Monday, April 7, 2014

New Classes coming!

Wilton is refurbishing and refreshing all the classes, starting with Course 1--Building Buttercream Skills, which will begin in May 2014. My first class starts, in Lisbon (Michaels) on Sunday, May 4, from 10:30-12:30 and the classes are only $20 now! If you take the New Crazy for Cupcakes stand-alone class for $10, you get a $10 coupon off the Building Buttercream Skills! The Crazy for Cupcakes class is a good basic introduction to cake decorating with the Wilton Method and is designed to show you some skills, and get you excited to start Cake Decorating! Here are some examples I did for the class yesterday:

One other new thing is that Wilton is Certifying instructors again!  I'm one of the first (since I jumped right into the exam in as soon as they put it online!) I'll post my certificate when it comes in the mail! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hand-Painting Your Decos

Handpainting cakes is the latest trend that I'm in love with.   The images below are lovely hand-painted cakes by Jamie Hoffman of Yuma Couture Cakes in Yuma, AZ  (Thanks to Jamie for permission to post her pics!)

Tuscan cake

Tuscan cake--detail

You can paint on Fondant or a layer of royal icing, or wafer paper--though fondant is the easiest way to get a good result. Regular icing gel color is mixed with a small amount alcohol--vodka, gin, everclear, or lemon extract (83% alcohol)--which allows it to be transparent, like watercolor, and dry very fast so your fondant doesn't get gooey. A little water doesn't hurt either. If you want a more opaque color, or a softer shade, adding a little "White White Icing Color" by Wilton will do the trick. Luster dusts, or petal dusts can also be made into "paint" by adding alcohol. I usually use a clean soda bottle cover as my little paint pot. Large amounts will dry too fast.

Hearts and Kisses

Happy February!  Hearts are the thing for Valentine cakes and cookies.  Smocked or quilted fondant, and royal icing or gum paste flowers are made for decorating Valentine cakes.

There are plenty of cookie cutters to make fondant hearts, they come in assorted sizes, serrated or straight edges, wonky or traditional.  Use a smaller cutter to cut out a heart-shaped hole in a larger cutout, inlay different colored small ones into the larger holes for a different look.

Quilting designs can be made with the pointy-edged rolling cutters, and the smocked look can me made with the back of a knife or the edge of a spatula to make ribbing, then pinch with a flat ended tweezer in offset evenly spaced spots covering them with little royal icing stitches,

All the flowers you learn in the Wilton Classes are usable for any of your Valentine decorating needs!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Homemade Marshmallow Fluff

Sorry for the long delay between posts, but fall is a busy season for me, and I went to Florida for a week, too!

Here's a handy recipe for this holiday season, it makes great s'mores topping if you can't toast marshmallows!

Homemade Marshmallow Fluff
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1.     Stir together the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer.
2.     Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Start whipping the egg whites to soft peaks on medium speed. (The goal is to have the egg whites whipped and ready, waiting for your syrup to be drizzled in. If they’re whipping faster than your syrup is coming to temperature, just stop the mixer until the syrup is ready.)
  1. When the syrup reaches 240°F, reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly temper in about 2 tablespoons of syrup into the egg whites to warm them
(Tempering in means to add a little of the hot stuff slowly to warm the whites before adding the main amount, to keep them from cooking from the heat added too fast).
  1.  Slowly drizzle in the rest of the syrup. Increase the speed to medium high and whip until the marshmallow fluff is stiff and glossy, about 7 minutes. Add in the vanilla and whip 2 minutes more. Use immediately or refrigerate stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

This is similar to the traditional Seven Minute Frosting, which makes a great snowy frosting for a winter cake:

Fluffy Seven Minute Frosting
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.     In a saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 242 degrees F (firm-ball stage). Meanwhile, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl until foamy. Slowly pour in hot sugar mixture; continue to beat on high for 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla. Continue beating until frosting reaches desired consistency, about 2 minutes. 
I've made Marshmallow Fondant (MMF) using 7 oz of marshmallow fluff instead of the marshmallows, and it turned out great.  I'm not sure if the homemade version would work the same, but it's worth a try!

 If you do make MMF, just after you begin to mix in the sugar, warm up a small ball of Wilton Fondant in the microwave for no more than ten seconds, and when you start kneading the MMF, just knead in the warm fondant for a perfect consistency, great tasting fondant!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gingerbread Demo this Saturday, Dec., 7:
Lisbon Michaels--10 am-12noon
Dayville Michaels--2pm-4pm

Come by and see what's in the Wilton Gingerbread House kit!!

Find out about upcoming classes, and Wilton products.

Wilton Method Cake Decorating Classes make great holiday gifts!!  
A 4 week Course (one 2hr class per week) is only $22.50 plus materials and supplies--special discount coupons for Course 1 will be available only at the demo.

Stop in and see what a fabulous gift package you can put together for your favorite baker!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dia de Los Muertos--Day of the Dead!

Day of the Dead Cake Project Class is coming the day before Halloween: Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 6:30-8:30pm, provided we get enough sign ups--so sign up early if you can so you have time to bake a great cake and get your stuff together--make sure you get a syllabus when you register! It's a buttercream cake with a few bits of gum paste and fondant--new uses for the skills you have learned!.

Spooky Cupcakes

I did a Show-in-Tell demo at Michael's in Lisbon today, and these are the resulting cupcakes:

All easy to do with techniques learned in Course 1 using just a few tips: rounds:1, 2, 3, 5, 12 , the basket weave tip:47, the grass/hair tip: 233, small leaf tip 352; a few colors, some sprinkles and sixlets in halloween and fall colors, and a spatula. I had some ready-made "eyes" and voila! fun characters for your party!