Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Course 2: A Glutton for Punishment

After complaining about making batches of Crisco frosting and having to clean out the little tips after each class, I signed up for course 2. Cake decorating was a lot more work than I expected and there's a lot of prep and cleaning time that goes into this, but I figure I will never pick this up again if I don't continue and finish all the classes, so I bit the bullet and signed up for another month.

The funny thing is that I was clearly the only person that felt the same way, because I was the only one in class yesterday. Yes, just me and Thelma. We kept waiting and waiting since we moved up the class 30 minutes before our last session, but no one ended up showing up. So I ended up having a private lesson for 2 hours with my teacher. We had a good time just chatting. I learned more about her job as a cake decorator and also about being a Wilton cake decorating instructor. Apparently they have a yearly conference for those that want to become an instructor. After a month of class, I can confidently say my talents are not in cake decorating, but I'm having fun with it.

Since I was being watched more closely this time around, I didn't have a chance to take that many pictures. Last week we did roses on the flower nails, so this time she showed me how to do little rose buds. You first start with the base petal which looks like a little fan. The trick is that you have to have it fan upwards, so it looks like one complete unit once you add the front petal.
Then to the base petal, you add the main petal, which gives it the rosebud look. You literally just squeeze a bit of the frosting out and it miraculously folds over and looks like a bud. It's sooo cool!
Here's the aerial view of the rose bud on your left. The one in the middle and to the right are examples of modified rosebuds that Thelma will make if she has to decorate a huge cake. She says in any given day, she decorates 20 to 30 cakes. Could you imagine?
Since I was the only one in class, she kept on insisting I practice, practice, practice, so I went to town with the rosebuds.
We then went over what we would be doing for the next three weeks. She showed me how to make chrysanthemums. You have to pipe each leaf. This one kills your hands. No one is allowed to request this on any cake I make for you. It's off limits ... it's on the do not mention list. This flower is almost guaranteed to cause arthritic hands.
Here's a blurry picture of what the chrysanthemum looks like from the side. Look and admire carefully, because you will never see a picture of a chrysanthemum flower made by me every again. =)
Here's a preview of the different flowers we'll be making this month.
The great thing is that we are going to be using royal icing to make these flowers and since it's made out of sugar and water, it turns into sugar flowers that you can keep with you for awhile. So throughout the three weeks, we'll be making different flower patterns and then incorporating them into a final cake we'll be making on the last day of class.
I'm supposed to make a batch of royal icing for class this week and she warned me that my mixer might break, that's how hard the consistency is. My poor mixer. It's getting quite a lot of use these days from all the frosting and the loads of baking I'm doing. My friend Mare requested pumpkin bread so I whipped up a batch yesterday. I think I'll modify the recipe a bit next time, but it came out great. And the best part is, I used applesauce instead of butter or oil, so it's not that bad for you. I'll post pictures soon.

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