This class is the fourth in a series of four. We had more flower lessons and a "final" which comprised of us making a garden-themed cake.
We learned: sweetpea flower, rosebud (lying down), rope border, ribbon, and basket weave.
ICE DIRTY TO ME
In between this, the teachers brought out our cakes and taught us to "dirty ice" the cake, also known as "crumb frosting."
It's a thin layer of frosting you apply to the cake, which you can get the crumbs mixed up in and not care about. Then you refrigerate that for 20 minutes and after it hardens, bring it out and ice it for real. You can save the crummy frosting separately for future dirty icings. Frosting saves indefinitely in the refrigerator.
Then, the cake challenge was to ice our cakes with certain rules: you had to basketweave the side, and you had to use flowers on the top. Most of us ended up sharing bowls of frosting (to not waste and to be efficient), and even bags of colored frosting. That way you just switch out the tips.
The KCC gals
Naturally, everyone ran to make the basket first. And the brown food coloring was in high demand. Some of us decided to forego brown in favor of another color. I was sharing bags with Joy so she did her basket first. I decided to do my flowers first.
You know what's most exciting? To be able to play around and make all these pretty things. I know that from a design aesthetic, clean and simple is better, but I am always so tempted to practice every skill I have because I love turning a lump of white gooey stuff into a pretty little sculpture.
I decided to make a bunch of roses for the top, and then I got to work on the basket on the side. By this time I was tired. I had gone for a run before class and I was sleepy. It was 8 p.m., which in my world is dangerously close to bedtime. I know. I am so breaking all my rules, staying out late, by taking this cake class. What's next for me? Dancing on the table tops without my apron? Total anarchy?
Anyhow, I am trying to say I didn't finish the basket weave. I just wasn't feeling it. Or, in Ebonics, "fillin' it." I just stopped. I threw some green vines around the back half and called it a day.
It still looked OK if viewed from the front. Claus called an "anchor cake", after the way we news anchors would have our blazers pinned in the back to make it more form fitting, and shorts and slippers under the desk - and it's OK because the folks at home can't see that!
We lined up all our cakes and voted for the best one. There was a three way tie. (Among seven cakes?!) Joy's was one of the winners. I voted for Joy's. Not because we're friends, but because her Virgo sensibilities meant she did meticulously perfect work, with a simple but elegant aesthetic.
This was a really fun course! If you ever wanted to learn a little bit about cake decoration, I would totally recommend it. Even if you don't take the whole series that they offer, you will still learn a lot from this class. Especially if you are starting from zero, which is where I was. Also, we end up laughing and gossiping about various girl stuff, so it ended up being a very girly social experience. (Note: male pastry chefs take the classes too so some classes aren't all female.)
ACE OF CAKES
I'm officially a new fan of Ace of Cakes. It happens to be on when I'm ready to look at the TV and I've seen enough episodes to realize that I'm now hooked. I haven't seen Cake Boss, though I'm told it's more about family drama than pretty cakes. If that's true, then I'll probably stick to Ace of Cakes. I love to look at their cake designs. It's amazing! Amazing!!
Who saw the one with the UFO blowing up the White House? I would never think of making a cake like that, but looking at that show sure has me stretching my imagination in many different ways. And a related aside: I think I'm quite liberal, but I wouldn't have that for a wedding cake. Would you??
What is most surprising to me about this whole process is that it's more about art than baking. You can really separate the two skills sets. I understood that early on in cake classes, but watching the show validates my theory. It kind of makes me want to take art classes (though it's way down on my list for the foreseeable future) because I have had to freehand all the designs and I'm not the best artist. I've never wanted to take art classes before this.
I have a growing list of "clients," I joke. They're actually just friends and relatives (big and small alike) for whom I've offered to supply the birthday cake. Free, of course. I just want the practice. I could ice the same cake 20 times for practice, but there's something about the urgency of a real-life situation that makes me take it more seriously. I've practiced at home but I tend to get lazy and slack off after a bit. Maybe it's the old news-hound in me that likes the pressure of doing something for real, versus a dry run.
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