Tuesday, May 22, 2012


It's been a week and a half since Wilton, and I've spent a lot of time "brainstorming".  I've done a little practice of decorating techniques at home, and I've studied our downstairs for possible "renovating".    I even contacted the Georgetown Board of Health about home kitchen requirements - I"m addicted!

I broke down and took another class - with Amanda Oakleaf (again)!  This time I signed up for something I never thought I'd give a chance:  FONDANT
Why do you ask that I"d never give it a chance?  I"m one of those people who believe nothing should be on a cake if it's not edible.  Fondant tastes horrible! No, really, it does.   So, why bother?  I'm trying to be more accepting.  It's huge in the cake world and if I want to ever get ahead, I need to learn how this technique  is done.  There are beautiful cakes out there with Fondant!!!    Brides LOVE fondant decorated cakes! 

Why Amanda Oakleaf's?  Her Cakery specializes in Fondant (amazing artists work there), and they only use something called Marshmallow Fondant which supposedly tastes much better.  Her staff recently met up with Duff from Ace of Cakes and he was even impressed with their fondant from what was said.  So what did I think?   Ok, it's "edible" .... still don't love it and I hate to leave anything uneaten on my cake plate :)  But it does taste better than other other one I've tried!

The class was great!  Tim and Julie who work with Amanda taught the class.  I had seen Tim on some you-tube videos on-line.  He has a great personality and it was nice to come home with a few recipes!  We learned how to make their signature "marshmallow fondant"(got recipe, too!) and then covered our small 3-tier cakes (with Itlalian Buttercream on them!!!).  It wasn't as difficult a process as I thought it would be.  Then we did some simple fondant decorations.  Of course you're waiting for some pics!  Here is the outcome:

                      Bottom pic -  my favorite!  Cutting in and enjoying the CAKE!!!

Not too bad!  They do offer a Part II class I may take where you make a 'tiered' fondant cake.   I still think I"m much better with buttercream, but I"m keeping an open mind and want to learn all there is to learn out in the cake world!

I will keep you posted on my downstairs renovations and where I'm going with the whole thing!  As for my "real" job at the moment... my vacation ends in a few days (so sad)...... and I'd rather stay home and make cakes  :)

Have great day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Last Day of the Masters!

I did it!  I completed the Masters Course and even received a certificate of graduation - yayyy!!!
We had a tour of Wilton Headquarters this morning.  It was interesting - especially the history of Wilton - got a pic of this Holly Hobby cake pan from the 80's - mom, why didn't you do a Holly Hobby cake for me?  Loved her!!!  :)
We didn't get to see the decorating room where they do the cakes for the yearbooks, ect. because they were renovating.  I learned of the Wilton "tent sale" that runs the beginning of June (something like the 1st-11th)- up to 75% off items!!!  I may have to hop a flight for that one!

We headed back to the school for our graduation and snacks and CAKE!  Lorena, one of the instructors, made an amazing almond cake with a "sauvignon" filling - YUM!  (no idea why I didn't get a pic of that)  She made snacks for us over the 2 weeks ~ unbelievable pastries, muffins, ect.... but for some reason I never came home with a list of recipes???  (I'm going to have to make a phone call...)

I received 2 certificates, 1 for the Masters Course, and 1 for the Gum Paste course:
(Here I am receiving my certificate in khaki's and a hoody with sneakers - I love the casual lifestyle of decorating!):

(Above: Debbie, our Master's instructor - she put up with my decorating for 2 weeks!  She's amazing and such an inspiration!  Even if my lilies were too skinny :)  thnx for all the "constructive criticism" - it will make me the best I can be! xoxo)

Me and my friend, Kim, displaying our cakes:
Kim and I have "donated" our cakes to the Wilton School.  There is no way I could have went home with 4 pieces of luggage and 2 cakes.  Working for the airlines, I know that the cakes would have been disasters when I got home.  It's ok... I  know it's in good hands!  I hope to go back to the Wilton School again in the near future!  They have a great list of courses and it's such a beautiful area to visit.  Hmmmm..... do you think I have a chance?  Should I work on a business plan?  I will keep you posted on my future!  Thanks so much for checking out my blog!!!  Bring on Cake!!!  xoxo

