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Friday, April 30, 2010

Wilton Course 4 - The Final Final!

Well this is it. The final cake class, the final exam, the final cake! There are no more courses after this one. This course we worked with fondant and gum paste. I had hoped for no contact with vile buttercream, but alas, there still was some. It was limited, but still the disgusting concoction of shortening, powdered sugar, fake butter flavoring, and meringue powder continues to haunt me. Gross.

In class the week before the final final, we made several different flowers from a gum paste/fondant mixture. I was actually rather pleased with them. Here are my daisies...

Cute huh? And here is my carnation. A carnation is pretty labor intensive, with several steps involved. But I was very happy with my outcome. I painted the tips with food coloring and the picture shows that it's still a little wet, but all in all, a pretty decent effort here.

Now as I prepare for the final final, I had to make a cake, fill it, frost it and then cover it with fondant. The decorating would take place in class. Here we go again! Boxed cake mixes are not my friend! I baked it, cooled it and then planned on trimming and freezing it. Well the trimming went fine. But when I picked up the layer to place it in plastic wrap to freeze, that is when the problem arose. The cake fell apart in my hands!

Urgh! It didn't seem like it was all that fragile. It was completely cooled. These dang things just don't like me. They're sick of me talking smack behind their backs about making scratch cakes and leaving them on the shelves. It's payback I tell you! It's a boxed cake mix revolt!! They'll show me, and they sure did!

Well, I smooshed the cake back together and wrapped it up tightly, determined to get what I needed out of this damn thing, which was a canvas for the decorations to come. The second layer stayed intact. Thank goodness.

When I took the cakes out of the freezer a few days later to prepare for class, the broken cake stayed together, fused by freezing. I would use it as the bottom.

With no other real options I filled the inside of the cake with vile buttercream, then iced the whole thing with the nasty stuff too.

Then rolled out my fondant and began the smoothing process.

It smoothed pretty well, and so I was ready to head to class for the... say it with me, final final.

The first part of class we learned how to make a fondant candy box. You can make this and put it on top of a cake and fill it with M&M's or jellybeans or tiny fondant flowers. Whatever floats your boat. Me, I think it's kind of ugly. Well, no... not ugly but just not something I would put on top of a cake.

Granted, I took the photo before it was totally dry and the lid would be stiffer, but still. Meh, just not my thing. It came out good though.

So now it's time to decorate our final cake. I had a plan and I was only mildly confident I could pull it off. But I wanted to do it. It was my last hurrah! I had to give it a shot. So I found a photo, I found black fondant and I got to work! Since my classmate Jill decided to be a slacker and not even bother to make a cake for the final (HA!) I put her to work on the border for my cake. And while we only got halfway finished in the time that was left of class, I am rather pleased with the result!

Oh yeah it's a zebra striped cake! Black fondant is a little messy and if you use the gum glue (made from a small amount of gum paste and water) as adhesive, it can bleed the black into the cake. But all and all, it is my tour de force!

Thanks to Jill for the help. Your balls are magnificent lol. Thanks to Alicia for putting up with me for 4 courses. And to all the other ladies I've met along the way. It was great fun, thanks for putting up with my cursing and my constant chatter. Alas, I don't think I'll ever be hired by Duff or Buddy. But it was fun and I did learn a lot =)


Karen said...

Love it Kathy! You are so talented...it's absolutely beautiful!

Anna said...

I think it's awesome! You did an amazing job, and you should be so proud you stuck it out. The only reason Buddy or Duff wouldn't hire you is because they'd be afraid. Very afraid. Food Network would snatch you up for your own show in seconds!

MsZin said...

Nice flowers. Love the zebra cake. Great balls! I'm glad you're finished with the vile buttercream.

Aishah said...

I'm thinking of enrolling on this course in the UK but the material, such as the toolkit, is very expensive. I'm not excellent at design but I would like to learn. Do you think it's worth it?

Kathy said...

Aishah, look for deals on the materials online and then go for it! I learned a lot. I'll never be a master cake decorator, but I'm glad I took the course. Some of the techniques will definitely stick with me. Good luck!