Thursday, November 27, 2008

wilton class 3: not-so-lazy daisy

Tuesday was the final day for Wilton Class 3. After four weeks of working with fondant, learning how to stack cakes and and how to pipe Easter lilies and poinsettias, it came down to this:
I am quite pleased with the way it turned out. When I took it into work today, they were all quite pleased with it too :) So how did we get here? Well, first it started with a sketch.

Even before that I was researching. I wanted to do a fondant cake because you can do some spectacular things with fondant but I was torn. Commercially made fondant tastes like garbage. Most adults peel it off to eat the cake. The occasional 10 year old will gobble the stuff up. Making a cake that was pretty but didn't taste good goes against my basic philosophy of life so I hit the 'nets looking for a solution. On the Cake Journal blog I found a recipe for Marshmallow Fondant. Much mixing, stickiness and one truly unholy mess in the kitchen later, I had delicious fondant. Now the fun could begin.

I searched through Flickr for ideas and found this cake which served as my jumping off point. (Don't all artists work from reference material?) Once I had the concept and the cakes ready (thank you Shannon & Co.!) the next step was covering them in fondant.
Right around this time I realized I had accidentally created an almost perfect Smurf blue. But plans were already underway so the Smurfs will have to wait for another day. Once the blue fondant was smooth, the next step was adding the stripes.
Once they were (mostly) evenly spaced around the cake it was time to firm up the foundation. Four wooden dowels went into the cake to support the top layer which was also on a cake board of its own for stability. Then I used a cutter and doubled up the cut outs to get enough petals on my daisies.
At this point you might be wondering how much equipment it takes to put these things together. Oh, about this much:
All the table space in the Wilton classroom really helped. Plus we've had 12 weeks at this point to gather our wares and made liberal use of all available 50% coupons Michael's would give us. That and a little concentration took care of most of it.
Well, that and time. Start to finish, not including bake time (or cleaning) I think I spent around six hours on this cake. Good thing I enjoyed the process. It really helps it you do something like this with other crazy people who make you laugh. (Which is kinda impressive because really, there are no good fondant jokes and you quickly resort to simply making fun of the guy from Food Network who insists on calling it fon-DAHNT.)
This is a view from the top with the cake all boxed for transport. And here's a close-up. It's a little hard to see in this photo but I painted the white balls with iridescent pearl dust. They came out all shiny and sparkly.
Ta-Da! So there you have it. And the very best part? It tasted FANTASTIC!Not to be outdone, Kendra did this snowman cake for Coli. I thought the nose was my favorite part. Then I saw the buttons. Maybe the poinsettia is my favourite because I made that bit. I think pretty much the whole thing is my favorite part. (That's Suzanne, our excellent instructor in the background.)
Shannon got really fancy and brought the pillars out to play for her cake for Amanda. All of the lilies on this cake are handmade out of royal icing. If you look at the large version of the photo you can see the stamens that are placed individually with tweezers. Shannon went through more than a pack of them.
If you've ever thought about delving into the world of edible art (or just like playing with your food) I highly recommend the Wilton classes. We had a really, really good time learning all about the wonderful world of cakes. I'm a little sad it's over even though I am ready to take break from making three batches of icing after work. Then again, we are going to a one week cookie class next Thursday . . .


Mom & Dad Colvin said...

WOW - what else can I say. Outstanding work everyone. So sorry I didn't get to taste any of them, maybe next time?

love Mom XX

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mum, Wow. Claire it's fantastic. EXCELLENT

lots of love Dad xx

Darcy & Sharon said...

Amazing cakes! Love the daisies and the snowman!

dr riptide said...

Amazing, Claire! Such a cool skill to have. Maybe you can show me how to do that when you come visit =) I have to say, I like your cake the best of the 3 that you showed. Yours looked the most fondant-y. I think the fact that it was blue helped that. Nice work!

Beck's Bulletin said...

WOW!!! Those cakes were amazing.....and I have to agree that yours was delicious! Thanks for sharing with us at the office.