Newcastle, NSW, Australia
I’m a former industrial chemist, and after deciding on a career change while at home with my two young children, I’m now a qualified pastry chef. In 2009 I started taking some classes in cake decorating and other pastry-related cookery, and taught myself many more decorating techniques from books and internet resources. In 2010 I started a pastry apprenticeship, studying Retail Baking (Cake & Pastry) Certificate III at TAFE, which I completed with Distinction in 2012. I completed my apprenticeship in December 2013, and am now working as a full time Pastry chef and Cake Decorator at 'Exquisite Cakes by Lennert' in Cessnock, NSW.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Third Christmas Cake Class

Marilyn didn't actually have a picture to show us of the cake we're making in this class, so we've really been flying blind the whole time.  I've had a picture in my mind of how I thought it would look based on the shape of the sleigh sides... but when I listened to Marilyn describe how to cut and arrange the cake, her description didn't seem to match my vision, and I could never quite get a handle on how she wanted us to do it.  We were supposed to cover our cakes last night, but because of the uncertainty, I decided to just observe.  Not to mention that as I discovered in the beginner class, that classroom and white fondant don't mix... damn dust!

The cut-out sides for the sleigh are low at the front and high at the back, so I've been picturing Santa sitting on the low front part of the cake and putting his sack on the higher "step" at the back, then stacking presents and toys around him.  But the way Marilyn showed us last night is to have the high part at the front (so the cake is sticking up above the cut-outs) with Santa perched on top, and the low part at the back creates a hollow to fill up with presents.  To me it looked back-to-front and horribly wrong... sorry Marilyn, no offence, but I'm sticking with my own plan.

So we were supposed to be covering cakes and making Santas last night, but I didn't want to cover my cake in class and I've already made my Santa.  I just took my gel colours with me and made little presents to go in the sleigh... something nice and simple!  I had the hassles with my paste, which need a quick zap in the microwave if I had to knead a big piece, so I figured it would be easier for me to make my Santa at home.  Plus I like the Santa picture and instructions in my own cake decorating book, and I felt I could do a better job at home where I could take my time and let pieces dry between stages.

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