Cake Camp finally rolled around on the calendar last weekend…. It has been in my diary for almost six months, and every time I had a cake disaster (yes people they do happen) I’d think about how cake camp was going to teach me everything I needed to know to avoid cake wrecks in future!
I did have high expectations of cake camp, and it fully exceeded all of them.
Until now I learnt most of my skills via on line tutorials. There is a lot of really fantastic material online (a lot of which is referenced in my blog) and its been sufficient to a point. Most of the time I find myself spending too much time on something, trying to figure out how to troubleshoot and knowing that there must be an easier way!
There is nothing like doing things in person and having a real live teacher!!
I signed up for the Beginners Course with Janet from The Cupcake Lady.
We started with torting, ganashing and covering a round cake …. with nice crisp edges (which I really like).
With some basic tips and guidance (and lots of clear explanations from Janet) I got a really nice sharp finish on my ganash and fondant.
Because this was a practise cake I was enjoying the fact that there was no real pressure …. so I went for some orange colour just for fun.
One of the key things I learned is that I was rolling my fondant way too thin. I’m actually not a huge fan of eating fondant so I do tend to roll it too thin. It makes a really big difference rolling it to just a few millimeters thicker than I was. The other big thing I learned was that my fondant smoother actually has two different shaped sides. One is bevelled, and one is a hard edge … which is essential for those sharp edges. So I even learned how to use my existing tools properly, and it made all the difference.
Janet demonstrated a technique I had not tried before, and it worked really well for me. It was faster than the way I’d been doing it and I got the best finish on the fondant that I’d ever had! I did the happy dance of joy
Then came making a sugar paste magnolia. This was all new territory for me, never having worked with wiring flowers or on a flower pad/board. What a difference some basic tools and instruction make! I was pretty stoked with the result. More happy dancing!!
Lastly came torting, ganashing and covering a square cake. Not as difficult as it is made out to be … I did have a habit of making round cakes because I wanted to avoid covering squares!! I have now learned an approach that I feel confident using.
Once my square cake was looking sharp I got to try out a range of decorating techniques:
I love stripes and now have some techniques to make them awesome every time!
I didn’t think I’d be into quilting but I gave it a go anyway and was really stoked with the result. I like the idea of using shiny candy to bling it up!
I am officially addicted to stenciling. Expect to see a lot of it!
Once it was all put together it was time for some more happy dancing … and photo ops!!
One of the highlights was meeting a couple of other decorators from ‘close’ to home. Maryanne from Tamworth and Desiree from Gunnedah. Both made great cakes, and they both have more facebook likes than me (jealous much!!).
Hanging with Rachael from Amealia George Cake Designs was also a highlight! Rach and I are often in contact to talk cake, and I have learnt heaps from spending time with her. Was shared a dorm room and chatted into the wee small hours of the morning like a couple of school girls!!
Rachael did the advanced course making a novelty cake with celebrity caker and artist Handi of Handi’s Cakes . She’s a perfectionist (I don’t think she’d mind me saying so!!) and a master of sharp edges …. her final cake looked awesome.
So there you have the cake camp wrap. I definitely want to do Handi’s novelty course in the future … but until then I’ll be perfecting those edges, stenciling and flowers. How fun!