Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cake Decorating 101 - Week 2

This is our classroom prior the the mayhem we created with our decorating efforts today. There are seven of us taking the course. For the summer, the classes at the local Michael's are half price. What a bargain. For only $22.50, we get four weeks of instruction and all the mess stays here.

Not only did my second baked, late night, chocolate, dairy free cake turn out a success, it was the envy of everyone as the scent wafted through the air in our classroom. Others had opted for white cakes.

For today, I needed the following supplies - a cake, buttercream icing in two consistencies, cake decorating kit, a cake box, cake filling (I opted for cherry), two cake boards, piping gel, a cake leveler, a turntable, icing colours, water squeeze bottle, plastic cups, toothpicks, waxed paper, parchment paper, scissors, note paper, pencil, wet cloths and a partridge in a pear tree. I forgot the wet cloths and, as it turned out, I didn't really need the partridge...not too bad.

I was shown how to slice my cake with a cake leveler rather than a knife. It was beautiful and even and I could see the multitudinous holes inside where I had inserted toothpicks to test for baking "doneness".


Next, I filled one of the piping bags with white icing and made a dam. This keeps the filling from oozing out. The filling was then scooped inside. Apparently, less is more. I had too much and needed to remove some cherries. At this point, I imagined that if I had just drizzled some rum on the cake and possibly added a thin layer of cream, I could have turned the whole thing into a Black Forest cake. That however, was not the point of this exercise. I replaced the top of the cake (without pressing down...a key element in lesson one) and iced the outside with one hand while rotating the turntable with the other. This was a "pat your head and rub your tummy" type of challenge and ohhhhh what a mess.


There were several design options for the top of the cake. One choice, was a hamburger. This appealed to my sense of humour since I was going to be giving the cake to my *** vegetarian son. However, I decided to go in a cuter direction.

Can you guess what this would eventually become?

If you said, "a duck", that would have been a good guess and an obvious choice for those of you who know me. But no, in fact, I selected a fish. When I checked my watch, I realized that our time was almost up. I couldn't finish my design at home because I was delivering the cake to my son, so I had to complete it in class. Unfortunately, finishing it in haste, created a degree of uneveness and sloppiness. I will definitely practice this week and try to do better and work faster on lesson three, cupcakes.

***Giving the cake away to a skinny person with a good metabolism prevents having temptation in the house of people who don't need the calories. In this particular case, fish is not a good food choice.

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