is one of UK’s well-known, best-selling authors in sugar craft and cake decoration. With a background of clay sculpture she had a natural flair and produced innovative designs in her individual style.
Debbie is currently on a 6week teaching/demonstration tour around Australia visiting Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra, Brisbane and Toowoomba.
I was fortunate enough to attend her demonstration held in Toowoomba, and even more fortunate to have the honour of greeting Debbie at Brisbane airport. The drive to Toowoomba was almost 2hours and I had Debbie to myself (well, with her husband/PA Paul in the backseat!).
Naturally, I asked a lot of questions! Here are some facts I found out:
Her First Cake?
Debbie’s first cake was a red train made of buttercream, detailed with lollies and hollowed out for candy. Her son saw it in a magazine and asked her to make it for his 7th birthday. ‘A simple design and easy to execute’, yet when Debbie saw the kids faces at the party, ‘they were so excited and totally captivated by the cake!’ – she was hooked! From here Debbie went on to make cakes for family and friends, building her business to 10-15 cakes a week (she did this alone!).
Her First Book?
Debbie had not intended to start writing books; it was her mother who sent some pictures of her cakes to a publisher. Debbie was surprised to receive a phone call one afternoon asking her to come in for an interview. ‘It’s history from there really’, Debbie has published over 20 books and aims to provide simple techniques with amazing end products.
Debbie tries not to look at other cake decorator’s work too much so as not to influence her own work. ‘It’s hard sometimes, I guess we are all influenced by something when we decorate, but best not from others’ cakes’. Her current baby book was completely influenced and inspired by her first grandchild. In fact the kittens weren’t ever supposed to be in the book, it was a last minute change inspired by her granddaughter’s toy kitten!
Debbie demonstrated one of her baby teddy bear castles; I never ever thought it would be achievable in such a short amount of time! However, her techniques are easy to produce and replicate – it’s no wonder her cake books are popular! I was actually amazed at just how little tools were required!
Debbie’s demonstration was not only informative and inspiring; it was highly entertaining! At one stage Debbie offered to show us her wrinkly butt, (we caught her husband looking away at this comment!), she was actually talking about her icing tower for the cake!
I thoroughly enjoyed the company of Debbie and her husband Paul during our Brisbane-Toowoomba drives, not to mention witnessing her expert skills.
Hopefully we’ll see you back in Australia again soon Debbie!