Monday, May 4, 2009

Most Ambitious

My 6th cake was a success, if I must say. It was the most challenging cake I've ever done in my cake decorating experience. It took me 4 days to get it all done and I still feel that my preparation wasn't enough. I assembled the cake at the venue since I didn't want to risk having a cake disaster. During the assembly of the cake I felt I was in a Food Network Cake Challenge since I had audience. I was not very early so some of the guest were already there. But it felt very good to get all those compliments from those people since I slaved myself for the cake for days.

Here are things that I learned from this new cake creation experience:

Lesson#1 Be Resourceful
When I started with this hobby I always believed that I can do a lot of things or create things without the help of fancy cake decorating tools. I am a very practical person and right now I don't have a real plan yet of making this hobby into a career. So I felt that there's no need for me to invest on things that I don't intend to use all the time. For this cake I made the tiny flowers (on the girl's dress) by hand using a paring knife, but they do have tools for this. Another thing is I painted the details (eyebrows,eyes and lips) on the girls face using a x-acto knife,toothpick,gel icing colors and clear vanilla instead of an edible marker pen. I have these kinds of pen but I didn't have the right colors.

Lesson#2 Have a Plan
This is important, very important when you make cakes. I've read it from Kate Sullivan's Book (Fancy Cake Decorating: Tips and Techniques for Decorating Unique Cakes for Any Occasion by Kate Sullivan) that it surprises her that she still need to work until wee hours in the morning just to finish her cakes, come to think of it she's already an experienced cake decorator herself. Make a plan of the things that you need for the cake - from ingredients to cake parts. For a 3-tiered cake I think 4 days wasn't enough so it probably should have been 5 or more just to be safe.

Lesson#3 Study your Cake
I did watch a lot of YouTube tutorials for my cake since I used a new medium - Royal Icing for the some of the details in my cake. I also researched on some ideas how I can put it all together. For my cake, I was informed months before the event so I had sufficient time to study on my desired cake structure.

Lessons#4 Don't be afraid to experiment
Since my cake was given as a gift for my friend's daughter, I was not very afraid to mess it up. But of course I wouldn't want to mess it up as well. I tried 2 new things for this cake - Royal Icing and Pearl Dust. And I was not disappointed with the result. Hopefully, in the future I will be using them again.

I'm very happy with how the cake turned out. Through this cake I was able learn a lot of things and its satisfying to know that I was able to make something this huge. It challenged my cake making abilities. And by far, its the most complicated cake I've made. But inspite of all this, I know I still have a lot to learn about this craft and a long way to go.

Click here for a closer look at the pictures:

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