Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fondant Fun & My New Job!

I had a long day, but it was really fun for the most part! This morning, Chef C gave a demo on how to finish our four-sided cake fondant project. We were given a list of components that we have to include on the cake. It is pretty much a hodge-podge of techniques, so it doesn't look like a real cake, but it's a great way to practice.First I had to knead my homemade fondant until it was soft and smooth. I was going to use the marbling technique to color it, so I dropped in a bit of blue, purple, and neon green food coloring.

I carefully kneaded it just a little bit because the rolling pin action would help marble the colors even more. Once it was rolled thin and wide enough to cover my cake, I rolled it up on the pin and then rolled it over the styrofoam dummy cake.

These are smeared with shortening to get the fondant to stick. Usually on a real cake, you've pretty much got one shot with getting the fondant on. There's no picking it up and shifting it over if you did it wrong or tore it. Too bad! Mine worked out alright. I then set to work smoothing it out from the top down and then trimmed the bottom off flush to the "cake".

The fun part came next with doing the decorations. We had a bunch of colored pieces of fondant left over from past classes to use, so I tried to pick some that would look complimentary with my colors. We had to do at least three borders, so I did a rope border, an onlay border (the one with the red stars), and a border with a pressed top design. So fun! The pieces are all glued onto the cake using a bit of water.
The pastillage piece in the middle is drying and tomorrow I will connect royal icing in strands from the top to the pastillage piece. Very intricate work!

In the above picture, you will notice some crimping. We had to do this, but I really hate the way it looks. We have a LOT of cool tools available for cake decorating, and these crimpers look like large tweezers with designs on the ends. You just press it into the fondant and squeeze. Whatever!

We also had to do some swag (fun word!) and drapes. The trick to these I found was to roll the fondant thin, otherwise the weight will pull it down! I had to work quickly with these as well because they started to dry out really fast.
Finally, I had to include an example of pressed/applied design. This was done using a silicone mold. The one I chose looked like lace, and I only used half of the mold and cut out the pieces that I wanted and stuck it in the center of the top of the cake:
Tomorrow we will finish this up after a demo on royal icing. We have more to add to the cake! Whew!

Tonight started our first nightly homework of piping. UGH! Normally, I enjoy this. But my partner had made the buttercream pretty lumpy, and we have to use very small pastry tips, so every 5 seconds I would get a lump! Thankfully my wonderful roommate let me use some of her buttercream for certain parts. I'll post some pictures once it looks acceptable :) We have to do this for five nights. I can't wait for it to be over already!

Today I started my new job! I had the interview yesterday and was offered the job on the spot! I know the department is in need of people, so I was happy to accept and have a job again! It is with the school's publishing department, and I am a publishing assistant. I help the editorial project managers with their projects, doing research and helping out in any way I can. The books the school publishes are ALL about cooking and baking, of course! Five minutes into my day after meeting everyone, I was ushered upstairs for a cookie tasting! One of the chefs is working on a cookie book, so of course there are recipes to test! There were six kinds and we got to taste them all and make notes on evaluation forms. So cool! Wow!

So I guess I will be helping with the new cookie book. I met the chef who's doing it and he seems like a really nice guy. Unfortunately I will never have him because he only teaches for the bachelors students. Today I had to do some data-entry type stuff with different cookie recipes. I got to see how they come up with the recipes for the book and tweak them. It will be really interesting to see the whole publishing process and what projects I'll get to do! The job doesn't pay much at all, and it's only 3 hours a day, but it's money, I'll learn something new, and it'll look great on my resume!

Sleep calls!

1 comment:

Marnely Rodriguez said...

Ahem, you were excited about publishing dept. So was I. HA! Remember those days?!!?!?!?

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