Says master baker Buddy Valastro when it comes to decorating a cake

Buddy Valastro, who grew up working with his family at Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ is a fourth generation baker who has taken the family business to great heights by combining tradition and innovation. TLC’s Cake Boss follows Buddy as he runs the bakery with his siblings Lisa Valastro, Maddalena Castano, Grace Faugno and Mary Sciarrone. In this email interview, Buddy talks of his love for baking, the successes and failures.

Define the perfect Christmas cake.

To me the perfect Christmas cake is something festive that makes my kids smile when they look at it…and when they eat it!

What do you like about baking? What do you dislike about it?

I love everything about it. I love that I’m creating something, something that makes people happy. There’s nothing that I really dislike about it, but I will say that baking is a science and if you’re not paying attention, one mistake can screw up an entire batch.

Which is your favourite cake and why?

I don’t have one favourite, but I’ll never forget the NASCAR cake. It took over 2,000 individual cakes to put that together.

Tell us about your most spectacular baking failure.

The only time I wasn’t able to fix a cake was when the carousel cake we did for the Atlantic City Steel Pier collapsed in the box truck during delivery. I shudder just thinking about it.

What are the tools you cannot do without in your kitchen?

The number one thing I have to have in the kitchen is a good turntable.

Is it important to fold in the flour or beat it in?

If you’re making a basic cake, you can just mix in the flour.

Should eggs be separated for a lighter cake?

To make a light cake like an angel food, you want to separate the eggs.

Decorations take away from a cake or add to it?

With any design, there’s a balance. Too many or too few decorations will take away from the cake. Use the colours, textures and embellishments that make sense for the cake and your client.

Cake Boss premiers on December 19 and will air every Thursday at 10: 30 PM on TLC.