Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lovely, intoxicating buttercream

My new hobby started off by chance. By chance, one insanely hot summer Saturday I decided to traipse over to my local Michael's in search of some relief from my monotonous weekend. Some yarn perhaps? Or maybe to take in the vision of all that pretty paper I wanted but didn't need? By chance, I happened upon a table of fliers and an eager, friendly voice that drew me in. Would you be interested in a course in cake decorating? I've always been curious about the techniques one uses for those fabulous cakes that I've encountered throughout my life. What? It's only $17.50 to register? And you have a $5 off coupon? I'll think about it. By the time I wandered through out the store, I had made my decision. Why not? It was nothing I was set on learning, or was passionate about, like knitting, but what else do I have to do? Now would be a perfect time to pick up a new hobby, considering my husband is, and will be gone, for many more months now. Why not?

So began my tutelage. I jumped right in, buying the essential student kit and receiving a 40% off coupon. That's how Michael's gets you to come back, by the way. You can't just waste that coupon! You have to use it! Fortunately enough for me, there was always something else I needed to buy for this new obsession, so this dilemma of deciding what to use it on was avoided. That's how it is when you first start out. Every weekend I went to class, I had to buy something for the next one, so those 40% off coupons saved me a lot of money! I need another kit for the next course and it costs $32?! Fugedaboutit. I'll use the coupon! That handy dandy carrying case for all my cake decorating supplies is $40?! Psh! I have a coupon! Yeah....Michael's got a lot of money out of me!

Tonight was my last class ever. It was momentous. While I am happy that I will no longer need to stay up until 1 am Tuesday nights frosting and covering  a cake with fondant for class the next day, I'm also sad that it's over. In previous courses, I kind of half-assed my final cake, since our instructor is so lenient. Because this was my last class, I actually picked a cake from the course book and set to work. It took me 2 hours to make all the petunias and leaves for the cake I picked. Petunias....grrr!!! They were one of my least favorite flowers to make because mine didn't even remotely resemble petunias. Until I realized the cake I really wanted to make required 18 of them! I'm a master now!

I'm so proud of how this one turned out. I actually tried, and while not perfect, it is quite honestly the most elegant looking cake I've made. So without further ado, here are a few snapshots.

The course book with the picture of Wilton's very, VERY perfect cake is in the background. I really wanted that peachy color for the flowers because I just fell in love with it! After a few minutes of lamenting the fact that I had no peach coloring, I realized I had pink and yellow from last week's lesson and would end up with something close if I mixed them together. Yay!

Here's another view. 

A close up of the dots. Oh, the dots! They more resemble Hershey's Kisses. I was too lazy to let them dry a little to flatten them with my finger tips and by the time I decided to do it, the buttercream had already crusted. I'm sure I'll be the only one to notice the imperfections. This one will go to my starving scientists!

This motivates me to do more. I would love to make a wedding cake!


loquita said...

The cake looks awesome! I love the little dots on buttercream cakes. I can see what you mean about them being flat - but oh well, you know how to make them flat when you're making a cake "for real".

When you have your big wedding, you should make your own wedding cake! If I lived closer I would totally have you make mine. :)

Katie said...

WOW! It looks amazing! Whenever I'm in Michael's I always find myself in the baking aisle wanting to learn to make pretty cakes and decorations on cookies! You might just inspire me to look into classes at Michael's! Would you recommend the class?

d.a.r. said...

Holy cow you are really talented!!! That looks awesome.

Rebecca said...

That looks great! I used to work at Michael's and employees can take classes for free. I really wanted to take the cake class, but the kits were too expensive, in my opinion. I taught myself a few things, but I wish I had taken the class when I had the opportunity.

raecatherine said...

this is so dainty and lovely! definitely looks professional to me.

jlc said...

What an AWESOME hobby to pick up!!

Intoxicating indeed.

(Wait so why is the hubby gone for a few more months? I thought he was coming home soon. :( He deployed Nov 07 right?)

MCNB said...

Great job! Your shells/border looks very good, too. I always wind up with some good, some bad, not consistent. Know what you mean about those coupons! I have more than I need for supplies now. By the way, I'm sure you know that one idea for a cake board is to wrap it in gift wrap appropriate to the occasion and then put a layer of saran over it...