Hi! Welcome to my blog. I am a major foodie, with a haphazard cooking philosophy, currently making that transition from cooking and baking for friends and family to 'wonder if I could make this my career'. Follow me for recipes, the outcomes of a few experiments, and general lovely foodiness. Opinions, reviews and recommendations are all my own.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Cake School Progress Update

Back in September I signed up to a 10 week course in sugarcraft and cake decorating, run by the Worker's Educational Association (WEA) in Sheffield. I found the company by searching for cake decorating courses online, and they have been brilliant, they run all kinds of courses, you can check them out at www.wea.org.uk

I'm halfway through the course now, and the more I learn, the more I fall in love with cake decorating - which is a big deal for me considering just how short my attention span is! We have completed our first project, started a Christmas themed one, and I am already saving up to enrol on the next course.

For project one, we had to make a small arrangement of roses and carnations. As we were all beginners, we had to learn everything from the start, how use flower paste, how to colour it, shape it, and keep it from drying out. The arrangement we were making was held on wires, and over the week we have built up the components, as they have to dry between each element added.

Step One: Creating Stems and Buds
Step Two: Leaves
Step Three: First Layer of Petals
Step Four: Second Layer of Petals

The Completed Arrangement!
I never expected working with sugar paste could be so rewarding, and the possibilities are seemingly limitless. Working with flower paste is such a delicate task, however the results are amazing, and look so realistic! The flowers are totally edible, however we are taught to be careful about the wires in arrangements such as the one above, and advise 'clients' not to eat them.

I had a great opportunity to try a design with sugarcraft flowers last week when a friend asked me to make a birthday cake for her Mum. After looking at a few options, we decided to create a Cherry Blossom design on a Victoria Sponge cake. I have to say that the internet does provide a wealth of ideas for cake designs, and if you have a basic idea of something you want to achieve, you can get some really good inspiration online. I would add a note of caution however not to carbon copy designs you find online, as many professional cake decorators are very protective over the intellectual property rights of their designs.

Anyway, the idea I came up with was a simple, yet elegant ivory iced cake, with royal iced branches, and shaped cherry blossoms scattered across the surface.

Cherry Blossom Victoria Sponge Cake
I was particularly proud of the fondant icing on this cake, as I have struggled a little getting the icing smooth and even so far. I think I have now mastered the theory behind it, a few more practise attempts needed though I think before I can be totally confident. I suppose that means I have to make some more cakes... it's a hard life! ;-)


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