Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Decorating Course.... Part 1

I know I know, I just did a post on a decorating course. But as I mentioned in the earlier post, this new course is a much more professional course, and after just one session, I'm in love with it. I learnt quite a lot, and was even excited enough to come home and practice what I'd learnt the next day :D

I learnt how to bake a rich fruit cake, and the basics of how to pipe with Royal Icing. Below is a detailed account of the session, do read on :

The guys who I'm learning from, and all the other students and Catholics. For some reason, I don't know if this is something that happens only here in India, but they lovvve the rich fruit cake. Every occasion warrants a few of those cakes. So ofcourse, they taught us that, and I can now bake one perfectly, even though it's not something I'm used to.

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They then taught us how to make Royal Icing, with real egg whites. Moving onto the piping, the part I was really looking forward to. :D
The first session only involved the basics, such as dots, lines, drop strings, cornelli etc. In the picture above, is the first line I ever made, and I was quite pleased that I did so well in my first attempt. However, I had major problems getting it to work later [not pictured :P]

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That's me trying to do the cornelli and trellis work. For piping, they gave us each a few decorating tips, and a reallly painful syringe type icing gun that people used manyyy years ago. They said they prefer using that, but after just one hour of using that, I gave up, as you can see above. I was just getting the basic method done, promising to practice at home. I still have a sore thumb - from all the pressing on the gun - today, 2 days later!

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That's why, when practicing at home, I used the usual disposable plastic decorating bag. Worked like a charm :)

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I haven't got about to buying a turntable yet, so this is the setup I created. Funny, but it works :P

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Doing the drop strings - I haven't perfected it yet, but it's surprisingly easy. I didn't bother with marking and measuring, I just made them as I felt like :P

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WARNING : Do not try to re-use a tip that has dried up royal icing in it!!!
I wanted to switch back to tip #1 for completing the trellis work on the outer circle, but in the 20 minutes or so that I was using tip #3, the left over RI in the tip dried up. The bag burst all over me, when I thought just squeezing harder would push it all out, and I could use it :P [Yeah, I don't think too practiacally]

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That's the extent of my patience, and sitting in one place do something of the sort. After the bag burst, I was just too frustrated to continue. I justified with saying that I learnt how to do lines, I could always do the rest some other time [As you probably understood by now, I'm super lazy]

Though ofcourse, you can clearly see in the picture, I haven't really learnt how to do the trellis work. I don't like the tip #3 at alll!!! :(

I should improve soon enough, and atleast be able to make straight lines. HOPEFULLY!!

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More on this course - Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11


  1. You u will definately will conquer my dear...m glad you enjoyed the class and i wish to join soon when m back :)

  2. You are doing very well with your string work. Just a suggestion or two.

    * Make your RI a little less wet.
    * Keep it covered with a damp towel while you are using it.
    * Regarding the lace work. Tighten up the spaces a little more. It will look more natural.
    Keep up the good work.

  3. Parita - Thanks for the vote of confidence! You must join it!

    Rose - Thanks for all your inputs. I did use the damp towel, I only didn't think to cover the tip I wasn't using! I will keep the other points in mind when I practice next. I really appreciate it :D

  4. I think your piping looks great. I do have the patience for that! Certainly at great talent to develop!

  5. Looks like great practice!! I need to do this. I've never actually thought about practicing on a pan- what a great idea!!

  6. Oh my working with royal icing can be a pain in the bum. You do beautiful work, keep it up!

  7. First time here....really yummylicious blog....love those cakes and muffins.....nice informative post on deco of cake....

  8. that looks like so much and i think you did an excellent job! i need to take a go at my icing skills (or lack thereof, for me). :)

  9. RecipeGirl - I too read about it somewhere and loved it. Great way to practice without having to make too many cakes :)

    Robin Sue - It sure can. Thanks!

    Kitchen Flavours - Thank you so much for stopping by.

    Kiss my Spatula - Thanks so much. Its really an easy skill to develop!

  10. It looks easy, but it is really hard! Good job!

  11. hey, i'm impressed. i just can't do stuff like this.

  12. Dutch Girl - It isn't really that hard. It just needs practice, and a lil bit of patience, which I don't seem to have!

    Justin - Thank you. Are you saying that after having tried, or not?

  13. I need to take a decorating class!!! I bet you are having a lot of fun! Thanks for the kind comments on my blog! :)

  14. Thanks for the interesting post! I'd love to follow cake decorating courses...



  15. Jamie - I'm totally loving the class :) You deserve those comments :)

    Rosa - You're welcome!

  16. I've had the bag burst on my a time or two=) Not fun, but I love that its much easier to cleanup than buttercream. Great job on piping, keep it up. I think you'll be hooked on to decorating and before you know it, you'll have spent money not only on a turntable, but on tips, spatulas, and other cool decorating tools you'll soon discover=)

  17. YIMT - Lol I just bought a humongous turntable, along with some other decorating stuff! You were so right :P

    Ann - It sure is. Thanks :)

  18. Hey,

    lovely blog you have here...

    which class are you attending? How long is it for?


  19. Raaga - Thanks, and if you give me your mail address, I'll sent out the details to you!

  20. Hey there............. its really amazing to see how talented you are at such a young age.........Can u please lemme know where from you take classes for cake decorating........ i am esp. interested in learning sugarcraft and working with fondant......it would be a great help! Cheers!

  21. Avanika, thanks a lot for all those posts on cake decorating. You bet I am going to be a regular on your blog to read and re-read and try to do stuff myself. Puhleez do also let me know how do I make gum paste at home in small quantities, substitutes that can be used etc. Keep those posts coming!!

  22. Indira and Suma - Sorry I'm so late getting back to you. I think I've responded earlier? If not, please mail me, and I'll give you the details. And cookies to make up for being late <3

  23. Can you please let me know where do you take the classes and also if possible the store where I can get cake decorating supplies in Mumbai. I will like wise send you an email, or betterstill, you can do a blog post for people who bug you for this information.


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