Coloring Red Frosting

Ok so did some digging last night and found that the bitter nasty taste and the gallons of red coloring are normal. Apparently coloring white frosting red isn’t as easy as it seems. Here are some tips I found:

  • Americolor seems to work better than Wilton’s coloring
  • Color your frosting pink and then color it red
  • Use red (no taste) coloring
  • Color your frosting a day in advance. After 24 hours that pink will turn red

I have some Americolor downstairs that I use for my cookie decorating…will have to give it a try this weekend when I whip up some more rosettes!

Red Rosettes

Decided to whip up some frosting tonight and give my rosettes a practice. For our fourth and final session of this cake class, I need to bring a fully frosted cake to class with some pre-made flowers to use for decorating. I rocked the rosettes last week so I thought I’d make some more for the cake. That was the plan. I thought I’d make a white cake with red roses along with red and pink rosettes. That was the plan. Figured I’d make some of the rosettes tonight. That was the…yes…the plan. However, the frosting I tinted red turned out some really funky orangish color. Kinda looked like sock eye salmon. Not pretty. Tasted a little funky too. To be honest it was AWEFUL! I had put soooo much coloring into the frosting that it changed the flavoring. How the hell are you supposed to make red frosting? Must look that up. Anyway, practice was good. First half turned out nice. Second half the frosting was too warm from my hand so it wasn’t as nice. Won’t be saving any of the rosettes for class, but it was still fun to play around ๐Ÿ™‚

Lessons Learned:

  • Figure out how to color frosting red
  • If you’re going to be man-handling your piping bag a bunch, only fill it half way so that the frosting doesn’t get too warm

Filling Sent From Heaven

The other day I made a cake which turned out to be a decorating disaster, but the frosting was TO. DIE. FOR. Wow! It was definitely the hit of the dessert. Sort of like a Chanel bag being sold in Walmart…it just didn’t fit and out-shined everything else. It is a definite keeper as I search for better cake recipes. Thought I’d share it as it’s too good to keep a secret ๐Ÿ™‚

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/milk-chocolate-mousse-filling

Took a little bit of effort to make but it was so worth it! I also like there’s three variations to the recipe. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips so it would be somewhere between a milk and a dark chocolate mousse.

Enjoy!

Frosting Consistency

It’s been bugging me that both cakes I made had frosting that wouldn’t set up. The instructor in my Wilton’s class said to use a thin consistency icing to frost the cake but that didn’t seem to be working for me. So I did what every other desperate for knowledge decorator does…I hit the Google ๐Ÿ™‚ Turns out, a medium consistency icing is used for frosting a cake.

Armed with this knowledge I will see how my next cake turns out. Hopefully smooth baby!

And…Take FOUR!

Yes…sadly four.

This cake started out to be a practice cake, quickly became built up in my head to be a beautiful cake for tonight’s dessert, and then quickly…and I mean quickly…took a turn and bypassed practice going straight for humorous.

Last night I baked the cake and made a delicious chocolate mousse filling. Even my oldest daughter helped mix up the filling!

ย  ย  ย 

Folding in the cream

Take 1: And so the morning started…assembled the two layers of cake with the filling and frosted the heck out of it. It was a leaning tower of chocolate cake that no amount of frosting could visually correct. Although, attempting to correct the lean did bring quite a few giggles from the peanut gallery. Quite possibly due to the excessive amounts of frosting on the cake (side note that I hate regular frosting like this so I’ll be scraping it off my piece tonight!) the sides and top never quite dried enough to smooth out. Same problem I had in class the other day so I’m thinking it’s more about the consistency of the frosting than the humidity which is what the instructor blamed it on. Clearly I should be teaching the class ๐Ÿ˜‰

Take 2: I decided to stop fixating on the fact that I have yet another cake without smoothness and move on. Downstairs to be precise. I thumbed through some old Wilton templates that were my Mom’s from the 70’s and found one that I thought would look very nice piped on top of the cake, using a technique I learned in class to transfer the design. The technique calls for tracing the template on a piece of wax paper with decorating gel (bought at the local grocery store), flipping it upside down onto the the top of the cake. Unfortunately, I cut too big of a hole on the gel tube for the template I wanted to use. ย “So that’s not going to work.”

