Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cake Decorating Techniques

One thing I really love about pastry school, and especially my latest class, is the chance to get to experiment without having to worry (okay, directly worry) about the cost. At home in my own kitchen, I would never have a reason to make a cake that had four differently designed sides that I can't sell or even really use for portfolio pictures. But in school, I've already paid for those little square blocks of styrofoam like three times so pass 'em on over! 

My assignment with this "cake" was to use different techniques in mixed media to decorate each side separately. There were components that I had to put on there, but we had creative licence over most of it. On the side above I used royal icing to pipe the border and drop the delicate little strings from the cake onto pastillage bases. For more examples of string work, check out this baby shower cake too.

On the next side I did a ruffles leading up the side in gumpaste. You can cover whole cakes with ruffles like these which is a look I like a lot. Hanging down the side is a lace applique also made from gumpaste, similar to the ones on the side of the lace cake I made for a wedding last summer.

This side has more strings hanging from a crimped edge. Of all the sides, this one is definitely my least favorite, but it was still good practice to work with a crimper. The border is a rope made out of fondant.

On the final side I did a border out of a fondant rope, cut to have a "crown-like" edge. The butterfly is extremely tediously and tiny piped royal icing and the banner and buttons are also made out of fondant. I like the fondant banners and swags a lot and think they'd be perfect on a wedding cake for the right event. Lots of great ideas and practice came out of this class and there's still a lot more where that came from.

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