Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wilton Cake Decorating: Course 3

My third cake decorating class with Carolyn was just as fun as the last two. Course 3: Fondant and Tiered Cakes was my first introduction to fondant. Fondant has a cute nickname, "baker's play dough" and working with it is much like working with play dough. Thanks to Charlotte, I am an avid play dough goer these days, although I think that slightly hindered me with this frosting in the sense that it feels odd to want to eat it after playing with it like I do play dough.
Course 3 ended with our grand finale cake where we either tiered or stacked our cakes. I chose to tier my cake. It was super simple with the columns that were included in the Course 3 kit. I then watched others stack their cakes. The stacked cakes actually looked more challenging comparatively. It was fun to discover that tiering and stacking is not as difficult as I once imagined. I look forward to trying it out more with other cakes I make. It certainly does add an element of pizazz to a cake.
 We also learned some additional buttercream techniques including cornelli lace (bottom layer of this cake) and brush embroidery (the flowers on the top layer). We learned stringwork as well, which I was not very good at, nor like that much. Sometimes it can be done nicely, but often it feels too frilly to me.
In fondant we learned how to cover the cake, create a bow (pink one below), and do some simple cut outs. The fancy bow on the cake above I saw in the Course 3 book and attempted for our finale cake. Covering a cake in fondant is tricky! I found the square cake to be much easier than the circle cake. When I asked my instructor, Carolyn, for tips on covering with fondant she said it just takes practice. And, practice I will!
I had fondant years ago at a wedding and wasn't wild about it. It's a thicker chewy frosting and I tend to prefer buttercream. I was encouraged by the fact that one of the main ingredients in fondant is marshmallows. For some reason, that made the chewiness less odd and more appealing. I actually didn't taste much of the fondant during this class. My cakes were often baked way ahead of time due to my busy schedule and then I used leftover class buttercream (a confection of mainly Crisco) as the filling and base layer, so I didn't eat my cakes this time. Next month I hope to coordinate my schedule a bit better so that the cake is fresh and the ingredients I use on the cake appealing to eat.
I had to miss the lesson on Lily Nail flowers, but I will make it up next month. I'm excited to try them as many of the other students flowers from that lesson looked incredible.

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