Take 3: “Let me try and transfer the design using a toothpick.” I traced the design onto wax paper using a black sharpie. Laid the wax paper onto the top of the cake and followed the black lines with a toothpick. Should have known…if the cake wasn’t dry enough to smooth out with parchment paper, it’s not going to be dry enough to lay wax paper onto either. Needless to say,ย we had a sticky situation, none of which helped get my design onto the cake.

Take 4: For Christmas my husband bought me a bunch of cake decorating paraphernalia. In my bucket o’ goodies was a pattern press set with some pretty fancy looking presses. So I decided to whip those out and give em a try. I pressed ever so gently and began piping. Using a #2 tip I followed the imprint. HELLO WOBBLY HANDS! Yikes…the lines were not smooth. But at this point my husband and I were making way too much fun of the cake to stop. So I put a “J” and a “P” on the top for his parents who were coming for dinner tonight and slapped on some stars and dots. I do have to say my stars are improving!

Despite it taking four attempts to make this cake in the end it’s a cake that will be devoured in 10 minutes. My husband also said it was frosted better than we used to frost our cakes…so I guess that’s a move in the right direction ๐Ÿ™‚

Lessons Learned:

  • Make sure you level your top layer of cake enough so that it sits evenly on the bottom layer.
  • While the instructor says the frosting used to frost your cake should be a thin consistency, I’d stick with medium so it actually dries sometime during the given century.
  • You do not need a 1/2 cup of frosting in each color to do 3 lines and a couple dots

Fish with Botox

I am marking something off my bucket list this month. Yes, I’m only 35 and I have a bucket list. Better early than never I say (no, that’s not true but in this case it sounds good!). I started creating it in college and this item has been on the list for over a decade.

Take a cake decorating class

I don’t remember how old I was, but I couldn’t have been more than 10. I remember coming across a photo album of my Mom’s and in it were pictures and pictures of beautifully decorated cakes. Come to find out they were decorated by my own mama. They were gorgeous! I asked her about it recently and she explained that she took 6 months of cake decorating classes…every week baking a cake and totting it to class. Impressive, both in the amount of time she put into her hobby but also in the beauty she created.

I decided I would take a cake decorating class too…although starting much smaller and only signing up for a 4 week Wilton’s class through our local craft store. During our second class we decorated a cake…my first decorated cake ever and I chose to recreate a fish image from our class materials. The instructor told us what tips to use but that was the extent of her instructing, so needless to say my fish lips came out extremely puffy. I smiled and thought “Even fish need botox every now and then.” Brought the cake home and humorously my husband had to ask what it was! It was then that I decided to keep a list of “lessons learned” throughout my adventures.

Image

January 09, 2012

Lessons Learned:

  • Think about the sizing of your decoration before piping (fish lips)
  • Do not pipe on top of already piped frosting to try and cover up a mistake…only makes the area look bigger than the rest bringing more attention to it (second line in on the fish body)
  • Give yourself enough time to let the frosting dry/harden before decorating otherwise you won’t have the ability to smooth out (top and sides)

Let’s Begin

I decided to take a leap of faith, or rather a huge jump, and take on authoring a new blog. ย After all, it’s 2012 and what better reason than to ring in the new year with something new, fun and fresh! I’ve also tied my new year’s resolution to it…update blog at least once a week. OK, while I realize this is not realistic, I will try my hardest and really, isn’t that all that anyone asks of another?

I’ve been an avid cookie observer for years, always admiring the most beautiful or clever ways decorators fancy up their cookies. It was 8 months ago that I began looking online for something fun for my daughter’s 1st birthday party and I decided I’d decorate #1 cookies for the guests favors. I had a blast! The cookies came out “ok” for my first decorated sugar cookies and the guests loved nibbling them up. Thinking about cookies became an obsession, an obsession that spilled over onto the internet and I spent hours looking up cookies. Add cupcakes to the cookie searches. Now add cakes to the cookie and cupcake searches. You get my point. I love sugar and I’m a sucker for beautifully decorated sugar.

This blog is my way of showing my work as I teach myself the basics, and hopefully some advanced techniques. Hope you enjoy

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