Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Look out Cake Boss

I guess the Cake Boss doesn't have any worries quite yet.

I've always enjoyed baking but, not having had children, I never had a requirement to strain my artistic flair too much when it came to decorating birthday cakes. Since becoming a Food Network and TLC reality show addict, I have been caught up in the world of buttercream, fondant, molding chocolate and sugar flowers.

B's middle daughter V also has a joy of baking and making cakes.  When I was looking for a wedding cake I was truly amazed at the cost of even the simplest of cakes.  V and I joked maybe we should go into the business. Not that we'll ever get to that point, just for the fun of it we signed up to take the first course, Decorating Basics, offered by Wilton, maker of all things cake & decorating.

The courses are given by a Wilton trained instructor and ours happens to take place in a Michaels store. The course generally costs $45 for four 2 hour sessions and we got it at half price. What you get is the course syllabus and instructor for each session. Course materials are extra.  And man, there is a lot of "extra". 

There's a myriad of decorating bags, tips, couplers, icing, piping gel, colour pastes, cake levelers, turntables, spatulas, flower nails, flavours, powders and pastes. I think I will have to go into business in the end or go broke trying to support my new hobby. Oh, and then the tool box in which to keep all of this "stuff".  Bottom line is though, we're having a blast.

We are 12 in the class, a couple of young teens with their moms to a pastry chef and all points in between. The reasons as well as the skills are as varied as the people, but we are having a few laughs and learning new skills.

The first night we learned the very basics, how to bake a decent cake, different consistencies of icing for different purposes, how to level, fill and ice a cake and finally how to fill and use the decorating bags.

The second session we actually brought in a cake to level and ice then decorate. Pretty basic stuff. Being a perfectionist, I wasn't over the moon with my cake but V's looked like a pretty professional job. The one pictured here is mine. 

This week we decorated cupcakes. The tutorial included using various tips to make the star flower, drop flower, rosette, shell border, pompom flower, leaves and the shaggy mum. We got a chance to practice first and I must say I felt pretty proud at the pretty things I could create.

I had lots of icing and cupcakes leftover so I continued to get creative once I got home after class. 

Now as pretty as all of these are, one must never forget, they consist of mostly sugar and fat. So I take them to work with me the next day and let everyone share in the responsibility of "disposing" of them. Better they each have to eat one then me eating all twelve.

Next week is the final class of the first course. We are to create our own design then decorate a cake with it.  I haven't finalized my design just yet but will try to use as many of the new skills I've learned.  Maybe I'll post the final results, maybe I won't :-)

We've already signed up for course two, Flowers & Cake Design, which we get right into the following week.  Anyone know anywhere that has icing sugar on sale?


  1. Looks good! Is your final design going to be a replica of the Eiffel tower?