Most folks who know me in real life understand that I don’t make cakes for people. There are several reasons for this, and I won’t bore you guys with a lengthy explanation, but basically my kitchen isn’t set up for multiple ongoing projects, and I found it very difficult to make money doing cakes from home.
This was the very first novelty cake I made. Well, that’s not exactly true, because I did a practice cake first. I don’t think I took any photos of it, and really, it was nothing to look at anyway. I didn’t even bother to color the fondant, so it resembled a poorly formed igloo more than a teddy bear sofa.
Several summers ago I participated in a few of the culinary arts competitions at our county fair, and I had a lot of fun making my entries. This year, the Williamson County Fair runs from August 5 – 13, and I highly encourage my students and other baking enthusiasts to enter. With so many classes and sub categories, there really is something for everyone, whether you like to make candy, bake bread, or decorate cakes.
Here’s another blast-from-the-past doll cake. I made this one years ago. I don’t recall exactly how many, but it was at least ten and more likely closer to twelve. Really, this one isn’t too terribly bad, especially when you consider that it was my very first rolled fondant doll cake, but I still see a few things I should’ve done differently.
Actually, I may have made this cake for a birthday, but I was trying to replicate the design of a Mother’s Day cake pictured in one of my cake decorating books. It’s one of the first cakes I covered in rolled fondant. I was living in the UK at the time and enrolled in a basic sugarcraft course, but I had only ever used buttercream or some other type of frosting to ice a cake, so this was totally new to me.
Years ago I worked in a very busy bakery. I primarily iced cakes for the decorators and set up the wedding cakes. This was back before rolled fondant was such a huge thing, and nearly all brides were still ordering buttercream wedding cakes. I knew how to work with rolled fondant, as did the assistant manager, so it was something the bakery offered, but we just didn’t get that many orders for it.
I have a real debacle for this week’s Should’ve Done Sunday. Let’s go back in time 12, maybe 13 years. I was desperate to practice all the techniques I learned taking the Wilton courses, but I didn’t have that many reasons to make cakes. I also wanted to build up a portfolio of cakes I had decorated to show people what I could do, but at that time I only had maybe six pictures.
Many years ago, before becoming a Wilton Instructor myself, I was a Wilton student for a few months. This was in 1998, when it was just courses 1, 2, and 3, before they really did much with rolled fondant and long before they added the Fondant and Gum Paste course, which has been relaunched as Gum Paste and Fondant as of last summer.
Colette Peters is one of the more well-known cake artists out there, and she’s been doing amazing cakes for a while, long before Duff and Buddy hit the scene and became famous for it. Many years ago I bought her book, Colette’s Cakes, and made the fish cake for my grandfather. It was his birthday, and he liked to go fishing.
This week’s Should’ve Done Sunday isn’t a cake from years ago. Today I’m sharing a more recent effort, as I only just made this cake last weekend. It’s not the fondant that failed. It was me getting in a hurry and trying to cut corners. I don’t feel as though this cake is representative of my skills, as I can do much better, so I’m using it as a learning experience and thinking about what I should’ve done while it’s still fresh in my mind.