Friday, January 30, 2009

Fondant & Gumpaste ~ Wilton Style

I really meant to post this after class on Tuesday night, but it has been such a busy week! I finished Wilton's Fondant & Gum paste class this week. And how extremely convenient, that the very next day was my co-workers birthday! :) Needless to say she was the lucky recipient of a very finely decorated cake! So here she is, my Fondant & Gum paste Final Cake, in all her glory!

This is a french vanilla cake, frosted and filled with strawberry butter cream, and covered in fondant. The fantasy flowers and leaves are made of gum paste, and the border balls are fondant. And for that "little something extra" special effect, I covered the cake and flowers with cake glitter. Oooohh...Aaaahh!

All of my co-workers, including the birthday girl, loved the cake. Well, they loved the actual cake and the strawberry butter cream. They were all a little weirded out by the fondant and the fact that you really don't eat it. I mean it's edible and all, it just isn't as great as butter cream. Just as a side note regarding the fondant. For the purpose of this class, I used only store bought fondant for convenience and because it was recommended by the teacher that we learn with store bought fondant due to the fact that it is extremely consistent. I do plan in the future to give it a go with marsh mellow fondant, as I have heard the taste is much, much better!

What's next? Wilton's Course 3 Fondant & Tiered Cakes, which I am so excited about, but I have to wait two months to take it! Sigh, I guess I will just be doing a lot of baking and blogging until then!
OK, one last picture of my cake, this one is at a different angle :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Cupcakes

My daughter's teacher at daycare celebrated her 20th birthday last week. One of the other teachers was spreading the news the week before and as soon as she told me about it I knew I wanted to do something special. So I decided that I would make her a batch of delicious birthday cupcakes! So I went home and sized up my pantry, and I came up with the idea to make a yellow cake cupcake, with a hint of chocolate flavor. Now I just needed some inspiration on how I wanted them to look. Ask and you shall receive, the inspiration was right in front of me. My kitchen timer is shaped like a cupcake, and a rather cute one at that! So now I was off to work on making some fabulous birthday cupcakes for Miss H! Ready, here we go!

I started with my basic cupcake ingredients. I followed the cake mix instructions exactly, and to achieve my hint of chocolate flavor I added 3 tbs Cocoa Powder and 1 tsp of milk...mix...mix...mix...

then I filled my cupcake liners with my batter...then it's off to the oven for about 30 minutes...

...hmmmmm they're done! Wow, that smells so good! But, must let them cool on a wire rack...

Now we're ready to decorate! (My favorite part!) While the cupcakes were cooling, I whipped up some vanilla butter cream frosting. Then I put my 1M tip into my disposable pastry bag and filled it with butter cream.

Oh and don't forget those sprinkles!
Let's start by piping my first layer swirl...

and then finish it off by piping my second layer swirl right on top!

Now, repeat! Aren't they cute, I just love cupcakes :)

Again, don't forget those sprinkles! They really make the (cup)cake!

Ooooh, so sweet!

Inspiration & My Creation!
Not too shabby if you ask me! Oh and I had to have one (I swear, just one) you know as a tester and they we're awesome! Miss H loved them too!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Back in time.... Wilton Cake Decorating Classes

Last October I started Wilton's Cake Decorating Course One and continued straight through November with Course 2. Needless to say, that was a lot of butter cream! I started the first course with some basic cake decorating knowledge and by the time I finished course 2 I felt like a pro :) Well, maybe not good enough to compete on the Food Network Challenge, but I was feeling pretty confident. I thought I would post some pictures here of my Course 1 and 2 cakes and re-cap the experience.

Cake One - Over the Rainbow
This is a french vanilla cake, filled with raspberry fruit filling, and decorated with vanilla butter cream! In this class (this was the second night of class) we learned the secret technique of the pros to make your butter cream frosting smooth all over the cake. We then learned how to do a pattern transfer, using piping gel, and then fill in the pattern with the star tip.

Cake Two - Scary Birthday Clowns
This is a red velvet cake, filled with home made cream cheese filling, and decorated with butter cream. In this class we learned more star tip tricks. We made star tip borders around the top and bottom of our cake, and we learned how to make the scary clowns. Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the clowns. We also learned how to make star flowers and drop flowers, not pictured on the cake though. I added the multi color dots on the side of the cake after I got home from class to jazz it up a bit.

Cake Three - The Big Finale, The Wilton Rose
This is a chocolate cake, filled and decorated (except the roses and leaves) with chocolate butter cream. So when I first signed up for cake decorating class, I knew the one thing I had to come away with was how to make a rose. It's not rocket science, but it's also not something that most people you meet can do! So I practiced, and practiced, and then practiced some more. I'm not kidding, my husband wanted nothing to do with the site of frosting by the time I was satisfied with my roses :) Well, it may not be identical to the roses in the book, but I was pretty darn proud of my little Wilton Flowers. Oh, and this was definitely my favorite cake from the entire course!

Cake Four - Course 2 Finale, Basket of Rock Hard Flowers
This is a devils food chocolate cake, filled with cherry fruit filling, and decorated with butter cream and royal icing flowers. This cake is the only cake produced in course 2. Course two is ALL ABOUT FLOWERS! I am not even sure I can name all of the flowers on this cake, but I'll try. Here we go : Rose, Primrose, Daisey, Mum, Pansy, Violet, Apple blossom and Daffodil. Wow, I think I did it. So, the first three nights of class we learned how to make all of these flowers using royal icing. Then on the final night of class we learned the basket weave technique. By the end of the night we had an entire basket of flowers. This cake was hard work, but I loved the way it turned out!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Inaugural Post

Happy New Year! Happy New Blog!
Beyond your typical resolutions to exercise more, eat right and get out of debt this year, my resolution is this blog! When I was a younger chicky, I loved baking and decorating cakes. And then for some time, I grew out of it, I believe they call it growing up, moving out and living in the real world. And then last September, my wonderful daughter had her first birthday. I started to plan her party, and ironically enough, I decided to make her cake, instead of buying one from the store, to save money. My husband (and myself to be honest) had no idea what I was getting into. I designed an elaborate, well at my novice level it was elaborate, garden and bug themed, two-tiered masterpiece. And it took two days in the making. As a matter of fact, I was up until about 2 or 3 in the morning, the day before the party, finishing the cake. And when I finally went to bed, I wasn't even tired. I was elated! I went to bed dreaming of frosting and lady bugs and bees, giddy with anticipation of everyone, especially my daughter, seeing the cake for the first time! The next day, as hokey as this is going to sound, really changed me. I told my husband after the party, that I had finally found it, my thing was cake decorating.

This realization led me to my local craft mart, to sign up for cake decorating classes, As Soon As Possible! And well, the rest is soon to become history!

Here is a picture of the cake that (re)started it all!