Sunday, November 6, 2011

Autumn Cake

At one point this week, I had four fondant cakes of different shapes and sizes sitting in my kitchen. I can't bring myself to throw them away, but I don't know what to do with them. Maybe I will just let them petrify and make a cake shrine in our second bedroom. That probably won't happen, but it's an option. It's hard to dump something in the trash that you spent such a long time on, but nobody wants to eat two-week old cake (not that they will admit anyway). This cake luckily found a home this weekend for a friend's birthday and wasn't sacrificed to the garbage bin.

I am in my last quarter of pastry school, and one of my classes is a cake decorating class that focuses on fondant cakes. Unfortunately, I am not learning as much as I had hoped from this class, so I had to change my way of thinking about it. I now look forward to class as a chance to play and experiment for five hours a week with unlimited materials and lots of fun tools. This week our only restriction was an autumn themed cake, and since I love fall, I was really looking forward to it. I wanted to make a clean and classy fall cake, one that wasn't covered in pumpkins and marzipan fruit, perhaps something that could even be used as a wedding cake. We got to play with the airbrush machine to make more realistic leaves (Santa, if you are listening, Bria has been a very good girl this year and would like an airbrush machine for Christmas).

One great tip I did pick up this week was that I should start hoarding my egg cartons and always be on the lookout for other containers that can be reused to hold gum paste flowers and figures. Drying petals or leaves in a round cup gives them more dimension and movement than if you were to let them dry flat. You can purchase little round cups made specifically for this purpose, but why spend the money when there are things already in your house that work just as well? I happen to shop as Costco, and when honeycrisp apples came out this year, I bought a huge container of them. As I was reaching for the last one this week, I realized that the plastic clam shell they came in was perfect for flower shaping.

A drawback of using bowls that I had around the apartment to hold flower layers was that most of them had a flat bottom, but these apple cups are perfectly spherical. I cannot wait to test them out. Next time you are at the grocery store, check out the produce section, there are all kinds of egg carton-like packaging in different shapes and sizes that may be very useful in your cake creating endeavors.

Hope you enjoyed your extra hour of sleep/play/work this weekend. Happy fall!


Carrie said...

Bria, it's gorgeous! I can relate to your experience with school not being what you thought it might be... and just using the time and tools to challenge yourself and have fun. Can't wait to see more of your beautiful creations!

Santa said...

The elves are asking specifics about this air brush toy...need more info if I am to fulfill your every wish on Christmas Eve!

Speedmaster said...

Wow, that looks amazing!!! I'll link to it from my blog tomorrow.

Leslie said...

Such a pretty cake!!! Found you on Tastespotting!

Bria said...

thank you everyone!!

SANTA!!! is it really you??

I don't think the north pole has the funds to buy me an airbrush machine for christmas, but if by chance Mr. Claus has cashed in his 401k, here is a link:

Mary said...

That is a gorgeous cake that is sophisticated in its simplicity. I love it. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. You've created a great place for your readers to visit and I really enjoyed the time I spent here. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Tracy said...

I love the leaves. The simplicity is beautiful.

Bria said...

thank you ladies!!

Mel said...

Hi Bria, this cake is absolutely beautiful! What type of cutters (brand, sizes, etc) did you use for the leaves? Also, do you recommend gum paste or fondant? I'm still new with both of these materials but I love the possibilities. Thanks!

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