Friday, June 29, 2012

The Flower Spray

Last nights mission......decorate a cake with a flower spray, basket weave on the sides and another message.  I thought, "Basket weave, I can do basket weave, I love basket, pfft I can do flowers....this will be a piece of cake (pun completely intended).  WRONG! 

Started the night making another batch of icing.  Easy peasy one two threesy, now I'm grooving (since we have music on in the background, I am literaly grooving...oh yea!) along icing my cake and getting ready to create my latest masterpiece......and thats when it started going down hill.  First, as I iced my cake my little perfectionist devil popped on to my shoulder and proceeded to point out every little spot on the cake that wasnt completely smooth knowing that I wouldnt couldn't stop until I thought it was absolutely smooth.  Then, when I finally decided that the sides would be covered by the basket weave so what am I killing myself for, I shook it off and got ready to create the most beautiful spray of flowers ever dang it! 

I started out trying a different technique for roses called a ribbon rose.  You take a flower nail and place the wide end of the rose tip against the nail and slowly twist the nail as you squeeze out icing and it winds up in a circular pattern that comes out looking like a little rose.  So, I made a few of these and set them aside to dry a little while I figured out just how I wanted this spray to look.  As I gazed dumbfounded at my cake I couldnt come up with a picture in my head to save my life!  Good thing this wasnt a timed assignment.  I finally decided to just get some dang flowers onto the cake and see where it lead me.  I started with a yellow rose, and then added a couple of the pink ribbon roses, then another smaller yellow rose, and then I got stuck.  I decided to practice a couple of rosebuds before piping them directly onto the cake......"ok, up, down and over......nope, try again.......up, down and over......nope, one more time......up, down and over......ugh, @#*^&%&*(........up, down and over......OK, sweet peas it is!  So, I added a couple of sweet pea buds, an apple blossom, a couple of colorful daises and then piped in some purple filler flowers, added a few leaves and a small vine and VOILA a flower spray!

Next, the basket weave.  I'll make this short and sweet.....I do not like basket weave.  Well, just kidding....sort of.  I do like basket weave, but I forgot how tedious it can be. 

I decided that this cake would not be another welcome home cake.  Hmmm, what to write.....what to write?  (Light bulb) Congrats Stacey!  because let's face it, by the end of the night I deserved some congratulations. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cake Baking and Decorating

   Since I am a little late getting started with this whole blogging thing I will just start from the here and now and sprinkle little tidbits from the past as I go.  :)

My final class at Keiser is probably my most favorite one of all......Cake Baking and Decorating!  I have been hooked on cake and cupcake decorating for a long time, but it really took hold about 5 years ago when I took a couple of the Wilton classes offered at my local Michael's Art Store.  We are in our first week and have baked some pound cake, a rum cake (Uh, Yum!) and some hi ratio cakes (you know, the kind you normally get as a birthday cake, etc. from your local bakery).  Last night we made our icing and started with the decorating. 

Now, like I said it has been 5 years since I took a Wilton class and first learned to make the infamous icing rose........well, it has been about 4 years since I have made said rose and let me tell you the hands they forget.  Chef went over how to create beautiful roses and just said "See....easy!"  Sure it is (wink wink).  Actually once I tried a couple my hands started to remember (sort of) the movements and I feel much more comfortable than I used to.

This is the cake I decorated in class last night with my "ahem" roses.  you will notice that I chose to write Welcome Home and add a little yellow ribbon next to the roses.  Well, let me tell you the real story.  In placing my roses onto my cake one decided to take a nose dive and when I carefully flipped it back over it left a little spot of yellow on my beautiful white icing.......sooooo, I decided to cover it up with a ribbon, which looked like the yellow ribbon for our soldiers (to any soldier who may be reading this.....THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE), which lead to making it into a welcome home cake for a returning soldier.  Since I didnt know any that were coming home today it is a hypothetical welcome home.  :)  Anyway, I showed it to my Chef and this was the conversation......

Chef:  Welcome home?  Who are you welcoming home?
Me: Uh, a soldier, yeah, notice the little yellow ribbon?????
Chef: Uh huh, I'll bet he will really like the yellow roses.
Me: It's a girl soldier!
Chef: Ah ha, good idea! 

As I walked away smiling I thought to myself, thank goodness I chose yellow!

The real fun was when I brought the cake in to share with my co-workers and everyone who walked by asked......who are we welcoming home?  (shakes head)  Just enjoy the cake.  :)

In the Beginning

Well, not the very beginning, but the beginning of this crazy ride.
Growing up my grandmother made wedding cakes and many other delectible delights so I like to say I was born with buttercream in my veins. 
In October of 2010 I decided I was going back to school to get a degree.  In the beginning I was going to become a paralegal because I had worked with attorneys for so many years, but my dream was to go to culinary school and become a pastry chef.  As my wise friend Jennifer told me......"If you are going to put the money and effort into it, then do something you love!"  Smart woman that Jennifer, so I listened to her and here I am. 
That November I registered with Keiser University in the Baking and Pastry program and the as they say......the rest is history.
Sadly my grandmother passed away that December, but I did get to see her and tell her all about my plans before then.  Just hearing her say she believed in me and was so proud of my decision helped me know I had made the right choice.  
and now.........through the support of many, many people (namely my parents, husband, children, family and many freinds) I am well on my way to seeing this happen.

And Away We Go!

Ok, so plenty of people have been telling me to start a blog and post about my journey to fullfilling my dreams of becoming a pastry chef and opening my own dessert cafe.  Well, creating a blog is one of the assignment choices for my current class so without further ado........Welcome to Sweet Inspirations!

Even though I am actually in my very last class I am only just begining my journey.  Up next will be my externship in New Orleans (Can I get a woot woot!!!)  and then who knows from there.  So as the title of this post says.......And Away We Go!