Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fondant Schmondant

So that brings us to course 3....which I just finished on Monday...
This was BY FAR my favourite class..not cuz it was any more interesting than the other classes but because with all the cake TV shows that people see these days, it takes a lot to impress people.

Fondant impresses people......

Class 1 we just played around with fondant, my teacher mixed things up a bit and decided to teach us the rose first so we would have enough time to make 40 for our final cakes.
True to form however, I made my roses 2 days before....oh well :) at least they turned out gorgeous, but that's later :)
The big tub of purple fondant I bought a few weeks ago, came in handy.
So for the first class we learned to make the rose and the leaves that accompany it
Sooooo presenting my first fondant rose ever:
it's cute right?? I was pretty proud of it...but considering it took a whole 2 hour class to get it done....I was none too excited for the finale cake....

Class 2: Covering a cake in fondant
I found this cake to be super its really versatile....u can switch the colours around for any occassion that requres gifts lol....i.e. the BEST kinds lol
It's supposed to be a white package with a pink bow, but c'mon when have I ever followed convention.
I combined my two fav colours of the moment royal purple and teal to make a cake for a 16 year old's birthday. I gave this cake away...But i was told it was delicious. Because I gave the cake away, I didn't want to be stuck using Wilton (7$ a pound!!!!!!!!!) fondant that NOONE likes....i made my own....
This in itself, I'm pretty darn proud took a few tries and the one I used on the present cake was actually a MMF/ Wilton it tasted great but still handled well. My new Kitchen Aid is getting such a workout....

When i look at the pics theres always stuff i see that I didnt see when I was caught up in the excitement, and I wish I could go fix. But hey, not bad right??
PS see that lovely 5$ fondant smoother? TOTALLY got pilfered by one of the retirees in my class......
sticky fingers mcgee...i will find you.

Armed with my new knowledge of marshmallow fondant and cake covering....I altered the present cake and made a side project of a birthday cake for a 3 yr old....It wasn't needed anymore but I made it anyway and changed it.

Class 3.....
missed this cuz i threw my back 23....yeh i!
However, when i got mobility back I got cracking on my roses for finale cake.....prove I'm not a cake slacker lol
I made my buds and let them dry

Then hightailed it to my family for a visit and luckily for me they have a full kitchen...
It took me two days
But! I got them done.... :)

My little cousin made the pink one :) my little apprentice.....I don't think she knows I'm grooming her to be a CakeyThings (c) grunt worker
*diabolical laugh*


Determined to be my teacher's pet...I ended up in class early.......yeh a whole HOUR early.....
gave me enuff time to realise that my gorgeous roses definitely didnt have the green stem part...nor leaves....and i did think to myself that weekend "Hmm when r we going to make the flower that this cutter is for?" so I do't have an excuse other than pure forgetfulness
I got like 10 leaves done and 3 stems before I just wasnt going to work
lol then I realised I dint have to try to be teachers pet at all......There were only 2 ppl left in the class :) myself included.
I felt like a cake gladiator....I made it *Rocky music*
and I made this.....

oh wait..the cake is a story by itself...
I was having one of those days with the cake..I got home from my family's at 10 pm....Started baking at 11. I made a WASC cake which was
very good...nice subtle almond flavour...held up well under the weight of the fondant and pillars
Then I realisedI didnt have enough fondant to cover the cake. It''s midnight....and I don't think Walmart carries I had to make my own again....

Covering the cakes in fondant was a freaking NIGHTMARE and I don't think I have yelled the F word so many times at a sugary dough before.
By the time it was covered I could not give a damn in the least anymore and I overdecorated my way into a decent looking cake

So onto class time!
we learned the ruffle border (oh buttercream how i missed thee! nom nom nom) which is really quite *darling* and i loved that my top tier looked like a little baby bonnet.....for a very flat headed baby...


So the construction:
And my finished cake!

yay!! I have more angles of it but i think this post is getting long enough :)
But here's 2 more pics
How I got it out the classroom:

And what the office workers did to it

yay I got compliments!

Next up: Fondant and gumpaste and I signed up for a 2 day class in French Pastries :) exciting!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

All Hail Wilton

Ok so
I'm pretty bad at the whole regular blogging thing,
did not realise LOL.
So since my first disaster cake, I decided it would be best not to cheat anymore. I'm actually finishing up course 3 right now, would u believe? As a short synopsis I shall post here the results of each class and my opinion LOL
here goes:
Course 1 Class 2
So this was supposed to be the infamous clown cake. As I love to procrastinate, I of course did not ge the fugly clown heads. Thank jeebus, cuz that cake is scary as hell. i would prefer to do a cute hippo or something, like really, who is ever going to ask me for a scary as all hell clown cake.....ok i can think of a few people, but unless you teach me how to make colorflow blood puddles around them, it ain't happening. I got to do fun drop flowers instead.... I did learn the striping technique tho! look how purty my flowers are. Yes, I realise the colour coordination is wonky, I'm workin on that.....
BUT I am impressed with how smooth my buttercream was...simply because this cake was another horror story when I tried to take it out the pan....
so lesson learnt: NEVER use a boxed cake mix (unless it's been doctored) and really invest in some non stick pans..(which i got 50% off at A.C Moore...can I get a what what??)
I really dont remember who ate this cake, I don't believe I did. Maybe the bf did....i dunno.....this is gonna bug me for the rest of the night LOL

Class 4!
So we finished learning the Wilton rose....*ooooooh* ...I feel like gasps of awe are necessary when I say that because such a to-do is made over the rose I feel like it deserves it. You learn the rose over the span of 3's an art...
For this class, we were supposed to bring in an iced cake, whatever colour, with borders and dots. So i woke up that morning and did just that.
So here's my class 4 cake, with wilton roses *aaaaaaahhhh*

Isn't it pretty! I love that it seems like a baby shower cake.

