Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cake Class at Confetti Cakes

I had a really fun time in New York with my Mum, but one of the main reasons I was there was for a class with Elise at Confetti Cakes.

We built a 2 tiered square cake in my class. I was really disappointed that I didnt get to decorate it and on reflection I think it might have been more fun to have done a smaller cake and had time for decoration.

Elise is a wonderful teacher, incredibly patient and a total perfectionist. I realised that her cakes are so solid because she takes the time and care to construct them very carefully. I didnt take pictures at every step, but I thought I'd go through the process to remind myself for my next cake.

First we took particle board and cut it to exactly 6" and 9" square for the cakes to rest on. We then took 4 sheets of cardboard and wrapped with foil, dull side up.

We took the frozen cakes and cut them into 3 lots of 9" cake and 3 lots of 6". The middle layer was actually two lots of cake put together, but it stayed together fine. We carefully piped a 1/2 inch layer of swiss buttercream with no gaps, then put the cake together and put in the freezer again to firm up for a couple of minutes.

We cut the cake to make sure it was uniform and left a small gap between the board and the cake for the icing to be flush wi
th the board. This is important, even with round cakes and I realise now that it is very important. It creates a really clean line and really saves time and trouble later.

The next phase was a 'crumb coat' of buttercream. I was reminded never to lift the spatula from the cake, and also to smooth away from the edges. This was tricky and time consuming. A bench scraper was then used to get a really clean line, and the cake was returned to the freezer. For the top layer of frosting, I learned a little trick. We put the buttercream in the microwave until quite runny, it was really easy to apply as a top layer and meant that we didnt have to fiddle around with a hot spatula as the icing was so runny. The cake was put in the fridge to firm up.

The next step was to cover the bottom board with fondant. I'm torn on this, it gives a really nice presentation, but I hate wasting things and it just seems a really expensive waste for me at the moment. I'm glad I learned this, as it is always a nice option for people who would like to spend extra.

Start by rolling the fondant into a square. Be careful to get the thickness even. Roll onto the pin, brush off excess cornstarch.

Place on board and smooth out from the center outwards.

Push the fondant into the board with a fondant smoother until you see a line. Cut with a knife.

If you want to get a knife edge finish to the fondant, you can pinch the edges together.

The cakes were then covered with fondant, which was really hard work. It was really hard to get the fondant smoothed over the corners of the cake. One of the keys is to smooth the fondant on the top, then work downwards. Working with the back of the hand, smooth the fondant down, make sure not to create any creases. This is where Elise became completely exasperated with me being incapable of smoothing down with no creases.

We used a non-toxic glue on top of the fondant base to stick the cake to the base.
A dowel was cut to size and put in the cake to support the top layer. Buttercream was put on the top of the cake to attach the top cake, then the cake was carefully placed on top.
When doing large cakes, it is good to place a wooden dowel right through the middle of the cake. This was actually hammered into the cardboard base for extra stability.

A small piece of fondant was wettened, and added to the top to hide the hole.

Here is my finished cake, very pretty but a bit frustrating since all I can see is the imperfections in the fondant! Thanks so much to Elise for being so patient with me, its given me so much to work with for my future cakes.


adozeneggs said...

Wow! How did you score a class with Confetti Cakes??
Was it super expensive??
Your cake came out beautiful. Looks perfect to me.

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Is that you in the last pic? I'm diggin that shirt!! :D

Jennywenny said...

Yes, everyone loves that shirt! Its a sushi one and it has 'this is how we roll' on it and I get comments all of the time. Another cool present from my lovely hubby!

caninecologne said...

your cake looks awesome! it looks like a lot of work!

and i agree, the t-shirt is cute! i liked that cupcakes shirt you had when i met you last month!

lyndsay said...

superb job!! i am impressed! how fun too that you got to take a class with the confetti cakes guru herself!