Thursday, October 30, 2008

Excuses, Excuses...

I was really going to get this blog back on track and up to date. And then I got sick. You might think that it would be a good time to blog, but it really takes more energy than I have had over the past couple of days. The real bummer is I was sick enough that I missed cake decorating this week - both Wednesday and Thursday! Tragic, I know. So there will be no cute Halloween themed cakes to share...or any cakes for that matter. The good news: I still have lots to share from my fundamentals [of baking] class where we have moved on to pies, tarts and laminated dough. Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween! And Hook 'em Horns (because there is a pretty big game this weekend if you haven't heard).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Plethora of Cakes

This week has been exhausting. And has not provided ample time for posting. Actually, the only things I have had time for has been school and work...what a glamorous life I lead! But I do have some great cakes to share. There are quite a few pictures so I will keep the words to a minimum. Cake Decorating I ended a couple weeks ago with a two-tiered wedding cake practical; Cake Decorating II commenced last week with more fun character cakes - football helmets, sports balls & dinosaurs. We have a lot more freedom to create all types of fun cakes and I have so many fun ideas! But until then, here is a look at my most recent work.

The "practice" cake


...and Rosebuds

The Final

Side View

The Other Side

Front View

and the back

I like to think this is why Texas is still ranked #1

Is this the number of a Heisman winner?

If you know my family, then this cake needs no explanation...


One of my new favorites...I even gave her a name!

"Lola" the Princess Dinosaur

T H E E N D.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Big Tex says, "Howdy"

The Ferris Wheel

Last week was practicals in bakeshop (we have to bake something we have previously made in class sans group to assess our proficiency in learning the concepts we have covered in class). This week we started pies - key lime, chocolate creme, old-fashioned apple & peach sour cream - but we were so rushed at the end of class on Tuesday trying to clean that I totally forgot [gasp] to take pictures of my our group's pies. So long story short, I have no recent bakeshop pictures to share. In place of baked goods I will provide you with State Fair of Texas pictorial. Above, the Texas Star Ferris Wheel might be my favorite Dallas landmark.

A quintessential Fair experience....

Enjoying a Fletcher's Corny Dog in front of Big Tex

Me & Laura
I wish I could have been there for Game Day....

Site of the GREATEST game EVER!!!
Texas 45 Oklahoma 35

Not at the Fair, but Texas - OU is another great Texas Fall tradition....

Hook 'em Horns

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wedding Cake Techniques

Cake Decorating I is coming to an end...but fear not, because Cake Decorating 2 will commence next week so there will be plenty more cake pictures and a lot of new techniques.

To prepare for the end of the class we started learning wedding cake techniques. On Wednesday, we worked on cornelli lace. I applied other techniques I have learned over the past several weeks (six?) to add detail to the cake.

Thursday, we learned how to stack. Let me first say, this might be my LEAST favorite cake. I did a poor job icing the cake, I am not really satisfied with the color palette, and during the decorating of the cake there were several disasters. And I am not being overly dramatic with that statement. At one point my parchment paper broke and the icing and tip fell on the side of the cake. It was not pretty, but I just did what I could since I didn't really have enough time to stack, ice and decorate another cake.

Two tiered "Wedding" cake

String work, Rosebuds, Reverse Shell Border

After I admitted to myself this cake would never live up to my standards I just through some decorations and borders on the top layer to practice and so I would have a finished product.**

Our final class period is on Thursday, so I will really need to refine my game on Wednesday so I can do well on the Final practical.

**If we decided not to bring our cakes home, they are sold at a bake sale.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cooper in Cake

Last week we learned some new techniques in cake decorating. On Wednesday we used the projector to create an image on cake. The cards we used were stock images from a file box our instructor provided us...they were all a little cheesy...I think they might be thirty years old, but I decided to have a little fun with it. This is the image I chose:

After placing the image in the projector I used a black piping gel to outline wherever you see a black line. After the image was outlined, I used the airbrush to fill in the image with the appropriate colors. It kinda looked like a big mess because the rainbow colors were running into eachother and I, of course, could not deal with an ugly cake. I decided to pipe in the icing on the rainbow and flowers so the final product was a blend of airbrush and buttercream piping. The clouds I actually always planned to pipe with white icing to give it some texture.