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 9 ~ Wilton Master Course

Today was the final day of decorating at the Wilton School - yayyy!  I finished my wedding cake!  :)  (I can graduate tomorrow)  Another fun day!  We worked on our cakes from 7:00 until we completed them.  All the cakes from the class were beautiful!  Very different and unique - I will share the pics from class.  First, MY CAKE!  (don't forget it was styrofoam - need some excuses right at the start):
                                 (This is what I started with!  6, 8 and 10 in. styrofoam pieces that I tried to frost)

My final cake!!!  I went with a more "feminine" style - I made peach petunias (royal icing) in white, pale peach and then some a few shades darker.  The top layers of each tier are an "e-motion" border, the bottom borders are rosettes.  My top layer is "corinelli"  lace that I outlined in kind of a pearl- like looking border.  My middle tier is drop flowers with drop strings and bottom tier is vines with drop flowers.  
I did it!  I know it's not "perfect", but I've come a long way and I"m happy with it .... my first wedding cake design ever :)

Here are some cakes from my classmates - all so very unique and beautiful:

I had such a great time here.  Tomorrow we get a certificate saying we completed the Masters Course and we get to eat cake!!!

I'll share the final day with you tomorrow - thanks so much for following my progress!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 8 ~ Wilton Master Course

Today was  a good day!  I had a lot of fun decorating the "sampler" cake.  We divided our cakes for this project into 8ths, and for each section we had to do specific techniques on all of the top, sides, and bottom of each section.(fyi: cakes are made of styrofoam - not an easy task to frost - that's my excuse for the bumpy layer of base coat frosting)  It was a great review of putting together everything we've learned.  I actually think it came out ok  :)

Here are some pics of my day:
                              (above: zigzags w/ lattice, ruffles with zigzags and a reverse shell)
                                (above:  Colonial Scroll on the side with rosettes on the bottom)
 (above:  shell border (bit lacking) with fence post and double overlapping string and drop flowers - craziness - hoping I don't have to do that one again!)
                                         (above: puff border with drop flowers in between)
                                    (think my rope border above was the best thing on the cake - not the ruffle on the  side, though - my strings aren't even)
                                               (clusters of rosebuds and sweet peas above)
 (top in middle flowers: petunias, a lily, pansy, daisies, carnations, 1/2 carnation, wild rose, rosebuds and drop flowers)

The top of the cake was any kind of arrangement of flowers that we made over the past week. (I had about 20 roses but didn't seem to feel liking including them)  The heart was a "color flow" example that we did - my icing was  a bit on the thin side, but now I know - I"ll get it right next time. :)  The heart in the middle is my dog, "Kota's" name (there is no way I could fit more than 4 letter's in that heart with my handwriting!) 

So there it is!  What do you think?  Tomorrow we put together our wedding cakes - woohoo!  No idea what to expect with that ~   Keep your fingers crossed for me.  I will try to get pics of my classmates cakes so you can see all of the amazing talent in that room!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wilton Master Course ~ Day 7

Just when you think you've learned all the icing techniques that exist!  THERE ARE MORE!!!  :)

This morning we spent the first 2 hrs. working on our wedding cakes.  I made pale peach drop flowers.  We were told to always make extra:  I think I figured out 40 or so drop flowers for my cake so I made about 70 - think that should be enough? :)  I also worked on some pale peach petunias.   
I brought some icing back to the room this evening - more practice.  I want the petunias to be PERFECT but I can't expect that after just a week!  The color is very light so I think I'll throw a few darker ones in there.

(oh... you should see some of the wedding cake drawings in our class ~  You'd think we have architects and artists galore!  AHHHH!)

We also learned how to highlight flowers with "pearl dust" today.  I'll probably add some "shimmer" to my flowers.
We learned how to "wire flowers" and watched a demo with piping gel.

AND we learned the last of techniques for the course:   The "Reverse Shell" and "Colonial Scroll".   Here is what I came up with from those 2 techniques:

Tomorrow we work on what is called our "sampler" cake (mine I might call "circus" cake)  This cake will be divided into 8ths and will include ALL the techniques we've learned since the first day of class.  I will be sure to share a pic.... no matter what :)

Two more days of class and then GRADUATION! (I hope they serve cake - can you believe with all this frosting we have not had any real cake to eat???)  

