Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Cake decorating at Stiletto Studio

I had a weekend of almost non-stop baking last weekend – just how I love it! Fifteen spicy vanilla cupcakes for a Halloween party, two small madeira cakes to decorate and 1.5 kg of buttercream frosting to cover everything in sight. Icing sugar was everywhere!

A while ago, a friend and I came across a Grab One deal for cake decorating sessions at Stiletto Studio in Johnsonville. Naturally, the classes sold out really quickly so we felt lucky to be able to buy vouchers for a beginner's cake decorating course as well as a session on flower making. Check out some of the display samples made by Becs Lake, the owner of Stiletto Studio.
Stiletto Studio display cakes
We began by learning how to make a bow out of gum paste. Each half is formed separately by folding a rectangle of gum paste like a concertina then folded over so the ends meet before being left to dry separately. Now, I don't know why but I all I could think of as I was shaping my bow (and watching it dry) was "ears" – the resemblance was uncanny. The middle of the bow was formed later once the sides had firmed up enough to place on our cakes. This simple technique would look great in any colour and will now become part of my limited (but growing) decoration repertoire.

Now it was time to throw some buttercream around. It’s not as easy as it sounds! We learned the correct technique to layer our levelled cakes (mental note: must buy a leveller) with buttercream before covering them with fondant. I got to play with a cake turntable, which has now been added to my *want* list. I’ve already had experience with colouring fondant and gum paste (and sporting multi-coloured dyed hands afterwards to prove it) so decided to stick with a white base and ribbon, adding colour and texture with the decorations I was creating. This time, the fondant didn’t fall off my rolling pin in the dramatic way it did during the last decorating class I attempted and I was pleased to have a (relatively) smooth finish.

Having long been sold on the miracles of silicone moulds to create decorations, I wanted to experiment with techniques that I hadn't tried before. The bow was a good start and it got me thinking about creating a kind of 'present' look for my cake. I had a go at using a cute rolling tool to create ribbons out of some Regalice ready rolled fondant I'd bought. I loved the result and so had to buy the tool – yes, more stuff for my baking collection.

Then came assembling the decorations on top of the cake and setting them in place with water. Tylose paste could also be used (depending on what you are sticking down). I discovered it wasn't as easy at it looks to paste down a straight ribbon of fondant!

Becs is great teacher, allowing just the right balance of demonstration and hands-on practice time. She's patient and happy to respond to cries of "help!" during class. It was great to be able to play with all her decorating tools and experiment with new techniques. We are very much looking forward to the flower decorating class in a few weeks’ time and would highly recommend her decorating classes for everyone from absolute beginners to those who have already had some cake decorating experience.

The finished product!

1 comment:

Kc said...

Looks great!! :) Sounds like you had fun. It's awesome when the teacher is super helpful, it's nice to get to see how it's done then have a play yourself - much easier to learn that way! :)