Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Round 1 - Cake 1: Soomeenshee 0

Today was the second cake decorating class at Michael's and the first night where we actually practiced with real frosting. We were told to bring a premade cake from home to decorate in class. It was a pretty intense two hours of frosting and decorating. After the powder sugar dust settled, I was left exasperated with bits of green frosting all over my clothes, a sore right hand and a green cake that was mocking me for my defeat. Whoever coined the term "cake walk" clearly has never decorated a cake with Crisco frosting before.

Crisco is an all vegetable shortening that remains solid in even room temperature, which is why I guess we're using it in this class, so the frosting is really thick and dense. It's really disturbing though to see how white it is and how it's perfectly fine to leave it out on the counter. But for purposes of learning, we took one batch of this frosting and frosted the tops of our cakes. You can't see from this picture but the frosting is about half the height of my actual cake. =)
Then you frost the sides of the cake and voila, you have a frosted cake. The class should have just ended right here and I would have succeeded. But no ... we continued.
We then took our second batch of frosting, added some coloring and thinned it out with water since we were going to be using it to make patterns and designs with our pastry bag.
The instructor told us to fill our pastry bags with frosting and to insert a tip and practice making stars. We have these practice boards with a clear plastic covering that you use to practice making the shapes. So for the first one, we put in our tip and made stars and then practiced putting them close together.
Here's a closeup of the stars for your viewing pleasure. She then told us to make a border of stars at the top of our cakes. Next, she told us to put on another tip and practice making little u's, which we would put along the sides of our cake. After that, she told us to practice doing tight zigzags and also some lettering.
The instructor then told us to write something on our cakes. By the end of class, everyone had really cute cakes. Some decorated cakes for their hubbies, others for their cats. All of them turned out really well. Here's a couple pics of the cakes my friends made.
How cute are these?
Even though I know you're made of Crisco, I'd eat you.

Where's your cake Soomeenshee, you ask?

Here it is. I know what you're thinking ... where's the finished product? Where are the zigzags? Where's your lettering, your decoration? A dot even? I know, it looks so sad and bare. I wish I could say I was going for the minimalist look here, but let's face it, that would be akin to me adding a green boa to an otherwise blank canvas and calling it art. It is what it is, I had pastry bag malfunction. =) Turns out my frosting was too thick and I was trying to squeeze it through a tiny opening and the bag would just end up bursting. The instructor suggested I add more water and lo and behold, it worked! By the time I figured this out, it was time to clean up. I looked around the room and saw nicely decorated and finished cakes and I looked at my modest cake and couldn't help but laugh. I clearly lost in this round, but fear not, the only smell of defeat in Soomeenshee's kitchen will be the smell of Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge cake baking in the oven for next week!


  1. is that your little practice sheet of stars and squiggles, etc? it looks good! HAHAHA this post was funny about your cake. it does look kind of bare.. aww :) but it's ok, im sure you will come back with a vengeance next time and decorate up a storm.

    wow i'm impressed. after one lesson, the cakes look all professionally decorated. how cute :)

    so do you guys eat the cake afterwards or you just throw it away? i dont get why you use just crisco? why dont you guys make real frosting out of it so that you can really feel what it's like to have that texture when you are decorating, spreading, etc? and what a waste of cake!

  2. I know, right? My friends did a great job! No, we can eat the cake afterwards. I think we use Crisco because if we use butter it's perishable and doesn't last as long and we're transporting this to and from class and playing around with it for 2 hours, so it's probably better to use Crisco since it stays solid even in room temperature. I would definitely use butter if I was baking a cake to eat for myself. You can still eat the cake, I'm sure it was good. I gave mine away. Someone actually wanted it. =)

  3. omg, does that mean i get an original birthday cake designed by the one&only soomin??

  4. hahaha, are you sure you want one? Any personal requests for what you want it to look like? Hopefully by your b-day I'll get better. =)

  5. nice cakes! but crisco = trans fat + hydrogenated fat = bad.

  6. It's so deceiving, the packaging says it's vegetable based so you would think this is better than butter, right? I think it says it has 0 trans fat though. It is probably still really bad for you. I just can't get over that it's white.