Cake Decorating

Cake Decorating Class

Turns out the whole world has discovered their inner baker and now I am running low on flour. Who knew there were so many sourdough junkies out there? Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to bake. At this stage, it is probably my favourite hobby. I was first introduced to baking as a young girl when I used to help make apple tarts at home. Soon I advanced from rice-krispy cakes to victoria sponge and by the time I was a teenager I was able to whip up scones, buns, and my family’s favourite apple crumble. I also tried my hand at a few dodgy looking cakes such as the Chocolate, 12-inch tall, Eiffel Tower ( in celebration of going to Paris ) and the black and white striped Circus Tent inspired by the beautiful book The Night Circus. I hold my hand up and admit they looked dreadful but thankfully I have improved significantly since then. By no means am I talented in cake decorating but I endeavour to become great.

Last year I undertook a 10-week cake decorating course in Limerick, Ireland. While the course itself was basic and not worth the cost, it forced me to try a new cake every week and pick up a few tricks a long the way. We started with simple buttercream roses and finished with a unicorn cake. To follow my cake decorating journey I created an instagram called Maid By Marian ( any Robin Hood fans here? ) and I would be delighted if any of you would like to follow me. I am still baking and posting recipes but nothing extravagant. It’s mostly banana bread and quarantine Queen cakes.

Tips and Tricks from my Cake Decorating Class

  1. Quality ingredients are important. This doesn’t have to mean expensive. A mixture of easy spread fat and hard butter is best for buttercream. Roll out fondant from Aldi is ten times better than the one from tesco. The Aldi icing sugar is also best because you don’t even have to sieve it!
  2. Your cake will never be perfect: I could have spent hours trying to fix cracks and cover up mistakes and I still wouldn’t have been happy. You are going to notice all the little things but do you know what? Nobody else will. So don’t worry about the little things. Be proud of what you have achieved.
  3. Sometimes simple is best. I thought the more technical decorations would lead to better cakes but a too much of that fancy stuff can leave a cake cluttered and looking messy.
  4. Food photography is an entirely different skill! How is that instagrammers can make a slice of bread look like a mouth watering masterpiece and my 3 tier rose gold garden cake looks like it’s fit for the bin? I created so many beautiful cakes during my course and when I look at them on my instagram feed I’m disappointed that they just don’t look that nice. Food photography is a skill I am trying to develop through trial and error and my only takeaway is that lighting and background are vital.
  5. What’s on the inside matters more than what’s on the outside. Sounds like a cheesy pinterest quote from your basic white girl but it is true for cakes too. A cake is no good if it tastes bad. Where is the enjoyment in that? So remember you’re gonna bake your cake and eat it too.
Christmas Cake

What hobbies have you tried since being home? Anyone baking?

Always, M

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