Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Last Cake Decorating Class

It's over.  I got the certificate of completion and the $400 worth of tools.  And I will miss it.

Making gumpaste flowers is, for me, a very zen experience.  From coloring the paste, to rolling, cutting, forming, wrapping and tinting, everything is relaxing and satisfying.

Here are the results:
My first large flower with some little blossoms
Starting to put together a collection
My first Lilly
The cake for the final class
By this time I have assembled 36 ivy leaves, 24 sweet peas, 3 briar roses, 3 hibiscus, 26 little pink blossoms, 9 hydrangea flowers, 13 stephanopolis flowers and 13 stephanopolis buds, and 2 stargazer lilies.  Dogwoods and 1 yellow lily are for a different project
The spray on the cake

Top view

This was my second application of fondant. I used an 8" layer and a 6" layer, lining them up along the back.  This would create a ledge for the flowers.  Luckily the flowers hid a lot of fondant flaws.

The cake is a lemon/orange sour cream cake, based on the WASC recipe.  I filled it with the same buttercream I used under the fondant, which was made with 50% butter and also flavored with the same lemon/orange combination.  Fondant is vanilla marshmallow fondant slightly tinted with leaf green gel color.

It took two hours to assemble the final spray using every one of my taped and tinted blossoms.  This time also included assembling the stargazer lilies.  One lily is shown in the photos, but I added the second on the top looking towards the back of the cake.

Now I am looking for an excuse to do it again.

Friday, April 6, 2012

More Cakiness

I signed up for another cake decorating class, this one would teach me the basics of fondant and gumpaste.  Unfortunately, I was the only one to sign up for this class and was asked if I would like to move to the advanced gumpaste floral design class.  I agreed then spent the next 24 hours learning as much as I could about basics from the internet.  There is a wealth of information and tutorials available for anyone interested in "cake arts".  My two favorite sources were Cake Central and Edna De la Cruz.  Using what I learned on these sites I prepared a White Almond Sour Cream cake (WASC cake), crumb coated it with buttercream, covered it with home-made marshmallow fondant then decorated it with calla lilies.

This is the cake before the final sparkle sugar
 Step one - prepare the marshmallow fondant.  Knead, wrap and let cool.

Step two - wash the kitchen-aid.

Step three - prepare the cake.  Bake and let cool.

Step four - wash the kitchen-aid.

Step five - prepare the buttercream and set aside.

Step six - wash the kitchen-aid.

Step seven - Color gumpaste and make the pistol for the lilies,  brush with gumpaste glue and roll in sugar.  Set aside.
close up of the lilies. 

Step eight - Roll and cut gumpaste for the lily body.  Form over a cone.  Set aside to dry.

Step nine - insert pistol into the lily body, using a little gumpaste glue at the base.

Step ten - tint, roll and cut gumpaste for the sepal, attaching to the flower with a touch of gumpaste glue.

Step eleven - accent brush the flowers with green shimmer dust.

Step twelve - trim and fill the cake layers.

Step thirteen - crumb coat with buttercream and smooth, smooth, smooth.

Step fourteen - roll out the fondant to 1/16" thickness, transfer to the cake.

Step fifteen - ease the fondant down and around the cake, avoiding creating any creases or puckers at the base.  Trim excess.

Step sixteen - pipe some buttercream for a border and add some leaves on top for the lilies to set in.

Step seventeen - arrange the dried lilies on the top.

Step eighteen - add some more sparkle sugar for punch.

What I learned:
I found that trimming the sides of the cake is very important for a smooth look.  Next time I'm going to use the electric knife.  I did not achieve the sheer verticallity I wanted for the sides.  I also think the fondant drew up as it dried, so I will trim less off the bottom in the future.  Calla Lilies are a great flower to start with, they made me feel almost competent.  Everything is better with sparkle sugar.

Oh, I filled the cake with raspberry fruit spread.