After signing up nearly a month ago to take the Wilton Decorating Basics Class, last night was my first lesson!
I actually began preparing for the class on Sunday (the day before my class) with making the 6 plain flat cookies. I used my favorite recipe for cut-out cookies, which is the Martha Stewart Essential Recipe No. 2: Sugar Cookies. From the Wilton Class Discussion Forum I had read that 3" or larger is best. 3" looked so small, so I went with a 4" round cutter to make sure I had plenty of room to decorate!
Before the class I was seriously getting nervous! After everyone arrived to class the Wilton Instructor introduced herself. She is a Master Chef, Master Pastry Chef, and Nutritionist...I hope I got all that right! Anyway she really has a passion for food and wants to share her knowledge with anyone that wants to learn! We did class introductions, everyone taking the class for a different reason. Some for a hobby, some to get better at what they already know, there was even someone there to prepare for decorating her own wedding cake!
We learned to properly prepare the icing in the bag and then used the practice board, making stars and zigzags. Let me tell you that Wilton Decorating Icing in the small tub, that everyone brought...it is thick and hard to squeeze out of the bag. I definitely prefer homemade buttercream! Then we pulled our cookies out. I was surprised to see most everyone brought in store bought cookies! Well that isn't me, but to each her own! We just used the icing as is...white...blah! Then she let us decorate away, there were ideas in the book, but without color or a whole lot of time, I made our families initials.
While we were decorating, the instructor began showing us how to make our own class buttercream icing and the difference between the consistencies and the flavorings and how to color. She gave us tons of hints and tips and the class was FULL of information! In the end she showed us how to use the icing tip and a 16" bag to ice a cake. She did this so quickly and it looked great! I have that tip, I have used it, but after the icing is on the cake it takes me forever to get it smooth! So here is where I really learned a lot. You need to apply the crumb coat...then wait an hour for it to dry over before you put on the final icing. Dry? I have never let anything dry! I just start and don't stop until it's done, so the icing is sticking to the other icing, and...well you get the picture, it takes me near to forever to get it smooth. I didn't know it needed to dry, so I think this will really help me a lot! It can also be smoothed with Viva paper towels or parchment paper after it has dried.
This class is definitely going to help me a lot with my methods. From my experience so far, I would say that EVERYONE needs to take this class! It should be taught in high school!
Next week we bring in a cake, iced and we are doing a piping gel transfer picture on it. Dimensional Decorating it is called...or 3-D. There are 3 templates we can use, a fish, a cupcake, or a hamburger or we can make our own, she doesn't want to confine us to the book! Well let me tell you, last night my mind was running non-stop about what I could put on top of my cake! I can't wait to try icing the cake next weekend with the new methods I have learned! I thinking things will go much more smoothly! :)
Until then...I still have 7 more cookies left from class to decorate, so I am going to try my hand at using color flow icing!