Felis Toporascu from Topyc Art Design.
Couture Cakers International Sugar Art Collaboration is hosted by Heba M Elalfy of Sweet Dreams by Heba. This is the fourth annual celebration of couture using all types of sugar medium as created by an international team of Sugar Artists. The theme this year is Islamic / Hijabi Bridal Dresses.
For the next few days I will be interviewing sugar artists who are participating in the collaboration.
Here is my interview with Felis Toporascu.
Tell me about yourself. How long have you been decorating? How did you learn to decorate? Do you decorate professionally? Have you taught any cake decorating classes? Have you competed in any competitions?
My name is Felis Toporascu. I’m from Bucharest, Romania.
For 20 years I’ve been an economist, passing through the different stages of this profession. For over 4 years I’ve been working in the IT field: ERP business consultant.
As to how I got in this fascinating world of cake decorating… It’s a long story. When I was a kid, 35-40 years ago, when you couldn’t find much of anything (in Romania), I were a happy kid: I had the prettiest cakes, because my godparents were master pastry bakers. I was very impressed by the roses I had on my cakes at the time: edible roses – they were gorgeous!.. They were so beautiful, that I wanted to be able to make something so beautiful… When I was about 16, when I went to my godparents to pick up my anniversary cake, I asked my godfather to teach me how to make roses: “well, first you need to learn to make cake sponges, creams and fillings, and then get to roses” – but I just wanted to know how to make roses. I asked how he makes them. He described the theory: he made the paste from powdered milk and glucose, cut it with a glass and shaped it with a light bulb (all light bulbs back then were spheres right after the base). At least I knew what I wanted to know: how to make roses from powdered milk paste. Years past and when I was about 35, by chance, I entered a culinary forum where, beside food, someone posted powdered milk roses. I started to make different food and sweets recipes posting them on a blog, I also tried the powdered milk roses as described on the forum, but no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t make them. I made other food recipes of all sorts, but also sweets. Slowly, I began to try a lot of sweets recipes, at the same time testing them with friends. After a year and a half from my first failed attempt, I tried again the powdered milk roses, and this time I managed to make my first rose: it didn’t look like much, but I was very happy and I put it on the first cake I made for a friend. After 1 or 2 years I think I made my first sugar paste for covering cakes… and I slowly started to make cakes: I left the food recipes and focused only on cakes: I started to get a cake decorating rush. In the last 4 years, I started handling just the decoration of cakes and modeling, because my husband started to share my passion and now he bakes all the cakes, and sometimes does decorating also: now we work together
Since for me this just a passion, I took some sugar paste modelling classes (but I also learned a lot from youtube tutorials), my husband, besides the specialty courses also took a class that certified him as a pastry baker. I took the modelling classes both here, in Romania, but also abroad, with some very special people and together with my husband, in May 2018, we both got our PME diploma of Master Cake Designer in London, at Academy of Cake Decorating.
What is the name of your business/bakery, where you are located, what area you serve, and what you specialize in.
We also have a business: we make dummy cakes for weddings, christenings, but we also teach classes. Regarding the classes, due to lack of time, we never had large groups, just on demand courses.
Social Media Links
The FB business page is Topyc Art Design:
Tell me about your design.
I’m fascinated by this world of cakes and cake design: after I realize a design, I want to make one even more beautiful or different than anything I made before. For this reason, we started participating to international collaborations about 2 years ago.
Favorite stories about your pieces.
The cake orders for friends, colleagues, generally had a fixed theme with a given model, but I had some free reign on some cakes.
I remember a 18th birthday cake one of my colleagues wanted for her sister: she didn’t know what she wanted: from our talks and my questions I found out that she wanted to suggest that she now has an age where she has the freedom to do a lot more than before, and about her preferences I just learned about rock clubs, therefor I figured I should make something that captures the essence of what I knew: rock music, freedom to do more and so I made a black (thinking of rock) and gold (since she was a girl, black and gold has a certain female elegance) cake, and regarding the freedom to do more, I made a golden chain, broken, and a lock, now useless since the chain is broken. I even made the text for the cake topper: “18 and I’m free”…
There are so many more stories dear to me, but they would take up too many pages.
I make cakes of all kinds, but specially for kids, because I started by making cakes for when I went to the birthdays of my friends kids, and I brought them the cakes as presents. I am not up to date with all the cartoon characters, especially since I have a boy who prefers music over cartoons, but I manage to get up to date when various friends or colleagues ask me to make a cake for their child: I look them up on the internet, I look at a lot of photos of them to see their surroundings and get an idea on how the design of the cake should look.
Job satisfaction: the wow effect on the faces of those who see the end result and the happiness of the celebrants, is what motivates us to go further and try to be more creative in the next works.