Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bake Me A Cake...Flowers and Cake Design

After taking 3 of the 4 courses that Wilton offered, they revamped their classes before I could take Course 4. Some things would no longer be taught, like a few of the flower techniques and tiered cake construction. But they also introduced some new flower designs to learn along with other cake decorating principles.

I signed up for Flowers and Cake Design. Some of the techniques would be a repeat for me, but there would be new things to learn, too. And I got to continue classes with my favorite teacher, Diana.

The course started off explaining how to use a color wheel to coordinate colors on a cake. Complimentary, neighboring, monochromatic and triad were color combinations we learned about. Having worked with our design team at work, I was very familiar with this but it was a good refresher.

We covered the basics of working with gum paste and fondant. By adding gum paste to your fondant, it will help it to dry out quickly and hard, keeping it's shape as needed. We learned how to tint gum paste using colored fondant or icing colorants. For practice, we made pansy flowers out of the gum paste and a flower cutter / embossing tool.

We made Wilton roses, primroses, apple blossoms, daffodils and violets out of Royal icing. And a new flower for me - the rosebud, was added in. Such a cute little flower, too!

Another flower out of Royal icing, the lily (not to be confused with the Easter lily) was new for this course. It is similar to the Easter lily, but made with a larger tip.

We also covered the basketweave icing technique in our final class.

One nice thing about this course was teaching you how to design cakes. The shape of your cake, the colors, how you position your flowers, your writing and your borders all impact the final look of your cake. If you follow some basic principles of cake design, your cakes will turn out much nicer and professional looking.

Only one cake was needed for the new course and that was for the Week 4 class. I found a nice design on the Wilton website that incorporated many of the techniques taught in this course.

Final Cake for Course

I was pleased with how my cake turned out. It had the lilies, basketweave, and apple blossoms on it. I am still working on getting my buttercream icing to be smooth. It's not perfect, but I am improving. I am picking up tips from the Wilton website, although I understand some of this is now taught in the new Decorating Basics course.

Right before I finished up the Flowers and Cake Design course, my former boss transferred from our western Washington office to Brussels, Belgium. Of course we had to have a farewell party for him including what else - cake!

Farewell Cake

This was a 12 x 18" sheet cake that I torted and filled with a dark chocolate buttercream filling. Yummmm.

Torting a large sheet cake was new for me. Using the Wilton cake leveler makes torting cakes a breeze but how do I handle a thin but large layer? I figured out a way to use a flat cookie sheet without sides to slide between the two layers to move the top layer so I could put the filling in. Then I used the cookie sheet to slide the layer back on top of the filling. Voila! Piece of cake. Hehe.

The Wilton Cake Leveler (thank you, Amazon for the picture)

Next up, the Gum Paste and Fondant course.

1 comment:

Gaelyn said...

All your cakes have been wonderful. You should be the talk of the town and much in demand.