In Conversation with Eat Cake Be Merry

We sat down with Liz Shim of Eat Cake Be Merry who tells us all about how she found her spark for baking and why colour mixing endlessly fascinates her.
    In Conversation with Eat Cake Be Merry

    Meet Liz Shim. The creative brain and decorating skills behind Eat Cake Be Merry. Not only is she an award-winning and professionally trained baker and pastry artist, but has featured on The Food Network, been published in cook books and magazine across America, hosts a YouTube series, runs an online decorating school, teaches workshops across the globe and is a Mum of 2 *and breathe*.

    To celebrate the launch of the upcoming Eat Cake Be Merry x Colour Mill pack we sat down with Liz to chat all things baking, business and colour!

    Eat Cake Be Merry x Colour Mill Oil Blend oil-based food colouring 12 pack
    Liz Shim of Eat Cake Be Merry with the Eat Cake Be Merry x Colour Mill pack, launching June 24th.
    Liz is known for her serious skills in piping buttercream florals and mixing up beautifully unique custom colours.

    Hey Liz! Tell us a bit more about how you got started in the baking and decorating world?

    Growing up I always had a sweet tooth, enjoyed working with my hands and had fun making art. Those things combined are what I love about cake decorating but baking actually didn’t enter my life until I was in college.

    Up until then I had never baked anything from scratch but one summer break I randomly saw a community brochure and signed up for recreational baking courses thinking it would help pass time. Well at the very first class I was beyond amazed at how a few raw ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs and butter came together to make delicious works of art.

    Needless to say, that summer completely opened my eyes and sparked my passion for cakes. So much so that a few weeks after graduating college I headed straight to culinary school to learn everything I could about baking.

    How did you make the move into business with Eat Cake Be Merry?

    Right after culinary school I moved to NYC to take on internships and work with the industry’s top cake designers. I did that for a few years and then got married. That big life transition encouraged me to start making my own designs and take on my own clients. So in 2009 I started Eat Cake Be Merry and continued specialising in wedding cakes for the next decade. 

    And how did you get hooked into colour theory and colour mixing?

    Colour theory is extremely fascinating and the more you learn, the more exciting it gets. In many ways colour mixing is like baking. With a basic pantry of colours, you can combine them in different ways to find balance and create something new and amazing. 

    To start you have to get familiar with individual colours as you would individual ingredients. The more you practice working with them, the more you become comfortable and familiar with their characteristics. Specific colours also interact with other colours in a pleasant or chaotic way just like certain flavours would clash or pair well together. 

    Eat Cake Be Merry x Colour Mill Oil Blend oil-based food colouring 12 pack
    The Eat Cake Be Merry x Colour Mill Pack has all the theory and every colour you need to mix it like Liz!
    With just these 12 colours you can mix up any and every colour you can buttercream dream of.

    Basic principles exist for both the science of colour and the science of baking but there is also room for creativity. So through a combination of experimenting, adjusting and substituting you start to develop the skills to bake up the exact colour you want in the end which is so cool.

    Also, just as food is a universal language that doesn't require any words, so is colour. It’s a visual language that constantly surrounds us everyday and can influence emotions, moods and behaviour. Truly the more I think about it the more fascinating it is. 

    What's a baking hack you think everyone should know?

    After you zest a lemon, or any other citrus, rub it with the sugar in your recipe. Massaging it together breaks down the zest and releases all the oils. Not only does it smell amazing but the flavour is all the more intense. 100% recommend it!

    Let's get into the collab pack! Tell us about how you chose your top 12 colours.

    The 12 colours in the collab pack are the must-have colours you need to make all other colours. Each colour was carefully selected and plays an important role in colour mixing.

    The bright primaries (Sky Blue, Hot Pink and Yellow) will mix up colours that are clear and vibrant. The deep primaries (Yellow, Cobalt and Red) will produce more bold and rich colours. Now with these primaries alone you can mix up a ton of colours but the rest of the pack will really help create new colours more efficiently. 

    Chocolate can be used as a quick and easy shortcut to make beautifully warm, muted colours. The 3 secondary colours (Purple, Green and Orange) are there for maximum convenience. Though you can certainly mix these from scratch with the primaries, they are frequently used colours so having them on hand will not only make it convenient but act as a shortcut to making tertiary colours and beyond.

    The last 3 in the pack are the mood makers. White, grey and black will help create tints, tones and shades so you can greatly expand the range of any hue. Increasing the lightness and darkness of a colour really helps give it mood and character.

    The 12 colours in this pack will expand to an infinite amount of colours when mixed together using colour theory. Mixing your own colours will not only help save space and money but sometimes the exact colour you need doesn’t exist in a bottle out there so developing the skills to make your own custom colours really comes in handy. 

    With all that in mind, I curated this pack with Colour Mill in hopes that it will encourage bakers to give colour mixing a try. So go on, grab a pack and combine them to create new colours with more character, mood and depth. And if you don't know where to start, check out my online Colour Masterclass to learn how to unlock the power of these colours and learn more about colour theory.

    Learn to colour and decorate the Liz Shim way with the Eat Cake Be Merry x Colour Mill collab pack. Launching June 24th!

    Written By Colour Mill