The daisies I posted last were part of my final project for the Wilton Fondant and Gumpaste class which I just "graduated" from yesterday. If you are at all interested in learning how to decorate cakes, I highly recommend Wilton. They offer classes across the country, mainly at Michael's stores. For this class we learned how to do fondant and gumpaste designs. Fondant is a sugar icing which you roll out like a pie crust and put on top of your cake. I had never eaten fondant (I LOVE buttercream) but wanted to learn how to use it. Many people use fondant on cookies and while I believe my icing tastes great on cookies, there are many designs which would be easier to do if I knew how to work with fondant.
You can make fondant from scratch, but I used the ready made Wilton fondant and just added food coloring. Unfortunately, you need to add a LOT of food coloring to get chocolate brown which caused the fondant to dry out a bit. If I ever use fondant again, I will stick to light colors or purchase ready made fondant in the color of my choice. Don't get me wrong, I'm a scratch baker and proud of it. But I don't think I will use fondant enough to learn how to make it. Both fondant and gumpaste have a texture similar to playdough so they are really fun to work with.
When I came home from class, I decided the cake needed a little something else, so I added silver luster dust to the pearls. Note - if you want the luster dust to just stay on the pearls and not the cake and cake board, I recommend "dusting" prior to assembly. =)
I like how the cake turned out but I'm no artist, I'm a baker. And to me, this decorated cake lost a lot of its taste appeal. When I frosted the cake (even though fondant is icing, you must frost with buttercream or some other sticky substance like jam prior to covering with fondant), I wanted to eat it. When I decorated the cake, I wanted to take a picture of it.
This was an important discovery for me because I am hugely addicted to tv shows showcasing sugar artists like Ace of Cakes, Amazing Wedding Cakes (LOVE the cake girls), Cake Boss (I am from Jersey) and I'm sure I've seen every food network cake challenge. When I see their work, I'm truly humbled. As I am when I peruse my new secret addiction, cakecentral.com. There are some talented cookiers on this site that put my little cookies to shame. As I improve my craft in decorating, I must remember, I don't want to be an artist. I want to be a great baker. When people see my cookies or other sweets, I want them to want to EAT them, not just take a picture.
This cake? I took tons of pics (LOL). So did my friends when I brought the cake over for a friend's birthday cookout. There was no way I was keeping this cake in my apartment. Because this cake is good enough to eat... for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
What kind of cake was this? I'll save that for another post.