Tonight’s class was not only our last time to put the finishing touches on our three-tier cakes, it was also our last chance to learn more about swags, bows, and roses all made of fondant, and “string decorating” with royal icing. For my cake, I started out with a blue and white rope around the second tier but Chef Tai thought an all-white rope would be prettier. You decide!
Sandwiched between the dummies was a six-inch real cake. We could take the whole creation home but there is really no room in the Teeny Tiny Apartment for it. I decided to leave it and be content with pictures. After we cleaned up the kitchen, we toasted our success with champagne (or sparkling apple cider). Chef Tai handed out our certificates. Here’s our cake gallery.
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I enjoyed the weekly classes at the French Culinary Institute. At least three of the women there were professionals who owned their own bakeries or cafés and were taking the course to learn more about cake decorating. Me, the neophyte, didn’t even own a Kitchenaid stand mixer and didn’t know how to operate one the first day! Cake decorating is like sculpturing. You are faced with the limitations of your medium; you can make neither stone nor cake fly but you can make a representation! However, there are no limits to what you can imagine.
The chefs at the Institute were very generous and helpful, sharing their tips for success as well as their expertise. They came right to your side to consult, whether it is a design issue or the truly tragic, such as why my fondant mixture failed. That’s why store-bought fondant is such a time-saver. The ingredients are not expensive but the equipment investment can be substantial. Should I invest in a stand mixer? Do I really need a $40 extruder? That answer depends on how seriously I want to get into cake decorating. It was expensive, just under $1000 for 25 hours, but I found out that if I take another course it will be discounted. And I already have the uniform.