As you may have noticed, I’ve started doing a weekly Feature Caker post, where I interview a cake decorator whose style I love. One of the questions I ask, is basically, what would to tell a newbie cake decorator as your one piece of advice. In the spirit of mentoring, I thought I’d share my words of wisdom..
I wish I knew that cakes that are attached to their board with buttercream, are not all that safe to drive 4 hours away. They will slide. Off the board.
It would have been helpful to know that if you cover a cake in fondant on your counter, and cut around it with a pizza cutter, it cuts through your counter.. So did not get the bond money back on that apartment..
Making sculpted cakes is not really the easiest thing to start off your cake career with. Over-confidence is a bad thing sometimes. Also, while there might be gravity-defying (looking) cakes, cakes cannot actually defy the laws of gravity. They will fall.
Add to that, covering a cake in fondant that is over 6″ high, with no board halfway through and dowels means you wake up to a very different looking cake. It sags just a little. By a little, I mean a lot. You’ll be recovering that.
Start attempting to be ambidextrous now. While you still can’t pipe. I don’t care how bad you think it looks, you’ll thank me in 14 years, when you can still use your good hand.
I wish I’d known that Australian butter is really yellow. Like weirdly yellow. Trying to keep up with American beautiful white frosting is a pipe dream. However, adding a teeny tiny bit of purple to it helps a lot.
Start buying the good tools. Don’t buy the cheap cake leveller, the plastic tools, or flower cutters. Buy right the first time, because I’ve had to re-buy so much stuff over the years it’s a joke. Don’t be a tight-ass.
Start making friends with other decorators. Eventually they’ll be the only people that will listen to you bitch about your pain in the arse client, and not think it’s weird when you let them book another cake with you next year.
Oh, if I had only known, I would not have agreed to make mini cakes. Ever. They take approximately 2 hours longer to make than the average cake..each! If I never get another order of them, how happy I will be.
Light brown fondant that doesn’t look pink-ish is bloody near impossible to make. Food colour companies, how about making a yellow/ brown? Could we try it? Because these current choices are a joke. Also, making taupe fondant, requires Ivory, Chocolate Brown and the tiniest hint of black. Remember that. You’ll need to make about 50 wedding cakes with that colour. Champagne? Just add shimmer. You’re welcome.