I am in cake decorating mood. My fingers are itching for the piping bag. I am making ‘rosette’ motions with my hands while talking, practising ‘ruffle’ actions while waiting at traffic signals (like Bhanupriya in Azhagan who is always dancing; dancing while talking, dancing while arguing with her lover). Not that I am an expert. Far from it. But I want to decorate everything that comes out of the oven – muffins, sheet cakes even. Cake decorating is addictive.
Don’t believe me? Go to Home bakers Guild on Facebook. There’s a new cult of Home Bakers out there that make stunning, irresistible cakes that are far superior to anything in the stores.
I took Subhashini Ramsingh’s buttercream decorating class recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. Subhashini is the most patient of teachers, calm and unruffled piping away buttercream roses and carnations over and over for us even when our roses looked like unfurled cabbages and our carnations like crumpled paper. She’d just start over again – “Ek Gaav me ek kisaan raguthatha”. The first day we practised our basics – stars, rosettes, beads, ruffles, ropes, leaves and shells. We filled our piping bags, piped, scraped it back into the bag, again piped, scraped, piped the whole day. At the end of the first day, my fingers were numb and I couldn’t squeeze my toothpaste tube that night. I’d never worked my fingers as much in my entire life. But I loved it.
The second day we decorated our own cakes from scratch. I used a palette knife to make the shabby-chic (that’s the word I gather from Pinterest for anything that you’ve made uneven, imperfect by design but want to warn people from calling it shabby – it’s an ingenious word. I am going to be using it often) top, piped a crochet style lattice around the sides of the cake and finished with a dual tone buttercream carnation. What do you think?
I call it my “Chingu Cha” cake – pink colour chingu cha, orange colour chingu cha, green colour chingu cha but I think it has its merits. I love the carnation at the top.
With the decorating class behind me, I was looking for an excuse to decorate a cake. It was nobody’s birthday or anniversary, it wasn’t Mother’s day, Father’s day or Husband’s day, I don’t know my neighbours enough to give cake, my friends at office would have smashed my face into the cake if I gave them anymore cake. What a huge crisis I was into?! I then remembered that we were invited to a 25th Wedding Anniversary party that weekend. That’s it, perfect. The cake would make a lovely gift too. I made a heart shaped coffee flavoured cake, filled with mocha mousse and covered with whipped cream rosettes. I cut out heart shapes from red coloured card stock, wrote out the message in glitter pen, glued it to floral wire which I twisted into spirals and inserted into the back of the cake.
I am not including any recipes with this post. I used the coffee cake recipe I posted earlier for the red rosette cake. For the Chingu-cha cake, I used the Vanilla cake recipe from Subhashini’s Fondbites blog. Thank you Priya, Arthi and Rajee for this wonderful cake stand. I am loving it.
I’ve now noted down all my friends’ birthdays, anniversaries, Hallmark occasions (Sisters day, Machaan day, Pangaali day..), school occasions (Last day of school, first day of new term, last working Saturday) and every possible opening. Like it or not, everybody’s got a cake coming their way.