HAYLEY Waterhouse expects her drive to Sydney’s Smooth Festival of Chocolate to balloon from two to four hours, given how often she’ll be stopping to check her precious passenger.
Ms Waterhouse, 21, has spent 20 hours every week since the end of June – and used more than 20 kilograms of Callebaut chocolate – creating a red-crowned crane sculpture, to meet the festival competition’s theme, spring.
“A lot of people will be doing flowers, but I wanted to do something out of the box about spring being a time of rebirth and animals,” said Ms Waterhouse, from Hamilton.
She has used and designed her own moulds to create different parts of the sculpture.
The head and body are already joined, but she will attach the wings, base, bamboo and flowers during the Sunday competition's three hours of assembly time.
“I get so much satisfaction from putting it together, that’s what drives me,” she said.
“I know all the effort I put in now is going to pay off with the final product and it will look amazing.
"I’m nervous, but also excited and happy.”
Ms Waterhouse grew up helping her mother in the kitchen and started decorating cakes as a teenager.
She studied hospitality at TAFE, has completed the theory component of a Certificate III in retail baking (cake and pastry) and is a fourth year apprentice at Euro Patisserie.
She said she relished her work being sought after as treats and praised as “tasting as good as it looks”.
Ms Waterhouse said she had “the hottest hands ever” and had to use cotton gloves to ensure she didn’t leave finger prints over the sculpture before it was sprayed black, white, red and green.
“In the end it will probably be discarded. Or melted down for future projects.”
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