Savoriesnsweets’ Blog

Posts Tagged ‘fondant

Now what??  I’ve completed all the Wilton cake decorating courses that are available to me locally.  My life revolved around cake: baking, design, and decorating.  And I LOVED it all!  Yes, there were moments that were frustrating and yes I can see a lot of my mistakes. But, I learned a LOT and I can see a serious improvement.  Remember my first fondant cake? Even though my fondant was saggy and bumpy I knew I was onto something.  Unfortunately, this cake obsession has taken a toll on other things in my life.  For example, I was delinquent from my Daring Baker’s Challenge this month.  Not for lack of trying–I did try to find the suet and the pudding dish, but there was always work to be done on a cake.  I’ve also fallen off the workout wagon, since I’ve been too wrapped up in making all the items for cakes and unable to spare any time for my elliptical trainer.  This weekend I’m even going down to Maryland to check out a cake show.  I’ve never been to one so I’m excited to see what goes on and maybe take a class or two.

So what kind of cake was I so focused on making to end this course?  A shoebox cake!!!  I also made a lid out of another layer of cake, tissue paper from gumpaste and a shoe from gumpaste.  I even made a matching little purse to go with it. The cake itself was a lemon buttermilk pound cake with a french vanilla buttercream. It’s not as detailed as I would have liked, but it’s a good start!

Shoebox cake

Any suggestions on what I should do next??

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The past few weeks have been very hectic.  I’ve been getting over a cold and my mother has also been quite ill.  Unfortunately, I was unable to complete my daring baker’s challenge because I was just not feeling well at all and I’ve been trying to help my mom since she’s been ill too.  But I did manage to still complete my Wilton Course 3 cakes.  Since I haven’t done too much fondant work, I also made some other cakes using the techniques I learned in the class so that I can improve my skills and really familiarize myself with fondant.  I also tried a few different recipes since I had most of the ingredients around the house.  I have to say that while I do love working with fondant since it just creates such a sophisticated look, I still think that cakes are not really complete without some kind of piping work.  I was glad we got to learn more piped flowers in this class, but of course, I wish we were able to practice more.  I’m really looking forward to the next course which focuses on fondant and gumpaste! Here’s some shots of my most recent cakes from wilton 3.

This is a peanut butter and jelly cake filled with strawberry jelly and iced with cream cheese buttercream. This was the first fondant cake from my wilton 3 class.

This is an almond walnut pound cake filled and iced with french vanilla buttercream. I used the royal icing flowers from a previous wilton class.

This is the finale cake for my wilton 3 class. It's a vanilla bean chiffon cake with a lime curd and a coconut rum buttercream. The cake is covered in fondant and the boarder is done in buttercream shells. The roses and leaves used to top the cake at the end are made from a mixture of fondant and gumtex. The flowers and leaves were attached using royal icing.

Since I had leftover batter from my finale cake, I made these peep cupcakes. I didn't have enough peeps for all 12 so I used royal icing flowers from a previous wilton class.

Usually for Valentine’s Day I like to make a red velvet cake or red velvet cupcakes.  This year I decided to try something different.  While I was figuring out what to get my honey I thought he’d also like something sweet.  Since we’re both making an effort to be a bit healthier this year I thought cakes or cookies wouldn’t be the best idea so I decided to try something different–chocolate raspberry truffles and chocolate blackberry truffles.  Since he loves both berries I figured he’d enjoy this treat and the chocolate makes it appropriately decadent for Valentine’s Day.

I started by searching for a good recipe for the truffles.  Luckily, I found one here, but I did make a few changes. Of course the most major change was that I included blackberries as well as raspberries.  Also, instead of coating them in cocoa powder, I opted instead to give each berry an additional coating of just melted chocolate and then I streaked them with white chocolate.  I used a mixture of Valhrona 71% dark and Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate.  I also had some white chocolate that I used to streak the truffles when I was done.  The results were delicious and decadent!

Another fun treat for Valentine’s Day were Erotic Cookies!  I attended a workshop hosted by Pastry Chef Danielle Moore all about decorating erotic cookies.  Many of the cookies were very adult in nature which made them all the more fun!!  And once they were decorated they really came to life!  I really enjoyed this workshop since it was my first time decorating cookies with fondant.  And of course, yummy cookies are always a great treat!

Spring is synonymous with new beginnings and March was a month full of new beginnings!  I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve been working on some of those new things.  School this week was focused on poultry and meat fabrication.  Basically, taking the animal product in its most primal state and creating cuts that can be cooked in the kitchen.  After poultry we worked on beef and then veal.  I have to say this week, I can say that I’ve managed to do some complicated meat fabrications, including trussing, and I feel like I know what I’m doing.  That’s always a good feeling in school!

At home, I was also beginning to try a few new things.  While practicing my medium dice potatoes, (which is a LOT more difficult than it looks) I decided I should use up the scraps and make fries.  I did double fry and heat up my oil.  Unfortunately, my finished product was more greasy and clumpy than anything else.  I did however, make a successful batch of onion rings for the first time ever!  I had no idea how simple they were to prepare and it was great watching them puff up in the hot oil.  I now want to try to make some beer battered onion rings since those are my favorite. These sides went with the barbecue meatloaf I made for dinner.  It’s a simple enough recipe where I just take a pound and a half of ground beef and add some cumin, salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne pepper.  I also add an egg to bind it all together and about a quarter cup of good barbecue sauce.  The meatloaf is always really flavorful and moist every time I’ve made it.  This more than made up for having soggy fries.

While waiting on my meatloaf, I was working on a chocolate cake.  It was a simple chocolate cake, with a coffee flavored creme anglaise buttercream frosting.  I got the recipe out of Bakewise, a great book that goes into the science behind baking.  I really like how each recipe is broken down and explains different concepts.  It’s a great way to learn about science and have some fabulous dessert!

Not only were these recipes new to me, I also tried to decorate them using fondant.  I’ve NEVER EVER used fondant before and I’ve really only seen it on Ace of Cakes.   Yes, I’m a fan of the show and I do secretly just want to make cakes and decorate them all the time.  Alas, I’m in the culinary arts program, but I do think that’s the best way to get a well-rounded culinary education. Anway, my cake was very tasty–moist, yet very chocolatey.  And the coffee creme anglaise was a nice complement in flavor and texture to the cake.  The fondant was a different story. It was difficult to work with.  I had trouble getting it even and it broke in a lot of spaces.  I’m glad the cake tastes better than it looks.  I did try to have the cake look like a spring cake with some bright colors and a nice flower that I made from a cut-out tool. Here’s some pics of my first ever fondant cake.

View of the top of the cake

View of the top of the cake

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In this shot, you can really begin to see how uneven it really is and now I mangled the fondant at certain points.

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This is probably the most uneven part.  I couldn’t manage to cover the cake well.  I did 1 layer of fondant for both layers of the cake so it was rather heavy after it was finished.

Have a slice!

Have a slice!

One I cut a slice, I also really realized I didn’t level the cakes before icing or putting on the fondant.  Still, I’m glad it tasted MUCH better than it looked!