Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wilton Course 1, Week 2 (And A Review)

Here's my cake for week 2 of my Wilton class. Only one more week to go! In this week's class we learned how to pipe a shell border, make hearts (I suck at those!) make dots of various sizes and how to pipe drop flowers.

Oh and we learned how to pipe using parchment triangles. I officially don't like those. My paper kept shifting at the base by the tip. It was messy and far more problematic than I ever thought possible. I see how they can come in handy and I see how they could be used in a pinch for scribing out a name with melted chocolate on a cake, but if I don't have to use them, I won't be.

The drop flowers also look simpler than they are. They're not hard, but you have to twist your hand while squeezing out the icing. It just takes practice. I think mine came out alright. I was going to pipe a shell border on the cake but my icing was too thick and the ends kept breaking off, causing it to look a little jagged, so I left them off.

This is how I chose to incorporate clowns and flowers. Last week she told us we had to have clown bodies on our cake, but that we could use any head we wanted. Some people did Hello Kitty, others did Sponge Bob and Darth Vader! I chose the clowns because I was determined to make them un-scary. So I piped a field of wild (read: overgrown) grass, some pink flowers (totally not scary!) and the clowns sitting on the side.

I'm pleased with the way it turned out, but I had one minor problem with the clown in the red collar. The orange cream cheese icing below him had gotten a little soft and the weight of the clown body made it look like he had a saggy butt. As soon as I got home I put it in the fridge, but as I was trying to fix it, the other clowns foot fell off- ha! Oh well. Next time I'll use a more stable (a stiffer) icing to frost my cake in.

On to the review part of this post. I love carrot cake so when I saw a commercial for this cake mix I thought I'd give it a try. I like how the box says "decadent" and "ingredient rich". If by that they mean, a spice cake mix with a baggy of dried shredded carrots and raisins, then okay.

It was not bad, but I don't think I'd make it again. The "recipe" calls for rehydrating the carrots and raisins in hot water for 5 minutes. I let them sit for 15 minutes before adding the eggs, oils and cake mix. The end result was a very moist cake, but it was a little too spicy for me and the carrots were a little chewy. Of course if you like spice cake, then you might love this one. I, on the other hand, will be making mine from freshly grated carrots. I prefer a carrot rich cake with added spices, not the other way around. On a good note, those that tasted the cake said it tasted homemade. I iced my cake with orange cream cheese icing.

Has anyone else made this cake mix? What did you think of it? Are there other mixes out there that you love that I should give a try?

20 comments:

Coleen's Recipes said...

Congratulations on your Wilton lessons, your cake looks excellent. I took the classes 30 years ago and I still use what I learned today. The frosting consistency is the biggest thing to get right.

girlichef said...

I saw this cake mix and wondered about it... Your cake is so adorable. I think you're definitely convincing me to take the class!

Selba said...

The flowers are so pretty! I want to learn to make them :)

sarahe said...

much cuter than my wilton clown cake!

Stefanie said...

Nice job. I like how you incorparated the clowns and the flowers.

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Now that IS a cute clown cake!

Bella said...

Hi Monica, I have always wanted to take a cake decorating class and now you've given me the bug again. I love, love, love the pink and green on this cake....the clown is so cute. Answering your question that you left on my blog: I always cook peaches fresh or thawed (from frozen). I think that frozen is not a good idea unless it is already in a pie or cobbler state frozen (as in the freezer cases in the store). Hope all is well with you! Keep on impressing us with your decorating! ~ roz

Laura said...

damn those clown are still scary! :D

Grimmy said...

Your drop flowers are awesome!! I still haven't been able to master that. Good job.

Kerstin said...

The clowns are so cute in their little flower field - great job!

Kim said...

Your clown cake looks great!! I remember when I took this class years ago......my clown cake was scary!! I'm pretty sure I threw those little clown heads away. Thanks for the review on the cake mix. I like to try different mixes sometimes, but I haven't seen this one yet.

Dawn said...

steady hand girl!! I need that. Someday. I want to try a few more pastry making classes before cake deocrating. I mean I love cakes, but love having someone else decorate them--I like to arrange things, hence pastry-making. LOL

Sophie said...

My grandma uses this mix and likes to add a bucket of sour cream to make it even more moist :D. I'd say this is my fav. of the cake mixes.

Seriously, can't believe you made this! OK, so yeah... I can, of course I can!! You're Monica the amazing cake decorator. To think, this is only your first class, you're a natural talent!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

It's fun to see you going through the same course I took. The violet flowers were easy, but my clowns looked more like aliens from outer space. Still, I conquered my fear of piping bags. My hearts looked weird, too. Practice, practice, practice.
Ina Garten makes a carrot cake that I absolutely love! It's so good, that I cut calories by not frosting it. I'll have to make that again.
I have nothing against cake mixes, but I give myself a personal challenge of making all my cakes from scratch. It's that silly perfectionism in me!

Lissaloo said...

The flowers are wonderful :) The only time I used a carrot cake mix, don't remember the brand, the carrots were weird-chewy. Never used one again.

Kathy said...

I can't believe you're in a Wilton Class - From the looks of your blog and wonderful creations you come up with all the time - I just assumed you did this as well. I assumed you were the master baker of all things coming out of the oven!!! ;)

A neighbor and I took a Wilton class together from a Professional Caterer at her bakery and had a blast!!! We even used to decorate cakes together as a side business. It was fun but we never got fully paid for all the hard work that went into it. Then with four kiddos - that got put to the back burner!

I'm excited to watch your progress! I have a feeling you'll be a professional one day!!!

Ingrid said...

Okay, while the clowns aren't scary they still won't be making an appearance on any cake I make. :)

LOL, I still haven't made my own carrot cake sans raisins. Who knew..make it like you like it, right?
~ingrid

pharmtch said...

You drop flowers are just fine. I took the Wilton courses one year ago and I just learned how to make those flowers!!I could never get my wrist to twist just right!!By the way, I would like to tell you about this great website called cakecentral.com .After I finished my courses I happen to come accross this site.You absolutely going to love it!! Any cake questions? They have the answer!!

Maria said...

Such a cute cake. I don't use mixes so I don't know. Sorry! Let me know if you find a good one!

abby said...

i love the color scheme of the cake. pink and green are my favorite colors. i bet it tasted heavenly. cheers to a good pastry chef! =)

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