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Who wants cake? As desserts go, I’m not really a cake person. Sure, if there’s some sort of office function that involves slices of sheet-cake being passed around, offering a much needed 3 p.m. sugar rush to help me motor on through the day, I’ll participate, but in general, I’d opt for pie, ice cream or chocolate over a slice of spongy cake, coated in usually-too-sweet frosting. So where has this recent obsession with cake come from? I blame TLC and the Food Network.
Ace of Cakes has been on the air since 2006 and I’ve only just recently “discovered” the series. My ignorance toward the show can probably be attributed to not having a huge appetite for food TV shows, however, thanks to my husband’s avid interest in all things food, I’ve been exposed to some great series I might otherwise not have even considered watching (Good Eats, Diners Drive-ins and Dives, etc). More recently, thanks to a marathon on TLC and randomly turning on the Food Network, I’ve become hooked on Ace of Cakes (TFN) and Cake Boss (TLC).
What is the appeal of these series, both of which follow cake decorators as they and their teams go about making and delivering cakes to various clientele? Aside from the severe cake-craving that often arrives as a result of watching an episode, it’s the brilliance in what they do at Charm City Cakes and Carlo’s Bakery. These people make everything from gorgeous multi-tiered wedding cakes to clever theme cakes, custom designed to meet the client’s order. In many cases, when they’re done, what’s been built doesn’t even look anything like cake and I often find myself wondering who would be able to cut into such a work of art, no matter how delicious it may be on the inside.
There’s also a surprising amount of drama that erupts on the job due to complications during the cake making and/or delivery process. From dissatisfied customers (I think this woman takes the cake on that one) and mishaps during the decorating or building processes to cakes getting dropped en route to their destination, there seems to be no shortage of unexpected issues that need to be dealt with. That, added to seeing the idea of a cake come to fruition as the teams work on their projects makes for great TV.
So even if you’re not normally a fan of food as a form of entertainment, both Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss are worth checking out, if only to see some insanely talented cake-builders (they’re so much more than bakers) put together creative and delicious-looking cakes. And, as I’m sure fans of both series have arguments as to which of the two mentioned cake-series is better, I’m still new to both shows, so I’m reserving judgment on both series as they compare to one another. That said, I invite you to post your opinions on either or both series in the comment section below.
Cake Boss’ second season premieres on October 26th at 10:00 p.m. on TLC. Ace of Cakes airs Thursdays at 10pm/9c and 10:30pm/9:30c on the Food Network.