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Archive for December, 2009

I have severe fondant envy. Despite having no skills whatsoever in the kitchen, I spend hour upon hour watching the various cake shows on cable, from the extreme decorating challenges to Ace of Cakes to Amazing Wedding Cakes. And so I signed myself  up for a “Fun with Fondant” class with dreams of one day being able to create a Taj Mahal (or some other noteworthy landmark) out of yellow cake, food coloring and fondant). Hoping for the best (i.e., a masterpiece worthy of Kerry Vincent’s lukewarm praise) but expecting the worst (i.e., a lopsided, wrinkled disaster that would cause me to incur Ms. Vincent’s withering gaze), I set about creating my work of art.

I started having trouble well before we even pulled out the dough-like icing for which the class was named. I just could not get my cake level. I shaved off more and more, only to end up with a severely sloping golden lump of a cake. The instructor – Judy, the owner of pieceocakenyc.com—tried to save me from myself, suggesting that I wait until the butter cream application to level it out. Little did she know how utterly butter cream-challenged I was. She soon learned, witnessing me lump and gouge my way through the second butter cream layer. She ultimately got me through (Judy’s great tip: dip your offset spatula into hot water intermittently when spreading the final coat of butter cream to make the butter cream layers smoother!) and I was ready to work on the kneading and rolling of the fondant. I kneaded and rolled and kneaded and rolled until I had the right size to life up and put on the cake. And so I did…only, much to my dismay I had worked the fondant so much that it looked as crepey as the skin of an octogenarian. I did my best to smooth it out with my hand but realized that I would really just need to work with it. So I did just that, using the lumps and bumps to create a “Winter Wonderland” cake, replete with snowdrifts and a red scarf-clad, carrot-nosed snowman.

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