Saturday, January 16, 2010

Combining Wilton Cousre 1, Week 2 cake and book club!

What's baking?
My first cake decorated using the Wilton method!

The first week (Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1) our instructor, Jeanine, went over tools and supplies and demo'd how to tort, fill, and ice a cake.  She is very clear in her instruction, extremely helpful and I was excited to get started.  For the second week we had to bring in a cake already iced smooth (a bit of a time-consuming challenge in

itself!).  We were going to learn in class how to use the star tip, how to transfer a design, and how to write with icing.  I knew the finished cake would not (or should not) be consumed in my house since it's just me and hubby at home now. Hubby is health conscious and does not have a sweet tooth, but don't worry, I more than make up for that which is the reason why the cake should not be in our house!  Book club was meeting this week so I would take it there and share with the group.  

Our teacher gave us an alternate to the transfer method with a cookie cutter imprint for the design to be filled in and the 'textbook assignment' was a rainbow and clouds.  I was not inspired by either and wanted to learn how to transfer an image.  As I was reading my book club selection for the month,  The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, I decided to use the graphics on the cover for my cake- how appropriate (or corny, you're probably saying) to bring to book club!  I needed a copy of the cover to take to class, but since it has writing, it needed to be the reverse image.  I didn't really need an additional challenge at that moment, but after a while I did figure out how to scan the cover, save the image on the computer, rotate it vertically to reverse the writing and enlarge it slightly to fit my 8" cake!   I used piping gel to transfer the image and then buttercream icing to decorate.  My color matching needs practice.  Some colors darken as they stand.  My teacher was great and showed me how to spray on yellow color to get the color a bit more golden and then I used the violet right out of jar since I seemed to be moving the slowest in the class and I knew it would take some time to match the purple on the cover.  Also I knew the colors would look different as soon as got outside of the overhead lighting in classroom.  Any suggestions for color matching other than just trial and error and adding a little bit of color paste as you go?

The cake actually tasted better than I thought it would.  I don't usually use box mixes, but decided that since I wanted to spend the time learning to decorate rather than mixing, I would use a box.  I doctored up a super moist vanilla cake mix with the addition of almond meal and pure almond extract.  The cake looked OK- not too bad for my first Wilton method attempt and an improvement over themed birthday cakes made over the years for my children (I'll post some old pictures when I get a chance).  The time in class is not long enough for me to practice new techniques, process then, and then use it on a final product!  If you have seen the book cover you would probably know that is what it is from.  By the way, The Help is a great book which led to a lively and interesting discussion and there were many compliments on the cake!

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