This February, I started the second class in the Wilton cake decorating series: Flowers and Cake Design. New instructor, new classmates, and thankfully a lot less baking than the first course. (In the Decorating Basics, we brought in baked goods for four weeks in a row; this time we only need to bake a cake for the last class.)
What I really like about this class is that it is much more technique based. We only made two flowers in two hours, but now I know how they made the flowers on the cake at the bakery outside my bus stop! (Bonus points for applying my knowledge in the real world!) This was my first time ever working with Gum Paste and Fondant. I was transported back to childhood while working with the fondant - it is just like working with clay. After all the manipulation (kneading it, rolling it out, pressing it), it kind of makes me paranoid about cakes from designer bakeries. (Are you sure they washed their hands?)
The first flower we created was the button flower. The supply list called for the neon fondant multi-pack, but the store was sold out so I went with primary colors. The button flower was really basic - roll the fondant out, place it in the mold, and ever so carefully, remove it and let it dry in a flower forming cup so it does not dry flat. I swear, I had a kit that I used that was very similar to the flower press for paper flowers when I was a kid. I guess I can credit my beautiful flowers with years of practice.
Next up was the pansy. After forming the flower shape with a cookie cut, you mold the petals edges with the ball tool. They turned out really cool, but I am partial to the monochromatic pansies. Oh well, at least I can show my (grade) school pride with my color choices!