Charlotte Pearson heads to Goring-by-sea for a master class in cake decorating.
Making cakes is something I enjoy, but when it comes to decorating icing sugar is my nemesis and fondant can be a tricky character.
So while my cakes may taste delicious it doesn’t have that wow factor, which is where Laura Moore of Enchanted Cakes comes in.
With courses in stencilling, edible lace, modelling and big cake decorating if anyone can help me it is Laura.
To start we get the fondant out and add Tylo Powder which makes it easier to mould and less sticky.
Once I have picked my colours of sky blue and dusky pink we start creating the flowers which will adorn a birdcage.
For this we have two options, a rose silicone mould and a cutter.
To ensure the fondant doesn’t stick to the mould we use cornflour on the inside, removing any excess.
“Some people use icing sugar but this can work its way into the fondant,” reveals Laura. “It can change the texture and the colour by making it look dusty.
“Cornflower can be brushed straight off.”
I am amazed at Laura’s speed, in the time it takes me to do one little rose she has done about five.
Once we have an array of pretty posies we turn our attention to piped icing, which will be the vines and bars of the birdcage.
On a piece of paper I try my hardest to create perfectly straight lines in the white with the nozzle and then wiggly lines with the green smaller nozzle.
I watch Laura a couple of times to get the technique and keep repeating in my head to keep it high off the
paper and ‘let gravity do the work’.
“I use royal icing for this,” says Laura. “A little tip – don’t follow the instructions on the packet, as sometimes it can make it too runny.
“The way I do it is by adding water spoonful by spoonful. You almost want it too thick.”
Once mastered we move on to the dome.
Taking our cupcakes over to the bowl I dollop a healthy amount of buttercream on top and work away to create the shape.
This is followed by cutting a circle of coloured fondant which I carefully place on the buttercream mound, smoothing with the palm of my hand.
“When you use a cutter you want it to be bigger than your cake,” explains Laura.
“I always fit it over the top – you don’t want it a lot bigger but enough for the fondant to go out the dome shape.”
Using the two nozzles I pipe four lines on the dome adding a fondant ball on top.
I quickly move on to the vines and, while the icing is still wet, apply the flowers we made earlier.
Stencilling is next on the master class.
The fondant is rolled out to a few millimetres thick and the cutter is placed over the top, but not pressed down.
Now is the time for the fun bit as I pick two stencils and a glitter berry colour powder and paint it over the top.
As with the birdcage, when finished it is cut out and placed carefully on top.
Finally it was the buttercream roses, which left me feeling a little nervous.
I watch as Laura creates them with ease and we practice on a chopping board.
Using the nozzle you keep it at 90 degrees, do a blob and then go round in a spiral.
It takes a few goes but once I feel ready I have a go on a cake.
“When you are baking, once the cakes are done, if you put a layer of buttercream and leave to dry it keeps the cakes fresh but also acts as a barrier,” she says.
“It doesn’t matter if you go wrong with the plain buttercream as it won’t stick to the dry buttercream so you can push it off and start again.”
On one of my practices Laura tells me to do it quickly without thinking and it is so much easier and I find my roses are much better.
With most of what Laura teaches it is about confidence, knowing if it doesn’t go right no one else knows what it is meant to be like anyway.
After two hours I feel very proud of myself.
The cakes may not be perfect, but for a first attempt I am impressed and find myself already writing my shopping list so I can recreate it all at home.
Laura launched Enchanted Cupcakes in 2012.
What started as a way of fund-raising money to help her disabled son has grown to a fully fledged business.
“I mainly focus on the classes now,” she says. “I still do wedding cakes, but there is always a lot of pressure.”
The classes began when friends asked her to teach them, but once the event was posted on to Facebook she found strangers filled the spaces instead.
“I only have five people for the decorating classes,” reveals Laura. “Unless it is the big cake then I only have two.
“I have had people from Chester come down and someone from India asked if they could fly over, it is crazy.”
Laura will be auctioning cakes off at the Wilson’s Wonky Wish fun day on August 9 at Lamb Park, Durrington.
Entry is free and there will be face painting, children’s rides and a number of stalls.
Laura’s classes are for those aged 16 and over, and she has even held hen parties.
July 24, 2015 Food and Drink