My Cake Decorating Venture

Posted by Lakshmi

Friday, 3  June  2011

There's an Indian proverb "  Katrathu Kai Man Alawu,  Katraathathu Ulagalavu "   which literally translated means - What you've  learnt is akin to only a  handful of earth, what you haven't learnt is akin to the size of the Earth.  Simply put, learning is a life long process and it never ends.  

Well, I pretty much believe in the proverb  and have been trying to increase the handful of earth in my hand.....................  or maybe I'm just curious by nature, wanting to know more about everything. I don't know which, but among the things I've learnt and  acquired  along my life's journey ( still trying to increase the handful of earth to a bowlful la !)  are tailoring , copper tooling, crocheting, lace tatting, smocking, knitting, learning the French language, flower arrangement, baking,  attending a basic car repair workshop,  candle making, soap making, bread making and of course, my Folk & Decorative painting and teaching English as a second  language . (  Last year, I  attended the beginners' class for portrait painting but the tutor  was not too happy to share his skills so I quit. )

 Often times, when time permits, I'd enroll myself for short courses to upgrade my skills and that's how I attended a cake decorating workshop a few weeks ago.  It was a whole day affair on a lazy  Sunday  morning .  I had already assembled my utensils and the required paraphernalia the night before so I did not have much problem on the day itself.  I was one of the earliest to arrive at the baking centre and was well prepared when the Chef started the class.  We were taught ( there were 5 of us ) how to use fresh cream to decorate a cake and this was the first time I had used so much fresh cream in my life - loads and loads of it was used to practice.  When some of the initial attempts at making flowers were not successful, instead of throwing them away, like the Chef did,  I gobbled them up until I felt guilty lapping up all those calories ............................ ( towards the 2nd half of class ,  I had had enough of it and was ready to throw up ! )

I took these pictures to show the sequence in which I learnt  to decorate the cake using fresh cream as the decorating medium.

The basic sponge cake before decorating

I had to ice the cake using fresh cream .  The turntable and a cake scrapper made the work quite easy.   A tip here for those into decorating cakes -  whip the cream by using a mixer in medium speed and when the cream has come to the soft peak stage, whip on slow speed till the cream is stiff and doesn't fall off when you upturn the bowl.    Take care not to overbeat the cream as it will become lumpy and change into butter !  

These are some of the roses I did with the piping nozzle using fresh cream. The pink one was dusted with pink food colour .   Not bad for a first try.  The Chef assumed that I had done this before and did not teach  the details.  ( There was an earlier  class where this was taught and I had not attended that )  Well, not wanting to look  stupid, I  went nearer and observed  him  pipe the roses.  The above try-outs are mine - my  very first foray into piping  roses with fresh cream .  There were several  terrible looking ones too which I  conveniently and happily gobbled up  ( when the Chef was not looking in my direction )  instead of throwing them away into the bin - like the others did.   It was just too good and too ' sayang '  to throw them away initially, that is !

My finished piece.  I learned  how to pipe roses, lilies, morning glory, violets and carnations.  I can't seem to find those pictures at this time of blogging though .   Anyway I was quite happy with my handiwork . 

A week after that cake decorating venture was my niece's  civil wedding registry function at Putrajaya , after which there was  small family  reception at her home.  I made this cake for her as a small gift together with the cupcakes for the guests  

My niece wanted a red and white theme so that's what I did .  Nothing fancy but quite a simple design actually.

I had baked a rich butter cake and used fondant icing to cover it.  The red and white rope at the base of the cake  is also of fondant.  The flowers are made of sugar paste which is available in baking outlets.  Butter cream was used to attach the flowers.

Happy reading and painting and baking !!


PS:  I'm still wanting to learn portrait painting so if anyone knows of a good teacher, please do let me know ya .........

2 Responses to My Cake Decorating Venture

  1. lyn at home

    wow! teacher lakshmi..nice work!clap! clap!

  2. Lakshmi

    Hi Lyn,

    U r a fantastic cook, I see. Yummy food and great recipes too. You must invite me for Hari Raya ya........

    Hope to c u soon

    Warmest regards


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