Tall cakes or extended height cakes are a recent trend. They can make the overall design of the cake taller, lean and elegant. Recently, I got an opportunity to work with chefs from Valentine Cake House, who were preparing a 50-tier cake. I was eager to witness the whole process, thinking it was a great challenge to the chefs, but to them, it was just another day at work. They have even done a 120kg wedding cake before. The process involved 20 people, from baking to decoration. And to ensure the work becomes a little more enjoyable, the chefs prepared 10 different flavours equally. I joined the group that was making vanilla sponge cakes because it has always been a favourite. I learned that there are different types of vanilla cake, such as vanilla cakes with fruits, vegan vanilla cakes, vanilla butter cake and a lot more. The whole process took five days, with the cakes that have a longer shelf life being prepared first. \u201cWe started with fruit cakes as they can stay fresh longer. On the last day, we made caramel cakes. In total, we made 50kg of cake,\u201d said Julie Mbalu, who was overseeing the entire process. According to her, they have done this enough times before, though most of those they make are usually of the same flavour. It took them several days this time due to having 10 different flavours, as they had to prepare different ingredients. As we were preparing the ingredients, Julie told us that when making a cake, it\u2019s best if all of your ingredients are at room temperature. However, the biggest mistake most bakers make, she adds, is mixing all the ingredients, not knowing that all of them have different consistencies and tend to get lumpy when they are mixed at the same time. \u201cTo get rid of the lumps, some people crank their mixer up to full power, which also ends up filling the batter with air. All that extra air escapes when you put the cake in the oven, leaving it flat or sunken,\u201d she says, adding that if you want to avoid the problem, always cream the sugar and butter together first, then add the flour and mix until incorporated. Add the eggs and mix one last time until combined. The best part for me was the decoration stage. Only nine people were involved, and every person had their role. Some were frosting the cakes, others were icing, others preparing edible decoration and the rest were there to ensure decoration had been done according to the required standard. When all was said and done, I decided I\u2019d start practising whatever I learned at home, and I hope I will be able to do it perfectly. 1KG VANILLA SPONGE CAKE INGREDIENTS 250g of Prestige margarine 250g of sugar 375g of all-purpose flour 8 eggs Vanilla extract Extra margarine 1 tablespoon of baking powder WHAT YOU NEED Baking pan 2 bowls DIRECTIONS 1.Prepare the baking pan by lightly greasing the sides using the extra margarine and set aside. 2.In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl if using an electric mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and well combined. 3.Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 4.Add vanilla extract to the mixture. 5.In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. 6.Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Using a mixer (either handheld or stand) beat the ingredients at a low speed until the batter is ready. The batter should be smooth and completely combined, but avoid over-mixing. 7.Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan, and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 30-35 minutes. 8.Allow the cake to cool in the cake pan for 10-15 minutes before inverting onto cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.