Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Meet the versatile Royal Icing!

 Today we practiced making royal icing. Now, I've made this before, but it was actually nice to have our pastry chef show us what a runny vs medium vs stiff consistency really looks like and their different applications. So for the piping practice of swiss dots, cornelli lace, snail trails , etc we were working with a medium consistency. Nice and glossy with a soft peak, perfect for these types of decorations. It's also a cake decorator's dream because it's pretty easy to remove if you mess up!
Not to neglect fondant, we also covered a dummy cake and learned some tricks on getting nice edges and a clean trim at the bottom.
 From previous class, some of my flowers made out of molding chocolate. Still working on the right technique, better be ready for when Chef RBI visits!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Time Flies When you're having FUN!!!

Whewww...it's been 3 weeks and we've covered what seems to be at least 6 months worth of training. Let's see, we learned how to bake a genoise, chocolate genoise, white cake, angel sponge cake and chocolate devil cake. We've also worked on some piping techniques for borders, icing a cake with buttercream, meringues and different kinds of buttercreams, cake stacking, basket weave technique, chocolate ganache, chocolate glaze and making flowers out of molding chocolate.....uffffff, I'm exhausted! All of this while preparing for  the SelfServe test needed for food handling, which i might not have passed! Did I mention I work a full time job?
So what are some of my big take - aways?
  1. Genoise cakes are a must know for any baker but I don't see many of them in my future ;-)
  2. Chocolate genoise...we're much better friends than plain genoise
  3. Icing a cake with real buttercream (not crusting buttercream) - practice, practice and more practice. Hot spatula is a must have!
  4. French, Italian or Swiss? The jury is still out...leaning towards swiss although italian is more stable
  5. Chocolate Ganache - I'm in love and have nothing else to say about that
  6. Flowers out of molding chocolate - I'll have to make at least 50 more to get it right!
  7. Cake Rings - A MUST HAVE and one of my favorite things I've learned to use so far
So, lots covered, lots learned, still not an expert but working on it ;-)

Peace, love and cake to all....