As I've mentioned before, I have just started to go beyond just baking the cake, and have ventured into the decorating area! Its been about a month since I decorated my first cake, which tasted great, and had a yummy mango curd filling, but was a failure in that the buttercream tasted off. I scraped it off later, and covered with ganache so it would be edible. Here's a pic -
I must warn you, long post coming up!!
After this I was on the lookout for courses that would improve my miserable skills. While I've joined a fondant/gumpaste course, it won't be starting up until next month. A little more looking around and I found a 3 hour course on cake baking and decorating. Though I didn't want to learn anything about the baking, I figured I'd go for the decorating, and may pick up a few tips on the way. Which I did! The lady added glycerine to the cake batter, she said it helps with the shine. Has anyone heard of this/is it recommended?
It was after the baking of the cakes was over that I started feeling nervous. And it wasn't even like it was supposed to be an in-depth course. Just the basics. But my mind was totally screaming - 'get out now, fake an illness'. Somehow I managed to shut that voice up, and braved on.
Yeah, that's whipped cream, for some reason buttercream isn't really popular here in India, all of the bakeries that I've asked said they use whipped cream or ganache.
Anyway she taught us a number of ways to use the star tip. Did you know there are more than 10 ways to do that! I got about 5 done almost perfect, as you can see in the picture above. The rest... well lets just say that 5 ways are enough for me. If you want to learn this, there's a very informative video on youtube, that has all the different ways. I can't seem to find the link right now, I'll update as soon as I do.
Update - found the video
That's the basketweave, which I felt was the easiest tip to use, but still giving the most elaborate results. I got it done in 2-3 tries. :) I could also understand the pain of doing this all over the sides of a cake. I'm in awe of people who do that everyday.
That was decorated by another student, who seemed to only want to use the leaf tip all over :P. We learnt how to use fruits as a filling, something that I will begin to implement ASAP. At this point I feel its necessary to say that though I've done a lot of baking over the past year or so, I've only just started cakes. So even that was something new for me.
Obviously I've saved the best for the last. The rose. That rose. On the cake. Is mine :-) I was soo proud. Since I was doing so well with the rose, she gave the sides to the previous girl's sister, who seemed to love the grass tip :P What is it with those two and using just 1 tip. But I did notice that while the rose looked exactly like how she showed us, the method and the final outcome was quite different from what I've seen on YT videos that teach the same thing. Anyway, I was happy with it as it was, and now I have the confidence to use the YT videos to learn, and not just watch.
So with this course I may not have learnt too much, but it gave me the much needed confidence boost to enter in into the decorating area. Thanks, Mahek. :-)