Cake decorating classes, advanced, part 2,3,4

March 31st, 2010
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We spent the entire month making the components for a fondant cake, so I decided to roll that into one blog, since it wasn't as intensive and varied as the previous courses. Week two and three were spent making animal sculptures and flora/fauna for a jungle themed cake. Week four was spent putting the whole three tiered cake together.

My cake

My cake

3D ANIMALS

The cake gals showed us a photo from their portfolio. It was of a jungle themed cake. This is what we are to work towards.

The goal

The goal

The body of the animal is a rice crispy treat, molded into an oval. That saves weight, because fondant is heavy. It will be less likely to sink into the cake. It also saves money, because fondant is pricey.

Based on the reactions I've gotten from friends who ate my cake, a lot of people think fondant is too sweet, but I'm guessing they'd be more OK with biting into a rice crispy treat - if they choose to even eat the sculptures. The whole thing is skewered onto a dowel or a wooden chopstick, so that you can poke it into the cake to help it stand.

The fondant always comes white, so you have to color it using gel paste. You knead it and work quickly or else it gets dry and cracks. It's a somewhat intuitive process to put together the animals, but still not as easy as it looks.

Making tiger

Making tiger

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My tiger

My zebra

My zebra

Attaching elephant ears with toothpick

Attaching elephant ears with toothpick

My elephant

My elephant

The flowers are made from cookie cutters, then given some shape and dimension using various fondant tools. They're dried in eggshells to help them hold their shape.

Curling the petals

Curling the petals

Shaping the whole flower

Shaping the whole flower

Dry for a week or two

Dry for a week or two

In class number four, the teachers brought out three cakes. Two were six inch rounds, the third was an ten inch round. We iced the cakes, hammered them together, and topped them with the decorations. Again, a little more to it than I expected.

Six support dowels

Six support dowels

Firstly, we used two cardboard bases for the bottom cake because it's so heavy. Secondly, the smaller cakes are supported by a six inch round cardboard, too. Thirdly, there are six dowels cut to exactly the height of the big cake, inserted to support the weight of the six inch cakes above.

Hammering in dowels for stability

Hammering in dowels for stability

Lastly, there are two huge dowels with pencil-sharp points, driven through the entire cake and out through the bottom cardboard. That's to prevent it from slipping around in transit. Nothing else has made me care more about fixing our potholes.

Back of my cake

Back of my cake

The sculptures and big flowers are adhered to the cake using buttercream frosting. The smaller flowers, with water. Transport with the sculptures off or else they'll start wobbling and leaning and making holes in the cake.

I like my flowers the best

I like my flowers the best

It's hard to get it right. The smaller the cake, the more ruffles there are at the bottom, and it takes a bit of practice to learn how to make it all smooth. Hence, you see my yellow cake is all wrinkled at the base.

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The pros do it all in minutes, but to give you an idea, it took us novices almost three hours to cover the cakes with fondant and then put the decorations on. I finished first, but here are some photos of other people's cakes in progress, that I photographed before I left:

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Joy's

Joy's

Eat and enjoy!

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Also reach me via DianeAko.com

8 Responses to “Cake decorating classes, advanced, part 2,3,4”

  1. Maxcat:

    Wow! You really 'take the cake!' Seriously, you can see the progress from when you first started these classes. Nice work Diane. Oh and you definitely proved 'you can have your cake and eat it too.' And, I know this class isn't exactly a 'cakewalk.' Okay enough with my 'pattycake' comments.


  2. hawaiiobsessed:

    Wow! That is amazing! So cute. What a lot of work, but how fun for everyone to see it. Thank you for sharing.


  3. theDman:

    It really is too pretty too eat.


  4. Sam Urai:

    No kidding-maybe you should be a baker!!


  5. m@x:

    Very impressive! Besides decorating, do they teach you how to make a good cake too?


  6. Kage:

    Awwwwahh...

    Your cake is cute. I really like the zebra.


  7. Diane Ako:

    Thanks everyone :) Next up, gumpaste flowers!

    Maxcat, I love the puns. Why didn't I think of that?

    m@x, no, I wish they taught baking, but it's only decorating. but they opened a storefront, where the public can now buy slices to try. previously you'd have to spend in the three-four digits to eat their creations; when you ordered a cake.

    Sam Urai, I am toying with the idea of working at a bakery for fun, but I just don't know where to go, and who would accept someone with as little credentials as I have. It's a long shot...


  8. RedZone:

    Yea back to class. Your zebra has a lot of character. I like your white flower the best. It looks amazing.


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