Today was the final day of my Wilton Course 3 class. It was also the last class of all the Wilton classes offered at my local Michael’s, since I have already completed Course 1 and 2 and the Fondant and Gum Paste class. However, lest I get too big for my britches with all this cake decorating know-how, the cake gods made sure just about everything that could go wrong in my prep for today’s class went wrong. A brief (and partial) accounting follows. My cake layers (I made extra) bubbled over in the oven, making a smoky, burnt mess, which I then had to chisel out (this happened twice!). My layers crumbled and/or broke (yes, every single one of them) when I removed them from the pans to cool. My crumb coats of icing were full of crumbs (which is supposed to happen), as were my final coats (not supposed to happen). By the end of my baking and frosting day yesterday, I was sick to death of this cake, and I hadn’t even had class yet.
This morning, I somehow managed to transport the cakes to class without further damage. We spent the morning assembling the tiers and decorating our cakes with the royal icing flowers we had made and dried in advance. All in all, I’m satisfied with the results — it isn’t quite what I had envisioned but I’m mostly relieved that it’s finished and we can finally eat it. 🙂 The cake is the Chocolate Fudge Groom’s Cake from the Wilton site, iced with the Buttercream Icing (half shortening, half butter — a compromise over the all-shortening Class Buttercream which I’ve been whining about since I started my first Wilton class back in February). It’s a good combo — I ate enough trimmings yesterday to know. The purple petunias were for C. — I promised him a purple-themed cake a while back.
When I started my first Wilton class last winter, all I wanted was to learn a little something about cake decorating so I wouldn’t make too big a fool out of myself when I did my cake classes at Johnson and Wales. I didn’t expect to love it, or even be good at it. To my surprise, I found the classes to be really enjoyable and personally gratifying. As my mother-in-law said to me recently, “Those classes really worked out for you, didn’t they?” As always, a million thank you’s to Evelyn for being the best teacher an uncoordinated, unartistic person could hope for — positive, supportive, patient and most of all, always good-humored. I am so grateful we crossed paths.