Day 7 of our class... whew! Moving along quickly and we are already halfway done!
Today was a finishing day for our four-sided cake. Yesterday I covered the cake in fondant and applied decorations of fondant as well. This morning, Chef C gave us a demo on how to decorate with royal icing. I learned a lot of cool new techniques. I think this class is also teaching me to have patience in a HUGE way! I had to remind myself that I am always under a time constraint, and good enough is good enough. I have to be patient and not let the icing (or whatever it is that's making me frustrated) win! I once had a meltdown over pie crust in front of my fiancé. At the time, I was so frustrated about it. Looking back, it's funny now, and certainly nothing to get upset about. Today, I wasn't about to let some icing get the better of me.
I started off making a batch of royal icing. Basic ingredients are:
-Acid (if you choose)
Super easy and quick to make up. I mixed it for about 10 minutes to get it to stiffen up considerably, then got to work. One required component was a large lace point. This is a piece made of royal icing that stands up off the cake, is intricate, thin, and looks like lace. I chose this cornerpiece design, tracing the design onto a cheapy piece of acetate paper.
Super fun to do, but also scary because these can break very easily! It was secured onto the cake with some more royal icing. As an added bonus (and because I wanted to), I also did this monogram piece, but stuck it on the side of the cake. Fun!
The next component is called a "runout" and these are typically seen on sugar cookies. It gives a nice, glossy and perfect surface. I stenciled the design on, watered down my icing to the right consistency and colored it, then did the runout:
The hardest component for sure was this part, called "extensions". Apparently these are really popular in Australia, but no one here in the USA will pay for the added expense because they don't appreciate it! I think that if executed correctly, it can look very beautiful. The idea is to get the royal icing strings as close together as possible without touching. We only had to do one small section, and this probably took me half an hour, and for every 4 strings I'd get on, one would stay without breaking. Ew.
Another component was stringwork. This part got me pretty frustrated, but I kept my cool. Stringwork is supposed to hang away from the cake, so I stacked it on the crimped border. The strings kept breaking and falling, it was so hard to get them anchored!
The last two components were a piped border (I did pearls, easy!) and 15-20 small lace points. These were easy but killed my hand afterwards! Then I had to carefully attach them to the cake with more royal icing:
Nice effect, eh?
My piping homework went sooo much faster today! I brought home some cheesecloth to strain my lumpy practice buttercream, and the piping was like a smooth dream! Whew!
Work wasn't too eventful unfortunately. I helped locate some recipes in the database for a healthy foods cookbook. I'm not a fan of computer work, but I AM a fan of having a job!