Oct 29, 2007

Graduation from Course #3

Yee Haa! We are graduates again! You can check out the finished cake...but first I'd like for you to understand what it took to get there so you'll have a better appreciation of cake making and cake decorating. Prior to taking these classes, I thought that cakes, especially 'specialty' cakes were overly expensive. May I say, I'm sooooo sorry?! This weekend, Ashley and I baked 14 layers of cake in various flavors of course, made 76 roses in various stages of bloom, 80 leaves and used 3 different types of icing including buttercream icing, royal icing and fondant (3 of the cakes were for class and 1 was for granddaughter's b'day). We worked well into the morning on both Friday and Saturday nites, stayed up late last nite and she's still working tonite on tomorrow nite's make-up class (the basket weave cake). I have definitely gained a new and true respect for the art of cake decorating. The classes we've taken have taught us so much - Belinda was a terrific instructor and hopefully we'll be able to go forward with sharing what we've learned and our combined talents by making beautiful cakes for others via our newly formed 'Treasured Cakes' cake decorating business.
Check out somne of the other graduation cakes. Ashley's is the gorgeous one with the mauve colored roses. Everyone did a great job!

Oct 28, 2007

The 'Results' Show

We did it! You can see the results here. My granddaughter, Alexis wanted a hot pink and lime green cake for her 13th b'day and although Ashley and I had never made a stacked 2-tiered cake before, with some instruction from our class instructor, Belinda, we managed to pull it off much to our and Alexis' delight.

It was totally unplanned but there were/are 13 'buttons' on top of the bottom layer and there are 13 letters in Happy Birthday. In looking for candles to top her cake, I also found these candles that spelled out Happy Birthday! How neat was that? It all just worked out so perfectly.

You can see how happy she was when she saw it. That's Dylan in the back - one of her 3 little brothers.
Ashley and I had a lot of fun putting the cake together - I worked on the bottom layer and she worked on the top.

I think Ashley's favorite part of putting 'stacked' cakes together is going to be being able to use a hammer - a requirement for getting the wooden dowel that holds the cakes together thru the cardboard that is under the top layer.
Feel free to ck out our Treasured Cakes blog for more pictures (http://www.treasuredcakes.blogspot.com/) as they should be up in a day or 2.

Oct 23, 2007

Big Plans for Big Cakes

A big weekend coming up. Ashley and I agreed (promised actually) my #1 granddaughter, Alexis, that we'd make the b'day cake for her 13th b'day party. And for some crazy reason we even said we'd take on a cake that we've never attempted before (and won't have had a class for until AFTER the b'day party!), a 2-tiered 'stacked' cake (I think that means no pillars). In our elation to make cakes, we promised a cake w/hot pink icing and she wants lime green dots/stripes on it (we'd suggested black but she wants lime green). We've decided to nix the stripes already and will go with only dots. Originally it was our plan to do it w/fondant, but at this point we're thinking that buttercream icing will be more pleasing to all the children. Additionally we have to make the 40 roses for Monday's 2-tiered wedding cake class (Class #4/Course #3) so it will be a busy weekend for sure. Stay tuned for the 'results show' as they say on Dancing with the Stars.

Oct 22, 2007

Cake Deco Class - Course 3/Lesson 3

Tonite's class became a lesson in patience. Seems that more of us than not had a problem with our icing either being too thin or too stiff and then in an attempt to make it right, it seems we went a little too far in the other direction creating a totally different issue. For this particular class, we were to bring several different colors (pink, yellow, green, blue & white) of icing of different consistencies for practicing making Easter Lilies, Petunias, Poinsettias and Morning Glories. None were particularly hard but it was pretty apparent that we need to get the consistency right and practice a little more than the time that we had during class. We were only able to spend about 15 minutes on each flower after doing the prep work (loading the bags w/the proper color and tip, preparing the lily nail with the foil candy wrappers - a lily nail is used to give the flower its shape) and getting the instrux and demonstrations. As much as I hate sharing this particular picture with you....here it is minus the flowers that didn't make it home undamaged.

Oct 18, 2007

My Plumbing Hat....

....obviously didn't fit well, but fortunately for me, my good friends from McCoy Plumbing came through again. These people are the best and if you ever need a plumber, you absolutely MUST call them. They're very responsive and absolutely awesomely (is that a word?) good! Thank you, thank you, thank you James, Ronnie, Beth & Cathy! You've once again come through in ways that I wouldn't have expected and couldn't have imagined. I love you all. And really good treats are coming your way!!!!

Oct 15, 2007

Cake Decorating - Course #3/Lesson #2 - The Gift Box

Okay, this was a big one. Lots of preparation, lots of work and a great big payoff. Check out the 'pre-lesson' picture with the prepared cake that I took to class and a few (and I say a 'few') of the items necessary for this class and our completed cake.

