Learning new tricks

As we continue with lockdown restrictions here in our province, I’ve been looking for some digital / online classes to take on the weekends just to keep busy. Plus I love learning new things.

Recently I took a fabulous class featuring this cookbook.

I’ve been decorating cakes for longer than I care to admit and have even taught classes for a while. My Mom got me interested in this. She took all the Wilton’s cake decorating classes in the 80s and made all our birthday cakes.

I love a good excuse to bake. I learned a few new tricks with this class and got to try out a few new products that I’ve seen on Instagram.

The first new item I tried was this vanilla bean paste that I ordered from Flour Confections. I used regular vanilla extract in the cake because that get’s baked in and I figured the cotton candy flavouring would overpower the vanilla anyway. But in the icing, I used the paste. OMG – it makes ALL the difference.

The second item I used was some new decorating pigments. I’ve seen them used a lot on instagram. I’m used to using paste but a lot of mine are quite old (embarrassingly old). I have started switching to gel colouring which produces a nice colour but it still adds some moisture to whatever you are adding the colouring too.

This is a dry pigment called Master Elite from The Sugar Art. You use less than a 1/4 tsp for most projects. 

Look at the saturation of colour in my cake batter!

Goodness!! That colour is perfect.

The class was an hour and a half long and you prepped some of the stuff in advance. Or, watched it through once and then walked through it a second time while you did your cake. I learned so many new tips. For years I resisted using a dough lifter to smooth my cakes. I can’t explain way… I was just taught to use my decorating spatula. But the dough lifter makes all the difference. 

Of course, my little kitchen helper was right in there for the classes. I made her cupcakes that she could decorate on her very own. Without any guidance or instruction from me she just got right to it. Honestly, I think she does a better job than I did!!

The sprinkles were her favourite part though!

So happy with this cake. 

Elliana loved her cupcakes so much that we snacked on those before we got to the cake!

But there was cake!

Have you been doing any online classes during these different times? What’s your vote on sprinkles? Extra or minimal?            

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