Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cake Decorating Basics – Class #3

Class number three was one of those classes that was so jam-packed, it probably could have been 2 classes.  I left exhausted, covered in frosting and sweating (I’ll get to that later).  Still, it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

And yes, I realize this post should have been written a week ago.  Moving on...

Our homework from the week before was:
  • Bring the 6 cupcakes and filling from the recipe I made the week before
  • Make 4 different colors of frosting – green (thin), light blue, dark blue and pink (medium)
As a reminder, the cupcakes and filling were from a Lemon Layer Cake recipe which included a Lemon Curd and the icing was a Wilton Buttercream recipe colored with Wilton Icing Colors.

We covered several topics in class

  • Filling and icing a cupcake
  • Drop Flowers
  • Rosettes
  • Shells
  • Pompom Flowers
  • Leaves
  • Shaggy Mum

We started by filling our cupcakes which created some issues for me.  For some reason, I had a lot of issues measuring the disposable bag with the Bismarck tip.  I ended up with curd (hehehe – I have no idea why this word makes me laugh) all over my hands as it squeezed out from around the tip.  I would have taken a picture, but my hands were covered and if I ruined my phone, my husband would kill me.  I did manage to get them filled with at least the tiniest bit of curd.

Now let’s talk about the sweating…

We are having an unseasonably warm spring in the Chicago area.  It has been in the 70s and 80s for most of March… MARCH!  If you’re keeping score, last winter/early spring, we had a blizzard that dumped 24-inches of snow on us and this year, it was bikini weather.

Not that this body would EVER leave the house in a bikini.  I wore a turtleneck the entire 2 years I lived in Hawaii.

Anyway, most large retail buildings don’t have their systems set to kick on the air conditioning until May.  I’m going to assume that the building in which Michael’s resides is one of them.  The room was blazing hot and unfortunately not only did it affect my deodorant’s ability to keep up with body odor, it also affected my frosting. 

Keep that in mind as we take a drive down My Memory Lane with the pictures.

First we practiced the DROP FLOWER.  The technique is holding the tip just to the surface, letting the frosting build up around the tip and then remove the tip/bag letting the frosting form upward.

If you look to the top left, you’ll see one that kind of made it.  Unfortunately, the frosting wouldn’t stand straight up (even after I added about 1/2-cup of powdered sugar) because of the heat.  Of course, my technique wasn’t the best either.

Next was the SWIRLED FLOWER, which took the same technique as the Drop Flower except added a swirl.  Luckily for me, the floppy icing could be hidden a lot easier with this technique, although it still didn’t look as perfect as their flower.

The ROSETTE was a little easier to do with smushy frosting.  You start with a star and swirl around to make a circle finishing it off with a slight tail.

I’m not sure how this happened, but my SHELL looked fantastic!  You create a bulb with a lot of pressure and let the pressure off as you pull away from the bulb creating a tail.

I think my POMPOM FLOWER suffered from several things: droopy icing coupled with too much powder.  Yeah, I know it doesn’t make sense, but I think the frosting would have been too stiff in normal circumstances.  So as it made a strange shape from being too thick, it also drooped.

We practiced making LEAVES for a while and then I got brave enough to add them to my ROSETTE.  I have to admit, I was really proud of them.

I can’t believe I’ve always struggled with frosting cupcakes because using the tip and a bag, it was incredibly easy.

Look at how gorgeous this cupcake looks!!!

Building on the frosted cupcakes, you add a couple of leaves…

And to make the SHAGGY MUM you pipe out a bunch of spaghetti looking strands, building up until you get a lovely flower.  It should look a little something like this…

And mine kind of did… until I was showing it off and dropped it on the frosting.  I sat in horror staring at my cupcake.  I believe I went through the same emotions as the day of The Great Cupcake Disaster.

This is what I was left with…

Sad, no?

So tomorrow is our last class.  Don’t feel bad about it though because next week I start TWO MORE CLASSES.  Yes, I could barely keep up with the homework and practicing with one class and now I’m going to be doing two classes at once. 

I’ll let you know how the final project turns out until then… Happy Baking!

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