 I"m almost there!  I can do it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 6 ~ Wilton Master Course

It's the 2nd week of the Master Course ~ almost there!  I am absolutely exhausted of flowers at the moment.  It was an entire day of flower making.  How am I going to remember all of this?  "Youtube" is a great thing!  :)

Today we learned how to make the following flowers with the Royal Icing:    Victorian Rose, Wild Rose, Primrose, Daisy, Daffodil, Pansy, and Bachelor Button.  I"d say I did "ok" with the flowers - nothing great - need a TON of practice.  I fought quite a bit with the Daffodil today.  She just wasn't cooperating with me. (hence why I have no photo of that one!)

Here are 2 pics from today:

The top pic is of the "wild rose" (I know, boring white color, but it's just practice)  and the bottom is the "daisy" ( I really hope you could at least tell that one was a daisy)  They will only get better with practice, right?!

I showed my wedding cake sketch to the instructor and she went along with it.  (probably wondering how I'm going to get it done by the end of the week)

I am so happy to be back to my hotel by 4:00 this afternoon - the 2nd class was great last week, but it was just way too much in 1 day.  This week there was a fondant class in the evenings which I know would have been great, but it just wasn't going to work.  I didn't even bring icing back to the hotel with me today - Needed a night off from flowers!!!  

Have a great evening!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Weekend

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Mine went by way too fast!  It was good to have 2 days off.  What did I do with those 2 days?

First of all, the Marriott Towneplace Suites here in Lombard has been wonderful!  I love our van driver, Kathy, who stopped at a grocery store for us on the way home (yes, it's "home" for the time being) from class on Fri. so we could stock up on some groceries (and a bottle of wine or 2 or ..... for next week).
Sat. I couldn't really sleep in - think I was up at 6:30 or so.  I did mange to get a little jog in and even stopped at a local yard sale.  Did a bit of pampering (manicure and pedicure):
Today wasn't as fun - it was a "work" day!  Back to the cake stuff to prepare for Monday's class so I hopefully don't fall behind AGAIN!  We need to have a sketch of our wedding cake by tomorrow.  Here is what I came up with so far:
Do you get it?  I'm  not quite sure I even do.  Looks like 3 tiers are there.  I am showing some 'corenelli'(sp. again - no clue)  lace on the top tier (lt. peach), some drop flowers with what I call 'loopies' on the middle tier and some vines with drop flowers and leaves on the bottom tier.  I'm going to do very light peach and white petunias on all 3 tiers and maybe a border of rosettes.  What do you think?  I hope she 'ok's' my sketch. (hate to be sent home over a terrible sketch)  Tomorrow we still have to learn a few more flowers and then we start on our wedding cakes and also do a "sampler" cake which features a whole bunch of techniques we've learning and put into 1 cake.  Busy week ahead!

So since I decided to do petunias on my cake, that means extra practice.  So with the frosting containers I slipped into my bag on Fri. (Kim did, too ~ I wasn't the only one), I did a little practice - this is what things looked like on the 2nd floor of towneplace:
(surely that's just a glass of water within that frosting mess)

After several hrs. of petunias, I might be changing my flower of choice ~  Guess it will be a surprise!

Tired and back to a 5:15 am wake-up.  Catch up with you tomorrow!  No late class tomorrow since gumpaste is over.  Hope to get some more sleep this week  :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 5 ~ Wilton Master Course

I survived the first week of cake decorating bootcamp!  Woohoo!!!  I cannot wait to get some sleep tonight!  I was going to take a complete break from it all this weekend but I found myself packing up icing in my bag and thinking I might be practicing roses and petunias this weekend - we'll see! (need my entire wedding cake design by Mon. - ahhhh!) 

Today was a rough day.  We iced our 3-tiered cakes.  That was more difficult than I thought.(I am going to have to completely cover my cake in a basket weave pattern or something to cover up all my lines/bubbles)  I had planned on doing 1 layer in a pastel lime green color but I'm so glad I didn't work with colors today - frosting the layers took me so long I only had  a 10 min. lunch break!  (not so good....long day to be hungry = crabby)

We worked on Lilies, Roses and Petunias.  I am enjoying the petunias (might have to put them on my project)  Need a bit of work, but here are a few pics from the day:

As you can see I used only "white" icing today.   No time for pretty colors for me (I'm in class with pastry chefs and present cake decorators - just trying to hang)!  I am optimistic about my roses getting better.  I promise I will post a better looking rose next week!

