Thursday, 9 January 2014

The Great Cake Project 2014

Well the title may be a bit grander than necessary for these posts but... it is about cake, in 2014 and it is a project. The grand bit...well we will see in a few weeks.

Many moons ago, well September, I wandered along to the local university centre (posh term for college) and signed up for an evening cookery course for this academic year. The course itself is about cake decoration and the module we have been working on for the past few months is decoration using Royal Icing such as; coating cakes and various piping techniques such as lettering, crowning and flowers.

We have just started our first assessed piece, over the next 6 weeks, where we have to design and decorate a cake using the various competencies that we have learned, practiced and raged at for the last few months.

As part of this we have to reflect on the stages/weeks as we go along. What went well/wrong, needs changed/altered/removed etc...

So I thought I might as well stick a version of that on here for you lovely people to read and see how I am doing.

I am currently not sure how the posts will work as it is immensely difficult to explain some of  techniques without actually showing you them but we will see how it goes anyway.

Stage 1 - Marzipan

One of the first things we learned and surprisingly you don't just roll out a big sheet, plonk it on and smooth it out, it is a little more complex than that...

1) Firstly, what you do is, roll out a sheet of marzipan, in a circle, wider than the top of your cake. Invert your cake so the completely flat side is on the marzipan and cut out, using a sharp knife, a circle of the top of the cake. Take off the cake and brush with apricot jam then place the circle of marzipan on the top.

2) To create a perfectly flat side and a level cake, stuff marzipan in the little ridge on the underside of the cake, this secures the cake to the board, makes the side perfectly straight and makes the top of the cake level as well. Once stuffed, trim off any excess so it is even with the cake wall and smooth it round.

3) Using measuring tape, measure the circumference of your cake. Roll out the marzipan in along thin rectangle to the length you previously measured allowing excess for the top, the marzipan should be about 1/2 cm thick. Brush the cake walls with apricot jam and wrap the marzipan around it. Smooth the sides and make sure the sides seal with the circle of marzipan on the top.
Action Shot
 4) Using a sharp knife, insert it through the excess at the top so the flat of the blade slides along the top of the cake and trim off the excess carefully around the cake. Once trimmed, then smooth down making sure the cake sides and top are sealed. if you look very carefully at the picture below you can see the join mark.

Leave to dry for a day or two.

Yes, the cake is off centre but that is deliberate for design purposes. Next week: A Royal Icing coating.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed your post - your cake looks great already!

    If it turns out as well as your wedding cake I'm sure you'll pass with flying colours :-)

    Best of luck with the course - I look forward to seeing updates!

    Kate - Cakes and Bakes by Kate