I'm finally getting around to getting some pictures up of last week's cake lesson. We made our first cake using fondant and I'll be the first to say--it's not as difficult as it looks! I really enjoyed working with fondant. If you like making cut-out cookies, then you might like it too. Essentially you are just rolling out the dough and cutting out shapes and strips to put onto the cake. Even the bow, which looks extremely difficult, was actually quite simple. I suppose the only downside is time because it is rather time consuming, but when I think about it--what cake doesn't take a lot of time?
As my friend Darcy quickly found out this weekend (when I came to help her make a cake for her boyfriend's birthday) cake decorating is 70% prep work and 30% actual decorating. Before I even came over, I had Darcy bake the cake and buy the ingredients to make the buttercream icing the night before to save on time. Making the cake on the day-of would be way too stressful and your cake would suffer as a result of having to rush through everything!
At the earliest, I recommend baking a cake three days prior to the event and icing and paper-towel smoothing it the night before. You could decorate the cake that night or put the finishing touches on the following morning as long as you make sure to give yourself plenty of time to play around with ideas and get creative!
I showed Darcy how to make homemade buttercream icing, how to ice the cake, paper-towel smooth it, and use the various decorating tips. She chose a cake out of one of the Wilton cake books my mom bought. She wanted something to tie in with her Hawaiian/Tropical theme and with the tropical looking flowers on the cake, I think it was the perfect choice. We had a few issues with the cake--it came out lopsided and at one point Darcy nearly dropped it, but luckily with my mom's cake leveler and Darcy's catlike reflexes, the cake managed to pull through in the end. And apparently it tasted good too because the entire thing mysteriously vanished by the end of the night!
Next week will be the end of Course 3 in cake class and I'll have pictures of my graduation cake--my first tiered cake made out of fondant and covered in fondant roses. Stay tuned!