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    Monday, October 01, 2007

    How to Decorate

    Katie and I are doing a Cake Decorating Course

    It is being run by Milly’s Kitchen just down the road from us and it is the Wilton Method
    It is a bit like a Tupperware Party, lots of rules and regulations, but I think it will be great fun.
    We have our second class tonight. As I said in a prfevious post... a new skill.

    Today I did the homework which is cooking the cake for decorating...The teacher suggested we made a Betty Crocker Cake BUT!!!!

    So I hunted through “Joy of Cooking”, Old basic cookbooks, Stephanie Alexander, and others to find the perfect cake for this exercise. I thought maybe a pound cake or Madeira cake…Katie suggested Nigella Lawson’s “How to Eat Cookbook” It is a must own I discovered this book about 8 years ago and it was a revelation for the home cook.
    I have been so busy watching the Food Channel I have neglected my excellent collection of Cookbooks.
    Nigella of course had a perfect cake for this job. Simple Victoria Sponge. Page 27
    Basically this is a pound cake.
    At the decorating course it was suggested that to get a perfectly baked cake with a flat top...you make a newspaper collar. Soak it well and tie around your greased and lined tin.
    Apparently this is how our Great-grandmas did it. Wiltons of course for a small fee have a special collar one can buy. I used the NZ Herald sports pages!!!

    This is such a simple cake. Made in the food processor .

    225 gms butter very very soft
    225 gms self raising flour
    225 caster sugar
    2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2-3 tablespoons full fat milk


    Pre-heat oven 180C
    I used 2 x 20cm tins

    Put all ingredients except for milk in processor and blitz to mix.
    Check that it is all mixed well, then while blitzing add 2 tablespoons milk
    The batter should be soft dropping consistency
    Add the rest of the milk if needed

    Pour into tins and bake about 25 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
    It should be golden Brown and coming away from the sides
    Thank you Nigella.
    Now tomorrow I will be taking this into work for morning tea so I hope it tastes OK

    Let stand in tins for a few minutes and then turn onto rack and cool
    Now the Icing.
    The cakes needed to be sandwiched together and I started on the icing.
    Apparently this becomes very easy but I can tell you getting the consistency right a week after being shown what to do was interesting to say the least.

    Wilton supply special shortening and it has to be processed in the processor which is easy.
    There is a meringue powder that is a stabilizing agent I believe.
    There are 3 consistencies for different stages.

    I think I have the stiff one right.

    Then you add more water for the medium.

    Then more water for the thin. Disaster struck it curdled. Luckily I had enough to make another batch. Here’s the cake it’s not looking great.

    I decided to reconstitute the curdled mix…adding more icing sugar.
    Voila it worked. I was able to patch up my cake and I don’t feel too bad.
    It was much easier to apply.
    It’s reasonably smooth or as good as I can get it with my little spatula
    So we are off with our cakes and containers of pre-made icing for our first attempt at decorating. It is to be a rainbow I believe.
    Wait and see.
    I will be posting tomorrow picture of this "Masterpiece" or NOT

    8 comments:

    katiez said...

    What a fun class! My mother loved to decorate cakes and we always had a fancy one for our birthdays! She also did wedding cakes. I've never so much as held a decorating tube in my hand....

    Arfi Binsted said...

    Gilli, I think there's a cake decorating club in Auckland. I am a member of Franklin Cake Decorating Club myself and we learn from one demo to another. Sometimes we meet at one's conference and the next conference will be held in Christchurch in November this year. I don't go every month though, due to my kids needs still pretty much high.
    I pretty much learn from books and have to practice a lot. I hope we can meet one day and practice together! That'll be fun!

    Jim said...

    Whoa, that already looks more professional than any cake I've ever frosted! Smooooth.

    The elegantly decorated, artistic cakes always impress me, but I've got a thing for messily-frosted yellow cake, myself...must be the youngest child in me. :)

    Maryann said...

    Gilli, I don't understand how the newspaper wrap helps. Can you explain it for me? I used to do a lot of cake decorating and had a blast. I wish you lots of success :)

    So Simple said...

    Katie
    It is fun I am going to post my second lesson tomorrow.

    Arfi
    Yes we must get together...I don't know where the time goes. I think after looking at some of your work on the blog I wouldn't like to show you mine!!!

    Jim
    You couldn't see on the photo but there were a few crumbs

    But I'm keeping on trying

    Maryann
    Apparently it gives the tin an even temperature and it did work. Try it.

    Thanks for stopping by I have just been to visit you nice blog

    FindingLaDolceVita said...

    Thanks :)

    So Simple said...

    Maryann
    A pleasure

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