"Have a Great Day!!" Cake

Our instructor encouraged write a message on the cake to practice our writing. It reads, "Have a Great Day!!" I thought it went with the image. An check out this shell border:

Two-tone color shell border

On Thursday our task was to create a shaggy dog cake. Now anyone who knows me knows that as soon as our instructor charged us with a dog cake my cake had to look like my own adorable dog. Since Cooper is not a shaggy mutt, I had to do some improvising. Using the techniques I learned from the hamburger cake I was able to create a smooth, round dog. I then used an airbrush for the coloring. I think it turned out so cute! You can hardly tell the difference between the cake and the actual dog...ok, maybe that's going a little to far.

Cooper the cake

Cooper the dog
Look at that handsome pup!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Move over Krispy Kreme...

Did you miss me? I know I am getting seriously behind in this blogging business and I definitely have some delicious pictures to share - be prepared, there's a lot!

I'll start with bakeshop...We ended our time with breads and rolls last week. On Monday we made doughnuts and corn muffins; Tuesday was soft rolls with dough we prepared on Monday.

Chocolate icing & chocolate sprinkles

Vanilla icing & rainbow sprinkles

As you can see we were able to ice our doughnuts with vanilla or chocolate icings and accessorize with chocolate or rainbow sprinkles. Our group did half and half and tossed the doughnut holes in cinnamon sugar. It was a great (read: delicious) day! But I think the cinnamon rolls still get the blue ribbon for best day ever.

Corn Muffins

Corn muffins are seriously the easiest thing to bake. I feel so Southern now that I can make corn muffins. All I need now is some fried chicken. Paging Paula Deen...

Single knot rolls

On our final day of breads we made single knot rolls. We portioned our dough into 2 oz. portions, rolled our the dough and tied it into a knot. The sheen on the rolls is from an egg wash that was applied prior to baking. The culinary side had made an awesome herb butter the day before which we were able to use when tasting our rolls in the bakeshop.

This week was practicals. We usually bake in groups, but for practicals we make the product individually. I don't have any new product to share, but next week we start pies. Tomorrow I will try and catch up on my cake decorating.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Au revoir, basketweave

I feel like it's been a million years since I talked about cake decorating (on the blog. because I talk about cake decorating in my everyday life all the time). And I have some cake pictures to share.

Last Wednesday was our midterm which involved a written portion and practical. The requirements for the practical were the following: a.) Basketweave; b.) border; and c.) flowers. Obviously our instructor looked at other details, like whether our colors compliment each other, if our cake is centered on the cake board and icing the cake.

the basketweave midterm

For my cake, I did a white on white basketweave so I could easily hide any mistakes. I did a dual border I did a shell border (in aqua) and just a dot border (not really a technical term, in yellow). I did some half daisies around the edges with a chrysanthemum in the middle.

On Thursday, we moved onto new techniques: baby shower cakes and figure piping. Our instructor asked us to try and do two cakes so we could do a baby shower cake and to a cake practicing other figure piping (like cute little bears, dogs, piggies, etc.). There are some people in class who can decorate two to three cakes each class period. I am not one of those people. But I was able to on Thursday.

the baby shower cake

The baby cake is a little cheesy, but my rosettes and border look great! And the cake says, "Babylicious" Why, you ask? Why not?! I didn't really know what else to write and I didn't want to say, "It's a Girl!"

My second cake, on the other hand, was totally cute! It is definitely one of my faves from this semester. Oh, notice how there are NO figure piped animals? That's because I suck at figure piping. After three attempts of a cute little bear that someone mistook for a cat (true story) at one point I just decided accept that figure piping is not for everyone.

the cake without figure piping

Plus, I got so many more compliments on this cake than the strange looking blue bear/cat type animal. The only issue I have is my center design is way off center. But I think the color palette, borders and dots totally make up for that, don't you?