If you haven’t tried a cupcake from Belle Torte, I’m sorry but what have you been doing with your life? Coming to life in early 2013, local Adelaide babe Bianca Langham combined her artistic talents and love of baking to create her own creative cake business, Belle Torte. All while holding down a full time job might I add… Not only are her cakes, cupcakes and other delightful baked goodies delicious, they’re damn good looking as well. I had a chat with the girl behind the ganache, to find out how she brings her crazy ideas to life in the form of sweet, sweet cake.
How did Belle Torte begin, have you always enjoyed baking?
In school I was always the arty farty type, but I never really pursued it. We never had Foxtel at home, so when I met my partner in 2010, I discovered the show Cake Boss! It got me inspired, and I started applying my art to trying out things in the kitchen. Then my partner bought me a cake decorating class as an anniversary gift, and from then on I haven’t stopped.
Talk us through a typical week in the life of Bianca... do you feel like you are just constantly covered in flour?
I work full time as a Property Manager, so all my cake making is done after work hours! If I have a big order, I get a head start with the baking on Sundays, but usually baking & ganashing starts on Wednesdays & Thursdays. The decorating happens on Friday nights and Saturday mornings, followed by drop offs & pick ups in the afternoon. I usually have at least one or two orders per week, and it’s rare I have a weekend off! And yes, I have my baking clothes which are permanently caked in flour and food colour (see what she did there). My partner always cracks it when he puts his hoodies on and they have bright red or blue smear marks across the front!
What been your most challenging/memorable project? What was involved in creating that cake?
Recently I made a cake for my partner’s cousin, a DJ deck & mixer cake. That was very challenging; it was about a meter long! I spent the week rolling out little knobs and painting little white lines on black fondant, it drove me crazy... but I was pretty wrapped with the result!
From looking at your Instagram, you’ve made some pretty ‘out there’ creations! What’s the craziest request/idea for a cake you’ve had?
I’ve made Baileys shot cupcakes for a few birthdays! The cupcakes had plastic shot glasses filled with Baileys inside them, which were then covered in icing, with a straw to suck out the shot before eating the cupcake. I’ve always got some crazy ideas in my head for possible projects, but I haven’t had the chance to bring them to life yet.
I’m sure you don’t like to play favourites, but what’s your all time favourite cake flavour?
To tell you the truth I don’t eat a lot of cake at all! But I do make a good Banana, Raspberry & Choc Chip Cake…nomnomnom.
How has social media impacted upon your success? Do you think Belle Torte would exist in the way it currently does without the use of social media platforms?
For the first year or so, I was just doing orders for friends & family by word of mouth. However, once I decided to put Belle Torte on Social Media, I started being approached by people I don’t know for orders. Facebook and Instagram really helped to get my name out there, with friends sharing my stuff with their friends over social media and so on. I wouldn’t be as busy as I am now without social media platforms to promote myself, and show off what I can do. I hate to rely on social media, but it’s a great business tool.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced? It must take a lot of practice to be able to make all of your amazing creations.
I learn so much about what I am capable of from each new cake I make; some times I surprise myself! I always have that thought looking at the end product like, ‘I could have done this, could have improved that...’ But I can always put those ideas into the next cake I make. It’s a trial and error process every weekend.
Any disasters in the kitchen?
I was smashing out some massive batches of icing and my mixer started smoking, thick black smoke coming from the motor. So I had to get the good old hand mixer out to finish them off. I took so damn long…I have no idea how I did it back in the day when I didn’t have the mixer!
What keeps you doing what you’re doing, and inspires you to continue with Belle Torte?
I love the reactions I get when the clients see their order! And also the feedback I get the day after their event, hearing that everyone enjoyed the cakes. It really makes me feel proud of what I do.
What would you say would be your career highlight so far?
Definitely meeting Buddy Valastro at the Cakes Bakes and Sweets Show in Melbourne. Such a humble guy, and someone who inspires me so much…he inspired me to get started in the first place! I’ve also had the opportunity to create products for The Porch Sessions, and Pandora in Rundle Mall, which is really cool!
Where would you like to see yourself, and Belle Torte in the next five years? Is this something that you want to become a full time thing, or just something to do for enjoyment?
People always tell me to open a shop and go full time with it, but I like how things are at the moment, just doing it out of home while I further my career in Real Estate. I think later in life I’d like to do it full time from home when I have kids, but who knows where I’ll end up with it!
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to start their own business?
Just go for it! If it’s something that you really love doing, get on social media and get your name out there. Although I am always so busy, I love what I do, and that’s what keeps me in the kitchen.
All images via Belle Torte