Humble Beginnings

*Sniff*…

I’m recovering from a sinus infection at the moment, the body is getting feverish every now and then, but thank goodness I’m getting the opportunity to rest and recover, and hopefully I’m better by next week. I haven’t done anything useful today, so I thought I’d share with you a little about the beginnings of my cake decorating journey.

My closest friends and family knows that I love baking cakes. But the one thing that never crossed my mind was to decorate them – back then, I hardly ever have frosting on my cakes because it was deemed too sweet. It was only with the introduction of Buddy Valastro, The Cake Boss, that I started to watch his work and have a slow appreciation for cake decorating. It was also then that I started to develop a keen interest on it.

After much thought, and also with the pressure from my dear friend who mentioned that I should make her wedding cake, it was then I decided that I should start learning how to decorate cakes. Who would have thought this hobby would have become what it is today. So, I signed up for the Wilton Cake Decorating classes with a cake shop in Somerville called Crafty Cakes.

My first course was an eye-opener – little did I realize there was so much to cake decorating. But most of all, all the gadgets and nifty tools you get for making cakes would keep you in a shop all day (and buying the whole shop too!). Sue, the Wilton instructor, was such a patient and pleasant lady showing us how to colour buttercream, make buttercream, putting it on a cake, and simple decorations using different piping tips etc.

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Week 1: Learning how to use a piping bag, and trying to learn pressure control. Smile!

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Week 2: We had to bake our own cake, then bring it to the class to be torted, covered, and then we choose what we wanna do with the colours. I chose the cupcake design, but also tried piping with mixed colours in the bag. Not the best colour combo!

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Week 3: Learning how to pipe different designs on cupcakes, quite a lengthy process but glad this is what I came up with. Still not happy with my colours, in my defence I had limited colours to play with 😦

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Week 4: Finally! My final piece. We could either follow the designs in the book or go freestyle. I kinda went freestyle, especially with the colours. Aren’t they lovely?

 

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Notice the glitter on the Wilton roses? Yeah I did that!

It has been a year since I finished this course, and still there’s so much to learn. I had so much fun experimenting with colours and just tapping into my creative side. Reflecting on the course, I admit that the one thing since and still is my pursuit is to perfect the best buttercream for piping. As much as American buttercream (which is simply vegetable shortening, icing sugar/powdered sugar, vanilla extract, bit of water/milk to adjust the stiffness buttercream) is heat stable and perfect to work with because it takes on any colour, my friends have commented on the flavour of the buttercream with vegetable shortening in it. It’s not the most palatable buttercream as it leaves an unpleasant mouthfeel as well, personally speaking. Since then, I have discovered a different type of buttercream. But I’ll keep that conversation for next time 🙂

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