 I think I mentioned the first day the class was on the smaller side with 14 students.  The tables are set up for 4 students per table.   All 3 of the other students at my table are "left-handed" - ok, what are the odds in that?  I can't copy anyone being right-handed!  It's just not fair!  :)  (that's my excuse every day if I can't come up with another one)

You may not hear from me this weekend. I hope to make it out of bed for my free breakfast tomorrow morning.  I also think I need to do some sort of physical activity... a run or something?  I just can't sit these long days!  No, I am not going into Chicago to see the city or anything like that.  I'll be lucky to make it to Target 25 yds away to get groceries!

If anything exciting comes up, I will definitely share it!  Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 4 ~ Wilton Master Course

It's Thurs.  One more day this week!  Today was draining.  Lots more stuff. Overload.  It's all good, though.  We started the day with the normal "practice".  That was fine.  We got into the 1/2 carnation (?), carnation, rosebud and then the ROSE.  Carnations were kicking my butt for some reason.  I don't think I even took a picture of any or mine.  Here are some of my practice drop flowers (they actually look much better from a distance):
We had a certain # of each size to make, but of course I did extra since some of them are probably going to find their way to the trash bin.  I do like the look of the "drop flower", though.

Ok, I lied... just found a "carnation" pic:

Here are some of the "rosebuds":
We learned the Wilton Rose right before the end of class ~ I'll incl. a pic tomorrow after my "practice" (if up to par).   Needs  a bit of work!  

I accomplished choosing the sizing on my wedding cake for my final project - bottom tier is 10 in. square, middle tier 8 in. square and top tier 6 in. circle - woohoo!  No turning back ~  We frost them tomorrow!

Today was the last day of Gum Paste class.  Couldn't finish - van ride was there and class went waaayyyy over again (disappointing).  Going to spend some time next week for the final touches.  Here is my Lily and Orchid so far:

as you can see in the above pic I am in serious need of a manicure - think that's what I'll be doing this weekend!

Heading to bed!  After tomorrow's Master Class I have a 3 hr. "Starting a Cake" business class til 6:30.  But you  have to tell me first if you'd ever be interested in having me do a cake for you!!!  :)  Hope to get some good tips!  I'll let you know how it goes!  Goodnight!  xo

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 3 ~ Wilton Master Course

3 days down!  I feel like a zombie!  Lack of sleep is creeping up on me, but only 2 days left of the "long" days.  Whew!  

Today was pretty good.  Learned way too much - my brain is in overload.  During the early class we learned about filling and frosting and torting and crumbing cakes.  Tomorrow we have to have the sizes of our 3-tiers picked out along with a rough sketch of our wedding cake we plan to design (my sketch, of course, will definitely be "rough")  Do you think I even have that decided yet?  I know my bottom tier is going to be square.  Then, I'm stuck (square....circle...too many choices!) - I"ll keep you posted on that - going to sleep on it..... again!

 We did some practice from yesterday ~ Here is some of my work ~There's some string work and ruffle garland and zigzag garland (and I don't know what else thrown in there).

Again, this is just "practice" :)

The Master's Course ran late and right into gum paste class.  I'm very disorganized when I have to rush.  Here is a pic of my messy work station:

As you can see, we did a sunflower, daisy and hydrangea.  (ok ... those are the flowers they are supposed to be)  This gum paste stuff is definitely a lot of work and details!  We have 1 more 3 hr. class tomorrow to finish up putting all the gum paste flowers together.  I"ll be sure to post a final pic from the class!  Feel free to critique me on it ~ I can take it!

Tonight it was a glass (ok, maybe 2) of Chilean Sauvignon and the Bertoli Chicken Florentine with my friend, Kim.  We've got our routine down for these 2 weeks!  So glad she's here with me - lots of laughs to get us through these long days!

Until tomorrow .... Cheers!