Make Way for Cake

11 Apr

Peach Buttercream Flowers

We have finally made it to cakes in class and my oh my has it ever been a humbling experience. In general, I’m a humble person, but even so, trying to level out a cake and smooth on icing and make perfect little decorations? Not my forte. At least that is what I am learning as we are going through this unit. Mind you, I’ve decorated a few cakes over the years, and I thought they always came out rather nice – but some of the people in my class are geniuses with piping bags and have such steady hands, the decorations they come up with are beautiful. It doesn’t come as easy to me, but I am good with covering up any little mistakes I make.

Sliced Frosted Carrot CakeHalf devoured carrot cake, not the prettiest picture but still delicious and look at the layers!

As our Chef says, the key to succeeding in this industry is knowing that you are not the best – that there will always be people out there better than you. Know your strengths, and let this push you to work harder to improve in the areas you need to. (And I definitely could use cake decorating practice!)

Cupcake with Fondant FlowerWe started small with cupcakes. Check out my not so perfect fondant flower, my first time making them.

Cakes are so versatile, which I think is what makes them so popular. You can produce tons of different kinds of cake with just your basic butter cake recipe. Using different extracts, fillings, frostings, the possibilities really are endless – and all using the same standard base. Fortunately for me, I can bake a cake with no problem, it’s when it comes time to tier the cakes and decorate where I run into bumps in the pastry road.

Baking as a giftSomething totally unrelated: it was my good friend’s birthday this week and I had to share the cute gift box of treats I made for him. Left mysteriously on his doorstep – who doesn’t love surprises?

In class, what we do is bake a cake a few days in advance and refrigerate or freeze it, making it a lot easier when it comes time to cut into it and frost. At the beginning I was not even able to make an even layer, but with practice I have become better at it. We’ve practiced different borders like shell borders, the basket weave, and this week we started on flowers (my favorite).

High Ratio Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate GanacheHigh Ratio Cake with a buttercream basket weave sides, chocolate ganache on top, and buttercream flowers. Still not 100% satisfied but I am progressing.

We have another competition coming up in June, but it’s more like an iron chef competition. That’s nerve-racking! All of us are pretty excited, except we all have to battle it out to see which one is actually representing our school and going to the competition. The contest is on cupcakes, so I am scheming up a few different recipes because I really want to win :). Cross your fingers for me!

Love & Sweets,

18 Responses to “Make Way for Cake”

  1. Profiteroles & Ponytails April 11, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    You did a beautiful job of weaving that cake! Did I mention that it is my birthday? (Not really but I would go to great lengths to get one of your birthday baskets!!!!)

    • Melissa (Just Enough Sugar) April 19, 2013 at 10:55 am #

      I am practicing bunches and thank you for the compliments πŸ™‚ I would bake you a basket birthday or unbirthday πŸ™‚

  2. apuginthekitchen April 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    I also am challenged when it comes to decorating, baking a cake comes very easy for me but not the decorating part. I think your basketweave looks amazing and so does your buttercream rose. I would love to take a cake decorating class. Lucky friend getting that box of goodies!!

    • Melissa (Just Enough Sugar) April 19, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Yes I hope he knows how lucky he is! I believe everything comes with practice so the more I decorate, the better I’ll be (ideally). Next we are doing wedding cakes so I’m a little nervous about that!

      • apuginthekitchen April 19, 2013 at 11:04 am #

        Oh wow, hope you post your work on the wedding cake. I am always in awe of those that are able to decorate a cake so beautifully. One day hopefully! You did a beautiful job!

  3. jalal michaelsabbagh. April 11, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    Superb artistic decoration.l love cake specially with fruits.Great job.jalal

  4. Choc Chip Uru April 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    That cake looks so professional πŸ˜€

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. mydearbakes April 21, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    Aww, this is so sweet, I love it! =D

  6. Sofia Siberia April 22, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    Yummi! I want little bit of everything, please :))
    Don’t compare yourself to others, because no matter how excellent we are, we will always find someone doing this or that better (or it just seems so πŸ˜‰ cause good pros are usually highly critical of themselves and thrive for perfection πŸ˜‰ )
    Just do what you do, Melissa – your baking and decorations look amazing!

    • Melissa (Just Enough Sugar) April 22, 2013 at 11:03 am #

      I strive for perfection because of what you said exactly, I know there are others out there better than me. I want to be up there, the same caliber as the best pastry chefs. I’m generally hard on myself, but I try not to be. You’re right I should just do what I love, and I love this!

  7. 1EarthUnited April 26, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    Wow Melissa, your carrot cake looks gorgeous! I bet it taste divine, moist and yummy, I’m getting a sugar rush looking at your desserts. Best wishes with your Cake Boss competition, your creativity will shine through! ☼

  8. monadsamadhi April 28, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Wow yummy!!! I dig people who can bake πŸ™‚

  9. chocolatepeanutbutterohmy June 30, 2013 at 5:01 am #

    SO good πŸ™‚


  1. The Versatile Blogger Award | myfoodmywayblog - April 22, 2013

    […] Just enough sugar – Lots of baking and also studying to be a pastry chef. […]

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