Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wilton Course I Finale Cake

Tonight was the final session of the Wilton Course I. From my practice roses, I thought the cake was going to look homemade. But, that's what I get for trying to read ahead and make them without the teacher demonstrating. (That IS what I paid for, right?) So, after watching the demonstration, I saw exactly what I'd been doing wrong, and voila! Wonderful buttercream roses!

Here is the final cake:
Not that we were eating grocery store cakes before, but definitely not from this point on! I'm not ready to make wedding cakes or anything, but I think I can outdo the folks at the local grocery store.
Course 2 starts next week, and I'm definitely excited. I'm not sold on that finale cake design with the basket and the birds and what not, but excited none the less. See ya next week.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Those Darn Wilton Buttercream Roses

The Wilton Course I finale is a cake decorated with a spray of buttercream roses. I'll be making this cake on Tuesday, and am not sure how it will turn out. I've been practicing for about two weeks, and think I may be getting the hang of it.

My early attempts weren't too bad, though they definitely were not great (see picture below):

I did realize that my frosting was too stiff. Thinning the frosting a bit helped. I also tried to thicken canned frosting and that worked great, except that the roses were very sticky. But, it was a good cheap and fast alternative to whipping up a batch up decorator frosting.

So, the problems I am encountering:
My base cone is to narrow, so that when any pressure is applied when forming the petals, the whole thing leans and the flower is lopsided.
When I get to the bottom row of petals, there isn't any room for me to get in there with the piping tip.
Do any of you Wilton alums and cake decorators have any advice? All tips are appreciated.
In any case, I think I like mine better than the "textbook" Wilton rose. I feel that they look more natural/organic. So, I'm not sure if I want to change them up too too much.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chocolate Cake Copy Cats

So, last week, I made a chocolate cake to take to a get together with some school friends. It was chocolate cake (Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake) with chocolate buttercream frosting. I used the Wilton recipe for chocolate buttercream; one, because I had not yet tried that recipe, and two, I wanted a consistency that would let me practice my new cake decorating skills. All was well until I tasted a dab of the frosting....

Not what I was expecting. For whatever reason, it didn't taste right. It didn't taste bad, but something was off. It tasted and even smelled...sweeter? The only thing I could think of was that I had run out of regular vanilla in the cake batter and had had to use the Wilton clear vanilla in the frosting. Well, since it was still pretty good, I went ahead and frosted the cake with it using a star tip.

At the party, a couple of people commented on the "something extra" in the frosting, and one asked me if I had used almond extract. And then it hit me! When I grabbed the bottle of clear vanilla, I didn't read the label to make sure that it was vanilla. It actually was almond extract. The two bottles are identical except for a colored stripe. Mea culpa.

So, the cake was an interesting flavor, but no one seemed to mind. Another interesting tidbit is that another friend at the party who is from Canada, wondered where I'd gotten the cake, as it looked exactly like a cake sold only in her country. She said the cakes were nearly identical, right down to the disposable tin foil pan. My mistake cake even tastes identical to the Canadian cake! How funny is that?

My cake:

The Canadian cake, "McCain's Deep and Delicious":

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My First Cake

Well,...not first cake, exactly. But it is the first cake I made with skills from my Wilton Cake Decorating Course I. I think it turned out pretty good! I'm already planning cakes for my birthday in a few weeks, and my husband's birthday in September. Stay tuned...

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