Is Ben the next Cake Boss?
INSTEAD of learning to write his name with a pencil, young Ben Duncan preferred to fill an icing bag with fondant and pipe his name onto cupcakes.
It was this eager start in cake decorating which saw Ben take out first place in the Best Decorated Cupcakes and Best Decorated Art Piece from Fondant in the under-8 category at Buddy Valastro's Everything Baking Expo held in Perth at the weekend.
"Ben hated writing with a pen and pencil, so I started filling up icing bags and getting fondant out for him to play with," mum Lisa said.
"It has helped him develop his fine motor skills."
Writing skills aren't the only thing that Ben has developed - the talented five-year-old continues to surprise his mum with his cake creations.
"He's got a lot of talent there," Lisa said of the six decorated cupcakes that Ben entered in the competition.
Ben's cakes were just one of the many entries judged over the weekend at the expo where cake decorators, both professional and hobbyist, attended to enter cakes.
Lisa also took out second place in the Australiana section with her masterpiece on icons of Australia in the form of fondant.
"He keeps rubbing it in that he got two first places, and I only got a second," Lisa said with a laugh.
The cake enthusiasts both enjoy watching Buddy's hit television show Cake Boss, where the famous baker, who hails from New Jersey, manages Carlo's Bakery and creates masterpieces out of baked goods.
Lisa got a taste of the masterpieces as she spent the weekend decorating cakes and learning techniques in the courses held by the Cake Boss himself.
"I did a three-tier wedding cake course with him, and a workshop on piping, it was so much fun," Lisa said.
"Ben couldn't go to the course because of school, but Buddy recorded a message on my phone, saying hi to him and telling him how amazing his talent was," Lisa said.
"Ben watched it about 50 times in a row, he just idolises Buddy."