Carnival Cruise Line Fantasy Vacation Cakes on Food Network Challenge

If you love cruising, competitions, and cake, be sure to tune in to the next airing of Food Network Challenge when they will rebroadcast their newest episode of the show featuring Carnival Cruise themed cakes. The network provides the following description of the show:

“A cruise offers a variety of ways to build a unique vacation experience to suit each individual. In that spirit, four top pastry chefs will make cakes inspired by the fun, food, and relaxation that each person enjoyed on their four-day cruise to the Bahamas on Carnival Cruise Lines. However, there is a competition at the end of this cruise, and only one competitor can take home the ten thousand dollar grand prize. So, the pastry chefs must also do their research while on board so they can deliver a winning cake. The cakes must include at least three elements from the cruise experience.”

The show was one of the most fun for the pastry chefs because they actually got to take a 4 day cruise as their “research” for the cakes. The show features a short segment showing their experiences on board the ship and then shows them creating the cakes in the Challenge competition kitchen. As a cruise lover, I thought one of the best aspects of of the show was that it demonstrated how four different passengers could enjoy the same cruise and come away with four different impressions of the aspects of the cruise that they liked the best. During the cruise they enjoyed relaxing in the adults only tranquility area, playing on the water slides, dining with the captain, snorkeling in the Bahamas, and touring the beautifully decorated ship. While all the chefs choose a representation of the ship and some aspect of the ocean, each chose to emphasize a different aspect of the ship that they really enjoyed.

Dining Room
One of the chefs, created a topsy-turvy multitiered sculpture of the ship that featured her favorite experience: the elegant dinner the chefs enjoyed with the captain. It utilized the Carnival Cruise Line white blue and red color scheme and was decorated with a sugar picture from the event, a wine bottle and champagne glass. She also added a touch of whimsy to her cake by topping it off with folded fondant “towel animal.”

The next chef sought to create his impression of the cruise from the water up. The focal point of his cake was an elaborate under water “aquarium” base to represent the snorkeling in the Bahamas. Though he had some problems with the functionality, the base was made out of clear sugar panels with an ocean diarama inside. His next layer featured a more traditional blue fondant covered cake decorated with piped icing star fish and sea shells. This was topped by a life preserver form, and a snaking water slide which was then topped by three more layers of cake that were decorated with other memorable items from the ship like casino playing cards, dice, mini-golf balls and the famous Carnival funnel.

Focused on Fun

The next chef created a offset multitiered cake that featured a tiled representation of the pool, mini golf, a huge cartoon sun, a sculpted trademark Carnival funnel and cup cake family characters enjoying the water slide on a “Fun Ship” base surrounded by a poured sugar coral reef.

Elegance and Relaxation
The last chef featured the serenity retreat cabanas and a sugar representation of the ship’s modern chandelier. She also featured palm trees, an under the water scene, sugar sand and sugar “glass”tiles that represented the pool areas on the ship. She had a globe cake layer with map pins showing where they traveled on their cruise.

To learn who wins, set your DVR or tune in on Wednesday September 30, 2009 at 7:00 PM ET/PT for a great glimpse at a Carnival Cruise and an exciting cake decorating competition.

For all of our readers out there, tell us what three elements you would include if you were creating a cake to represent your cruise experience.