Part of the reason for Ashley and I beginning this cake decorating course, was so that we could learn to use fondant. We hadn't really even considered all the flowers, borders and the like that we'd be learning...we thought fondant....yippee! We'll learn to decorate cakes using fondant and that'll be fun. Little did we know how much fun we'd have, how much work would go into it, how rewarding each and every completed cake would be and yes, how much it would cost (!). But we have, it has been, it 'totally' is and yes, again it is, but it's been worth every penny...I mean $$. We've created beautiful cakes much to the delight of our co-workers, neighbors and Blake ;-)

Check out my completed project (another strawberry flavored cake) and the rose that we made tonite. I think we have 40 of these roses to make for out final cake project which btw is a 2-tier wedding type cake. I'm thinking I need to get started right away!!!

As some of you have already read and/or heard, we have been working out the details of starting our own cake decorating company, Treasured Cakes. We've already received a few orders - much to our delight. We're official now, but are in the process of working on getting our website up and getting business cards. We'll pass those on once we have them. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, yes, yes, yes...working with fondant is every bit as awesome as we'd hoped it would be (although I'm not sure it'd be called tasty) and we are looking forward to our future classes and the opportunity to learn even more using this particular technique and many, many more!

Another First - I Put on My Plumber's Hat...

...and it doesn't fit! I attempted the change-out of the sprayer on my kitchen sink yesterday. It was pretty much an all afternoon/evening job (resting in between) and as of this evening, it still leaks. I found out after my really good friends from McCoy Plumbing managed to find a compatible sprayer for my Moen faucet and borrowed tools from 2 different people AND got the old one off and the new one on, that I should have used teflon tape to avoid the leaking problem. Guess I'll leave the sheet cake pan under the sink for now to collect the small amount of dripping water and attempt it again as soon as I get a chance.
Here's a picture of what that sucker looks like and how tight a fit it is to get up under there. Kindof gross looking, huh?

Oct 8, 2007

Course #3/Lesson #1

Yep, I believe this cake course is gonna be a toughie (is that a word?). Tonite we practiced a lot of different techniques using buttercream icing. The techniques we practiced are called 'Cornelli Lace' and 'Sotas' which both look a little like lace, 'Brush Embroidery' which looks delicate and very romantic, Stringwork which included both Single Drop and Multiple Drop Strings, Bead Borders, Ruffle Borders and Garland Borders. I have to say that I loved doing the 'lacey' things, the stringy thingys and the brushy things, but had some trouble with some of the ruffle borders....seems that I have some trouble with the turning of the 'ole broken wrist in just the right way, so I'll either need to practice that one lots more or let Ashley do those.
This brings me to...we (Ashley and I) have decided to attempt to do cakes 'semi-professionally'. We have named our cake making business....I won't divulge it right yet, but stay tuned and we'll not only divulge it, but will direct you to our website. In the meantime, check out the pictures I've attached from Course #3/Lesson #1.
And just so you'll be prepared (and hopefully anticipating) next week's lesson - we'll be preparing a cake that looks like a gift box using fondant. Stay tuned and thanks for allowing us to share.

Oct 2, 2007

Graduated Course #1 (A little late - but still a graduation!)

Tonite was my make-up & final class of Cake Decorating Course #1. It was all about the roses as you can see. Here is my finished cake. I was really apprehensive about doing the roses after seeing how well Ashley had done, but I'm happy with them, they were fun to make and the class teacher commented that mine 'rivaled' Ashley's. WOOHOO!
Ashley and I have decided to go ahead with signing up for Course #3 which is 'Fondant and Tiered Cakes' (or wedding cakes). We talked about postponing it because of the upcoming holidays, but we're learning so much and having so much fun, we figured why put off the inevitable? We're definitely going for it. Point here is....stay tuned for those cakes (I think the teacher said there would be 2 to make in that class).
I took yesterday's cake (the basket weave cake) to the neighbor's house today and gave it to them. 'Mom' wondered if I'd thought about doing cakes professionally and my answer to that is, "yes!" There are lots of children in the neighborhood w/lots of birthdays. I realize I still need loads of practice, but I'm having so much fun that practice is definitely not a problem. Eating all these cakes is....but so far, the recipients that the cakes have been given to, seem pretty darn appreciative.

Oct 1, 2007

Graduated Course #2!

Tonite was the culmination of all the work we've done to date in our cake decorating class - Course #2. In the previous 3 classes, we practiced and made all the pieces for tonite's cake. Here is what it is taking to get me to that grand finale.
Are you ready??? Here is my completed cake! This has definitely been my favorite so far...although I do have the make-up class, the final class, for Course #1 tomorrow nite (remember? I missed the final class while on vacation?). This one was tough and time consuming, but Oh! so much fun!