I was delighted to be able to attend a course this week, I love learning new skills and improving upon old ones.
My cake style is very much naked or buttercream cakes, with fresh or sugarpaste flower decoration some recent examples:
I usually steer clear of fondant cakes as I really feel they don’t play to my strengths, but that said lots of people prefer fondant covered cakes and they can give so much more scope in terms of a highly personalised and decorated brief.
I have had some successes but always feel I could improve my finish, with strategically placed decoration hiding and slightly less than perfect covering.
So I decided I would try a course that has been calling my name for sometime on Facebook by CakeyBake.
The course promised to teach a ‘shabby chic’ wooden cakeboard cover, how to cover and fill a cake with ganache, how to then cover the cake with fondant to get really sharp edges, painting with metallic dusts and how to make a wafer paper flower. The resulting cake left little room to hide imperfections and it was a lot to cover in one day but I was up for the challenge.
My first quest was just to get there – the course was just over an hours journey but of course the M20 was closed and the A21 had a major accident so I had a lovely diverted route through the little woodland roads of Kent, all very pretty and I still made it in time!
The course was held in a lovely airy church hall and as I arrived there were 4 other ladies already in place with Kirsty from Cakey Bakey flying around getting everything ready that we needed for the day. I won’t go into detail on all the methods we were shown but want to give you a flavour of the course.
We soon got underway, the cake already and ganache already supplied, our first job was to cover the boards. We got to choose the colour we preferred and Kirsty showed us a really easy way to produce a wooden plank effect which we then white washed for that shabby chic feel.
We were then shown how to trim split and fill a cake to get a good height and even finish and finally made our wafer paper flowers
It was amazing to see with the same direction and instruction how personal our designs were becoming.
Kirsty then demonstrated how to trim and cover the cake with ganache to get perfectly upright edges and sharp toplines.
She made it look so easy and I was sure mine wouldn’t look anywhere near as good but actually with a bit of effort and some top tips we all achieved beautifully ganached cakes. I really felt at that point I should quit whilst I was ahead it was already the neatest cake I had ever made so I was happy.
We were shown how to make a good ganache with some excellent tips on how to achieve a good setting mixture without splitting, and what to do if it did split! Then time for the dreaded covering.
Kirsty yet again demoed a how to and off we went. My hands were shaking, literally! Everyone there was a hobby baker most of whom baked for others too and all of whom seemed to have much more fondant experience than me. The thought of ruining my lovely ganached cake with dodgey fondant absolutely terrified me but I followed Kirsty’s instructions and TaDah I did it! Special corner tools and smoothers help get that nice sharp topline. Although my fondant was a tiny bit cracked on the edge (I probably should have kneaded it a bit more) and i perhaps could have gone sharper – I really was over the moon with the result.
The final flourish was to semi dry brush on the metallic dusts and place on the board, with a finishing touch of some raffia ribbon, the flower placed and we were done.
Everyones cakes were amazing – lovely individual styles within the same brief.
The course ran really smoothly with Kirsty having time for everyone, we all took our own lunch but there were teas coffees and snacks available as well as plenty of cake cutoffs. She had lots of lovely tools for us to purchase at the end – us cakers do love a bit of kit!
I will definitely do another course with Kirsty, she is very approachable and knowledgable and I learned so much that maybe I will shake just a little less next time I have a fondant cake to do!
If you would like to see more of my cakes please visit my Facebook page – BecksBakes
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