Tuesday, January 26, 2010

That's it for Course One!

Tonight was the last class of Course 1 of my cake decorating class and we finally learned how to make the famous Wilton rose. This is what they are SUPPOSED to look like:

I think my attempts could be more accurately described as carnations. My icing was way too thick and therefore my flowers came out a little wonky, but I kinda like them.

My classmate's were better. Bitch. Kidding, of course :)

We spent the first hour of class making roses and man the f-bombs were dropping like a war zone! They are frustrating little fuckers to make, but it was good for some laughs.

Next we practiced making sweet peas and bows and then it was time to decorate. I made another box mix cake because I wimped out again and it came out a little lopsided. I guess the actual baking part is just not my thing. I placed my red roses in a bunch and added some leaves, then I added black shells along the bottom and black dots around the top.

At the end of class we got our completion certificates. Woot!! Course 2 starts in February...

Monday, January 18, 2010


This week's class offered the option to make cupcakes instead of a cake and I jumped at the chance. I figured instead of trying to stick to one theme on a cake, I could try out a bunch of different things on the cupcakes. I also pussied out this week and used a box mix *shrugs* sue me ;)

My cupcakes came out extra tasty and moist, but I can see now that moist doesn't always equal good in the decorating world. I tried to frost them and even using the techniques learned in class, the tops of the little bastards kept tearing off with the icing. This is the result:

They still tasted yummy though. I decided to hold off on icing them until I got to class because I was sure the amazing Rebecca would have some wonderful tip, and she did: put a shitload of icing on top :)

We did some more practice with flowers and dots and such...Rebecca even made a creepy little Michelin man, or maybe it was the Stay Puft Marshmallow dude, I dunno but I liked him!

We spent the rest of class decorating and I used some stars, flowers and shells to decorate my cupcakes but my favorite has to be Jack :)

These would have looked much better had the damn paper actually stuck to the cupcakes, but it kept pulling away, not sure how to rectify that issue but it's killing my OCD side. Makes me want to scream! I have issues ;)

Next week is the final class for Lesson 1 and I am going to attempt to make another cake from scratch, stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fabulously Fierce....cakes?!

Yup, you read it right...I am trying to expand my horizons yet again with a new craft/art: cake decorating! I signed up for a class and will document my trials and tribulations for y'all here on a weekly basis.

Now, to give you some background, I am not an exceptional cook (just ask my husband) and for the most part my baking skills extend to slicing into pre-baked cookies and throwing them in the oven. But, I am obsessed with cake decorating shows: Ace of Cakes, Cake Challenge, Cake Boss, etc. You name it, I'll watch it. For the most part I am fascinated with the art and sculpture aspect that goes into making an extraordinary cake. After months of sitting on my ass and watching these shows the thought finally dawned on me that I should try it (duh!).

I signed up for Wilton's cake decorating at the local Michaels and had my first class (taught by the lovely and hilarious Rebecca) last Monday evening. The first lesson was basically going over all the essentials and watching the instructor ice a cake (which, of course, she made look soooo easy....PSH!). We were sent home with the homework to make a cake and icing, ice the thing and bring it to the next class. It was perfectly acceptable to bring in a cake made from a box mix (the ONLY kind of cake I have ever made), but no, I had to challenge myself to make a cake from scratch. I found a recipe online and armed myself with all the proper tools and got to work.

I measured out my ingredients, used the fun hand mixer (which doubled as a nice upper arm workout) and poured my batter into the pan. I even used the cool bake even strips that came in my ultra snazzy 101 Piece Tool Caddy. I felt like a true baker. I popped that baby in the oven, set the timer and went off to work on some lampshades. An hour later, the timer goes off and I peek in at my cake and the top is completely cracking...I panic, throw open the oven door shove a toothpick into the top and it seemingly comes out clean. I take it out to cool and an hour later I have a nice concave cake, waaaa! I torte the badboy (look at me learning the fancy words!! It means to slice it in half) and lo and behold the entire center is mush. I was crushed and felt like a complete dumbass, but sucked it up, cut off the good pieces and voila - here is the result of my first ever made-from-scratch cake:

So, so sad.

I quickly realized the error of my ways and whipped up another batch of batter and this time cooked the shit out of the thing with much more favorable results.

I torted it again and iced it up in preparation for last night's class.

During class we did some practice piping, which is quite easy when you have a pattern to follow, but then it was time to actually decorate the cake.

I opted to do a gel transfer onto the top of my cake with some scroll designs. This means you take a piece of parchment paper and pipe out your design in clear piping gel onto it, then place it on top of your cake and pull the paper back. It gives you a nice stencil to pipe on to. Then I added some drop stars and zigzag to the borders. It came out ok. I had these visions of grandeur when picturing my first decorated cake, assuming that my first attempt would be this perfectly beautiful masterpiece. I had to get over that fast and I think for a first attempt it was pretty damn good!

At least Geoff seemed to like it!

Next week....cupcakes!!