I went on a Cake Decorating Course last Friday as I wanted to add another string to my bow of Domestic Arts. I had an ulterior motive; I wanted to find out whether I might be capable of decorating my wedding cake next year. I know I can cook a wedding cake, but could I decorate it? So, I booked myself onto Introduction to Celebration Cakes run by Lindy Smith of Lindy's Cakes. It was a fantastic day, and I learnt a lot. The day was divided between demonstration by Lindy, and hands on practice ourselves, and I took some photos to show what I did.
We started off by learning how to knead and colour sugarpaste and then to roll it out evenly. We then used it to cover the base board:
Next came preparing the cake. We had all been instructed to bake a 6 egg madeira in an 8" tin. As I did not have a big enough tin I had borrowed one from a colleague who has a side line in cake decorating. Unfortunately she lent me the wrong size! And my 8" mixture was baked in a 10" tin! Disaster! I was not able to level my cake like the other students as it wouldn't have left me with a deep enough cake to cover. But Lindy had a wonderful solution - I inverted the cake...
and then filled in the gaps with sugar paste...
This was then smoothed off, and you couldn't tell in the finished covered cake, only when it was sliced (and then not as badly as anticipated). The cake was then covered with buttercream, to give it a smooth finish (I forgot to take a picture of this stage), and then covered with white sugarpaste. We used smoothers to give it a smooth finish.
The afternoon was devoted to the decoration of the cake. Lindy demonstrated a number of techniques and tools and then we got to go and have a play! I decided to use cutters, although I also used a roller to make a ribbon out of coloured sugarpaste to go around my cake.
I was really pleased with the result, and my fiance said that he'd be proud to have this as our wedding cake.
I am DEFINITELY going to attempt to do my own wedding cake. I have lots of ideas floating around my head and I am sure I will be blogging more about my plans. We've just ordered a Kenwood Mixer to help me, and first up will be some cake recipe testing and sampling. I'd quite like to post about this so hope that it won't bore too many people - at the moment I can barely stop talking about wedding cakes so it would be a bit weird if my blog didn't reflect that!
(PS: Do you want to see what the disaster looked like inside?
not so bad at all - the extra sugarpaste padding isn't as noticeable as I thought it would be!)
Mazo de la Roche’s Whiteoak Brothers (1954)
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