Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Flowers and Cake Design – Class #3

Good Gravy!  This class is just flying along!  And not just the number of classes we’ve gone through already.  The class itself seems to be over as soon as it starts.

I learned a lesson this week that I feel like I should share with you because no matter where you take this class, you probably won’t hear it.
If you get royal icing on any facial hair and it dries, be prepared to lose some hair.
You’re welcome.  And no, I will not tell you how I found that out… just take my word for it.

What we covered this week from the class lesson plan, as listed on Wilton’s website, is in the RED BOLD text.
  • Basic Principles of Cake Design
  • Gum Paste and Fondant 101
  • Button Flower
  • Pansy
  • Making Royal Icing
  • Making a Parchment Bag
  • Flower Nail
  • Rose Base, Rose Center
  • Apple Blossom, Primrose
  • Rosebud
  • Wilton Rose
  • Daffodil
  • Violet
  • Using the Lily Nail, Lily
  • Guidelines for Flower Arrangments
  • Floral Cake Design
  • Making Stems
  • Reverse Shell
  • Basketweave
I came armed with royal icing in every color of the rainbow.  Okay, that’s stretching the truth a little… I had pink, yellow, violet and green.

Last week we practiced making Rose bases and this week we finished it.  While they both start the same, this is quite different from the Ribbon Rose we learned in Basic Cake Decorating – Lesson #4.  That’s probably a good thing since my buttercream ribbon roses didn’t look too hot.

The Rose starts with a base that is closed.  Then three layers of leaves are added in steps.  It differs from the Ribbon rose in that each layer is comprised of smaller leaves, not a single layer.  Here is my best one from the night:

© You Want Me to Cook?
Finished Rose
Does this flower kick butt?  Why yes it does!  No, no... no applause is necessary.

We then moved on to Daffodils.  Using the same technique as the Primrose, you create individual petals by starting at the middle, piping up to a point and then back to the middle.  The trumpet is a simple spiral in the middle with a zigzag line over the top.

© You Want Me to Cook?
You’ll notice that I don’t have the zigzag down pat yet.  My icing was a little too runny and I scraped it off because it looked like the trumpet was melting.

Next was the Violet which is one of my favorite flowers.  I can’t keep them alive, but my grandmother used to have tons of them and I remember staring at them in their terrarium for hours. 

This flower is incredibly tiny – about half the size of the other flowers.  I included a picture from Wilton’s website of the violet on its template.  The template is about the size of a half-dollar and most flowers stretch out to the outside border.  Overall, it’s about the size of a dime.

© You Want Me to Cook?

We finished the class with the Lily.  This flower isn’t piped by template.  It is actually piped into a mold called a lily nail.  You create each petal starting from the base of the mold and pulling it out to the edge of the mold.  You pipe a center and then blur the lines to make it look like it is part of each individual petal.  Finally, you drop in some pre-made stamens supplied by Wilton.
© You Want Me to Cook?
I wasn’t impressed with my lily at all.  In fact, I think it kind of sucks.  I think I need to let the icing fan out more instead of pulling straight up.

I guess that’s what practice is for.

Next week is our final class and our final project.  Part of it will be the Basketweave technique using buttercream. 

*sigh… I really like working with royal icing and I can’t make a good batch of buttercream icing to save my life.

I have to figure out my design and make a bunch of flowers since they have to dry.  Wish me luck getting them to the class still in one piece.

Until then… happy baking!

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