Week four is our final week for Course 1 and that means only one thing... the dreaded rose. Granted, I totally psyched myself up for absolute failure. I'm just not at all artistic. But onward I went, armed with a cake that I won't have to throw out this week. I did use a boxed chocolate cake, but only because I had already bought it before I decided that my final exam should actually be edible.
I knew the decorating had to be done with the aforementioned vile buttercream but the actual cake could be icing with whatever we choose. So for my money, there is no better frosting than good old ganache. It is the absolute easiest thing in the world to make. All you need is one bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips put into a bowl and one cup of heavy cream. Heat the cream (but don't scorch it!) and then pour over the chocolate. Let sit for a couple minutes then whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for about an hour. If it's too hard to spread as a frosting, just microwave it in 10 second increments until you get the desired consistency. I used the ganache as my filling and as my frosting. I also brushed each layer of the cake with cold coffee, to give it a little something extra.
Now it's time, time to get down to the business of rose making. After asking around to the others in the class what color would go best with the chocolate frosting, pink seemed to be the consensus of what would go best. So pink it was. I colored my icing and we started practicing. Roses are not easy! They are in fact, quite a process from the base, to the wrap, to the petals (first three, then five, then seven!). Most of us seemed to really have trouble, especially with the icing staying smooth and not giving us a ruffled rose. This is my first attempt at a rose and you can see how ruffled it is, making it look more like a carnation than a rose.
Continuing on, we all worked very hard on our roses and quite frankly, I decided that if I were to pursue cake decorating I'd probably end up with carpal tunnel syndrome! It is very hard on the hands and the wrist.
We also practiced making leaves, stems and bows.
And now it was time to put our practice to use and decorate our cakes. Armed with six pink roses, I was ready to make my cake look special. To make it look like a bouquet, I put a little mountain of icing down first and then would place the roses on and around the mountain.
Switching to green icing now, it was time to make my leaves and my stems.
You can probably tell that I still have a bit if a shaky hand. My stems are a little squiggly.
I was actually rather pleased with how the leaves came out. So much so that instead of doing a bow, I decided to instead make more leaves.
Once I was finished, I decided to try my hand again at the shell border. I'm having a bit of a difficult time with my positioning on making the shell border, but I think I can improve with practice. I always found that shell borders look very nice on cakes.
It was not coming out at all how I had hoped so I switched to a star border mid way though. That was looking much better.
And here is my diploma! I had a great time in the class. And loved meeting everyone who took it at the same time. Thanks to our great teacher Alicia and to Patty for taking the class withe me! And special thanks to Rhett for my cool little surprise :)
I'm hoping to take Course 2 in July, but it may end up being canceled due to not enough people signing up for the class. If that's the case, they offer it again in October, so I'll just take it then.