Week Six ~ Bonnie Gordon College

This week has been crazy! We finished our haute couture cakes on Monday. I love the way mine turned out. I used Tamara of the the Real Housewives of OC’s wedding dress as my inspiration. I just loved the colors and the pattern. I used many techniques that we learned in class. Julie (our instructor) gave me a quick lesson on the moth orchid and I love that way they turned out. The gems were made out of isomalt. So fun.

We baked banana and marble cake on Tuesday to prep for our next two cakes. We tackled the sculpted cakes next. I chose the tea pot as my item. I decided to a take a Japanese inspired approach to the design. I was happy with the result but was very rushed at the end. I made the spout out of rice crispy treats which is a huge pain. I can’t believe people use them all the time for larger parts of sculpted cake design. They are hard to get smooth and fully hold their shape. They are lighter to make interesting shapes but I think I will avoid that approach. We got a chance to use the airbrush which I used on my gold handle. It goes on so evenly. Very cool to start with sheet cake and end up with a real life figure!

Friday was buttercream piping. I enjoyed every part of it! I really like buttercream cakes. We did a series of piped designs and the flowers. The flower part was easy for me since I had some practice in the Wilton course I took at Michael’s. One easy thing I failed to realize is to pipe your flowers on parchment and place them in the fridge… THEN stick them on your cake AFTER they are hardened. DUH! Such an easy thing that I did not do and ruined my perfectly piped flowers every time I tried to put them on a cake. Sheesh. Life long learner.

Next week is wedding cake week. I got my assignment: Marie Antoinette. I am so excited and working out my design this weekend. We only have two weeks left and I really want it to slow down! This experience has been wonderful!

Lot’s of pictures this week. Enjoy!

Week Five ~ Bonnie Gordon College

This week has been more information than hands on creating. We had a series of seminars this week to better prepare us for starting a business. We first had a business coach who came in and discussed marketing basics. This was review for me from my business classes at APU all those years ago. It was a good refresher and I have a few ideas for re-doing my logo and branding which is something I am still figuring out. Overall I have a few tweaks to make. Lot’s of ideas and much needed study time to come up with a proper/better business plan.

Next we had a lesson in insurance from a State Farm agent. For lack of better words he “kept it real” in what we really need. This was more applicable to business in Canada and more specifically Ontario but I understand much better how the system works. At one point in the lecture he referred to Arizona and California as the “wild west” in terms of how insurance is determined. Canada has government regulations on how things are calculated. It is all very fascinating.

Next was accounting and tax. Some of this was review and some was new. I felt like I had a good handle already but need to get more organized. It was certainly interesting to learn about how taxes work in Canada. Very similar to the US but some small differences.

The final seminar was from one of the chef instructors at the college who opened his own shop a few years ago. He went through the realities of owning a business and some of the bureaucracy you have to deal with to get up and running. It will certainly take over your life to open a store front and was a reality check in the hours you have to put in. All great information.

The end of the week we did brush embroidery, ย Lambeth piping and started our haute couture cakes. The brush embroidery was a lot easier then I thought. It seems to be all in the consistency of the royal icing. The Lambeth piping just takes practice. It can have a very dated look but I think with a little modernizing in technique would be quick and beautiful. Our instructor suggested whipping up crisco and practicing the boarders at home while watching TV. A few hours practicing would go a long way with this technique. I think I am going to get through the rest of this frigid winter practicing piping under my electric blanket! I did string work and a bulb boarder on my cake picture below. The flowers are also done in the brush embroidery. We finish our haute couture cake on Monday and I can’t wait to see how mine turns out! I have a lot of ideas to work out. ๐Ÿ™‚

My best friends from college came into town this weekend for a visit so they are finishing up all the cake I had in the freezer. So delish even after a few weeks frozen. Last weekend I went and checked a few cake places in TO with friends from school. We went to two that were Bonnie Gordon grads. It was inspiring to check out!

It has been so busy I can’t believe I only have three weeks left! No! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Week Four ~ Bonnie Gordon College

This week we covered many different things in class. The first thing we did was learn the basics in painting on cakes. I do not have much of an art background so this was tricky. I think painting would take a lot more practice to master for me. We did a garden rose which did have pretty colors to work with. We also had a fancy Toronto wedding photographer come and teach us the basics of taking better pictures of our cakes. I can’t wait to get home and set up a seamless back drop. I don’t think I will invest in the expensive camera but a new point and shoot is certainly in my future. So much good information.

The second part of the week we did chocolate cakes and covered our cakes with modeling chocolate. I tried out a paneling design that is posted below with the actual modeling chocolate. It was out of my comfort zone and I ran out of time to put the finishing touches but I like the idea. This cake was all chocolate. We used chocolate ganache to mask the cake and modeling chocolate to cover and decorate. It kept melting in my hot hands so I not sure how much I would use it back in a warmer climate. But it all tastes much better then fondant. ๐Ÿ™‚ We also made a whipped chocolate ganache which was delightful.

Our final classes were baking for allergies and how to cost a cake. The allergies class was very cool to learn about all the substitutions that you can use in a recipe. It was also eye opening to see how much “other” stuff is used in gluten free baked goods. Gluten free is not really healthier in a lot of cases. The cakes and cupcakes that we made were actually really good. It was a nice surprise. I really enjoyed the costing of cake seminar as well. It is simple math but you really have to figure out how much everything is costing you down to the gram.

It was a short week with family day (a Canadian holiday) on Monday but it was certainly packed. I can’t believe we are half way through already! I want it all to slow down!