I wanted to share with you all, this cake I completed - from a weekend course at Millys in Parnell with the wonderful Kirsten (our tutor). I have made many many cakes in my time, but I freely admit, I have never really piped flowers and I was keen to learn how to do it properly. The flowers are made in Royal icing, the cake is buttercream. The blue butterfly is there for my daughter Poppy (her favourite colour is blue), whilst it doesn't match the cake AT ALL - it was made solely for her (she is only 6).
I learnt some great tips from Kirsten, things I hadn't ever had to worry about, or didn't think about too much before. I wanted to share some of them with you
1. Royal icing is affected by grease, if you have piped royal icing flowers using tips or bags that have grease from buttercream in them OR, you place in a plastic container (plastic is porous and can absorb grease) that has had greasy things in it - this can cause your flowers to wilt & go mushy - meaning when you try to pick them up they squash.
2. The problem described above is actually a bonus when placing on a cake, as you can see from my photo, the flowers are placed on a buttercream cake (which survived a trip back from Auckland just fine), yet they absorb the grease from the buttercream, meaning when you go to cut the cake they are soft and can be cut right through with a knife and are easy to eat.
3. This next tip is nothing to do with the cake in question, but I learnt it this weekend - if you want to mix neon orange icing, use orange food colouring with lemon yellow, it will really make your colour pop.
4. As I haven't done a lot of royal icing work, beyond cornelli on fondant and using royal icing to glue components of a cake together. (i.e - I use it to do the work and then toss out the remaining icing), I was surprised to see royal icing that has been left to sit covered for an afternoon, takes on a marshamallow texture, and needs to be remixed, to be able to use it.
5. I love working with Wilton's colourflow mix, flooding cookies is SO MUCH EASIER than I thought it was.
My good friend Lisa often jokes, I started Kiwicakes, becasue I couldn't find enough of the tools & equipment I wanted to indulge my hobby in NZ and now looking after Kiwicakes I haven't enough time for my hobby - so it was great to get some hands on time actually making cakes, instead of just talking about them in theory and sharing a fun weekend with like minded people.