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April 7, 2007

Cake Decorating Course 1 Lesson 2

Last week have been really busy. My original plan is to go home early on Thursday and stop by the cake decorating shop to buy additional tools and then, buy our weekly grocery and ingredients for my assigment (iced cake). I am also supposed to bake a cake so I can iced it by Friday but I had to finish binding 10 reports for our client. I ended up going home at 11 PM. I was so tired and I missed Asian Treasure. Grrrrr......

The following morning (Friday), I went to Lulu Hypermarket to buy groceries and ingredients for the cake and icing. Since I spent a lot of money last week, I was on a saving mood. I bought what I thought would be good value for my money.

Powdered sugar vs. icing sugar: I've always thought they are the same. Imported icing sugar (those sold in boxes) costs about QR 5-6 per 500g while the powdered sugar re-packaged in 1 kg bags costs QR 4 only. 1 recipe requiress 1 lb icing sugar and since I'm preparing 3x, I need almost 1.5 kilos of sugar. I bought 2 kilos of powdered sugar (2 x QR 4).

Shortening: The brand of shortening used in the demo last week is Crisco. It is available in small can (QR 9) and individually packed 1-cup portions (3pcs = QR 14). While the latter is more convinient to use, the cost per gram is more. I bought it for future use...I think it's too expensive for practice. Then, I got another shortening (also a popular brand) at QR 10 = 1kg.

I always consider quality when buying things. I bought the cheaper shortening and sugar thinking that the quality is the same as the more expensive ones.

According to Murphy's Law - "If anything can go wrong, it will"

Just when I am about to pre-heat my oven, we ran out gas and it's Friday!!!! Grrrrr.... I don't know why we always run out of LPG on a Friday when all shops are closed until early evening. I had no choice but to start the preparation after dinner.

Finally, I decided to bake a mocha chiffon cake. For the icing, I used the cheaper shortening and the powdered sugar I bought. But stupid me, I mixed 3 recipes of buttercream icing all at the same time. It's more than what my hand mixer could handle and it's too late when I realized it. As a consequence, my icing didn't have good consistency...honestly, it wasn't good for covering the cake. But I didn't want to throw it, "sayang naman" so I saved it for use in the decoration of the cake.

I prepared a new buttercream icing for covering the cake. This time, I used the Crisco shortening but the same powdered sugar. I noticed that Crisco is white compared to the cheaper brand which is yellowish and it gave a more creamy texture. So I figured, aside from the mixing problem, perhaps, shortening is also a culprit.

Below is my cake with light blue icing. It's not very smooth because I don't have the fondant smoothener (it's not available from the store). Okay naman di ba?


On the day of the lesson, everyone's icing is good except mine. The instructor asked me, how I prepared it so I explained to her, how I mixed it and that I think I used a shortening with inferior quality. She told me that at most, I should prepare only 2 recipes of buttercream icing and powdered sugar and icing sugar are not the same...I must use the icing sugar. Another lesson learned...although when I googled powdered sugar several websites (links found below) confirmed that icing sugar, confectioner's sugar and powdered sugar are the same.

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/sugar.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powdered_sugar
http://www.foodreference.com/html/fpowderedsugar.html

Below is the rainbow pattern transferred to the cake. I used piping gel for the transparent lines.





I didn't finish the decoration during the class. It's very difficult to pipe my icing. I just continued it at home (see below).



I know I need more practice but I made it!!!! Isn't it great?



My classmates' cakes:




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