So Imma be honest, this course was a nice break from course 1 but there's no cake involved!!! WTF? the only fun part was the final class when we learned the basketweave technique and finally got to decorate a freakin cake. every other class was learning flowers.....which I guess has its merit and is ALOT harder than it looks, but I like the instant gratification of seeing a finished cake. This classs made me wait four weeks, and I am not famour for my patience :)
Here are my flowers, I only like a few of them. I learnt the hard way that when they say lay a damp towel over the royal icing container, they mean DAMP, not drenched. My icing was super melty so my stuff didnt hold its shape for very long.
That one rose in the middle.....that's the only one I was happy with....! LOL
All those flowers took up pretty much all of course 2 (along with colorflow birds...which were cool..but i dont see me using it much) and in the finale class u learn how to do basket weave and u stick all the flowers in it ( I made new ones)
I used it as my aunts bday cake.

OH I should update that I got a new baby during this time that helped me make all that buttercream and cake

i have a few more cakes to show off....from course 3 but I'm wrapping that class up next week so I'll post it as one big post.....

Oh Imade a Perfectly Chocolate cake for my sis as well:

ooooh decadent
definitely on the menu....I think the best compliment was walking past my lil cousin's (self professed chocaholic) room and catching her with a smuggled slice in her bedroom...."It's soo good!" she managed to say between bites LOL

Monday, September 7, 2009

Why a blog?

Allow me to introduce myself...You can call me Cher. I'm 23 years old and I just graduated with my Bachelor's Degree.
I started this page so I could work on my passion for cake/ dessert creation and a challenge for myself and a way of keeping record
I'm pretty much the illigitimate lovechild of Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines.
Ever since I can remember, I've been obsessively interested in baking. I remember the first time I read a book and thought "Oh my God, she's just like me!" wasn't a Judy Blume coming of age story or even a fairy tale character I saw myself reflected in...It was the biography page of the Mrs. Field's cookbook.
The obsession probably started when I was 9....I asked my mother for an Easy Bake oven, only for her to reply...."Why don't you just use the real one"...I was disappointed...but I did use it....ALOT.
I made sugar cookies like there was no tomorrow, gave them out to friends, family and classmates. The highlight of my first sleepover was being able to bake my own birthday cake. My old diaries from my preteen years are littered with blurbs like "Mom said I could make Christmas cookies this year...yay!" and "I am going to finally attempt to make fondant"....

I was given a diary when I was 10, and since I aready had one...I changed it to a book for my favourite recipes....I was a weird kid...what can I say? But it has always been something I've wanted to pursue.
During high school, baking was always something I did....I tried a LOT of recipes..I also got into candy making...perfected fudge after about a billion tries...It's hard for me to find something I haven't tried at least once. Brownie deliveries and cheesecake drop offs were just part of my weekend routine...
College was the was wonderful...I could bake and just open my door and people would eat me no baked good will EVER go to waste in a college dorm. I made valentines cookies, birthday chocolates, congratulation cakes....My friends are enablers.
We were (and still are) Williams Sonoma's dream clientele...we made cheesecakes, pies, tarts quiches....We welcomed quesadilla makers, waffle irons, chocolate fountains and breadmakers as gifts while others bought kegerators and Margarita makers (and by others, I mean my roommates so I still benefitted :)

So now that I've graduated, relocated and I'm finally part of the working world (yay income)....with no other real constraints on my time...I am finally indulging myself and throwing all my efforts into the dessert biz. I've taken the Wilton Cake Decorating classes and I plan to throw myself into every recreational class I can find till I find my niche.
I'm only on contract in FL till December and after that I don't know where I'll be but my goal is to have my skill relatively marketable by then.

I know Rome wasn't built in a day and I'm realising with every border I pipe, that it's a lot harder than I thought, but I don't see myself giving up on this....(I knew what marzipan was when I was 10 for crying out loud)

Cake design and cooking on a whole is super trendy right now and I'm sure the market is saturated, but I have such real passion for this stuff.....I hope people will see it and allow me to share it with them.

That's it for now....

Oh and if you're wondering about the name...ask my mom... she's got a massive sweet tooth and would always ask us to bring her "cakey things" whenever we went out...I always used to joke with her that if I ever opened a bakery, I'd name it Cakey Things....funny how stuff works out right?
So thanks mom.......for the name...and for never getting me an easy bake oven.....