Are your current cake decorating classes economical and effective? Is what you are learning practical for your needs?
“What is the difference. Wilton cake decorating classes vs Lambert Academy of Sugar Craft classes?”
I taught Wilton cake classes at the beginning of my career. Based on this experience, I have compiled the following side by side comparison of what both types of cake decorating classes offer, cost wise and time wise, to you, our valued customers.
Wilton cake decorating classes vs Lambert Academy of Sugar Craft classes.
Wilton has been around for a very, very long time and has made itself a household name by assisting the average home baker to be more proficient at decorating cake. A large majority of their business profile is based on the sale of their “specialized” tools. It is widely known that some these tools are extremely pricey. Their classes are offered at your local craft store, usually in the arts and crafts room. They are broken down into 4 modules. The basic class structure is paced at two hours per week over a four week period for each of the 4 modules.
Some of my focus has shifted toward a growing concern amongst many people. It seems that there are many more folks out there with food intolerance, health issues or body management concerns. Yet everyone still loves the indulgence of cake every once in a while. Here is my offering today one of my many gluten free cake recipes that I am sure you will enjoy.
Gluten Free Butter Cake Oven Temp: 350 degrees F
2 2/3 cups Robin Hood Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
Who would have thought you could make a decandent rich mouth watering chocolate cake with only two ingredients? And it’s diabetic friendly, celiac friendly and dieter friendly!!
Two Ingredient Chocolate Cake
Makes one 8” round
Oven temperature: 500 degrees
Prep time: 30 minutes plus 12 hours /overnight refrigeration
Bake time: 8 minutes
11 oz. (310 gm) 90 % cocoa solids dark chocolate (for cake batter)
plus and extra 7 oz.(185 gm) dark chocolate ( for topping)
10 large eggs, separated
Preheat oven to 500 degrees
Line an 8” springform pan with parchment paper. The liner for the pan sides, should be an inch or so taller than the pan to allow for rising.
In a large metal bowl, over a pan of simmering water, melt 11 oz. of chocolate. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Stir often.
Once melted, allow the chocolate to cool slightly but not return to solid.
In a large bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peak consistency. Do not over beat.
Transfer the bowl of warm chocolate to your work surface and gently stir in the beaten egg yolks. Then add a couple of tablespoons of the egg whites to temper this mix. Stir just to combine. Once combined, quickly and gently fold in the remainder of the egg whites until the mixture has the consistency of a light mousse. Do not over mix or you will deflate your mixture.
Pour this mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes EXACTLY.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow the pan to cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Place it in the fridge to chill for at least 12 hours.
To serve, dip a sharp knife into hot water and use it to slice the cake.
My personal favorite way to serve (EAT) this is with a few fresh berries and a bit of cognac infused whipped cream. Or if the eat cake, lose weight thing isn’t your schtick and you just want to eat cake, it’s great with ice cream too!
It’s that pesky question, “Which gumpaste do I use?” There really is no right answer. With so many different brands on the market, it can be very hard to choose.
I personally only have two preferences and each is dependent on what my project is.
For flowers, by far the very best Gumpaste I have ever used is Platinum Paste. It is a product out of Great Britain but they have a distributor in Bay City, Michigan, USA. (Avenues Sweet Choices) Having to order online from the US may seem rather inconvenient, but that inconvenience is far outweighed by the fabulous end result.
For Gumpaste characters, my preference is homemade and I will attach my recipe at the end of this post.
It rolls very very very thin. You can literally roll it out thin enough to see through and it will not tear. Thin petals mean a more realistic looking flower. You do not require cornstarch (cornflour) or vegetable shortening to prevent it from sticking. My essential tool however would be my silicon mat and I have never had any sticking problems.
Not having to use cornflour to prevent sticking means I do not have to try and dust off my petals after my flower or leaf is complete. I steam all my florals after they are complete so cornflour residue is not really an issue but it can be quite messy and I hate the clean up. Not using vegetable shortening means there is no oily residue that is going to stop my petals dusts from performing the way I want them to. Platinum paste drys fast enough that you can get to the final construction of your florals quicker. It dries solid but not brittle so even with thin petals, the material is surprisingly strong and resistant to cracks and chips.
For figures, as I mentioned before, I prefer to use homemade Gumpaste. I can control how quickly it dries by adding a bit of homemade or store bought fondant. For instance, if I am working on detailed faces, I want my paste to stay firm but moist until I get all of my details in. There is nothing more frustrating that starting out with a smooth face and after finishing the eyes and trying to move onto the mouth area, it is already drying and starting to crack and form elephant skin. No princess looks good in elephant skin.
Lots of decorators like to use a 50/50 mix of Gumpaste and Fondant but I feel your environment changes this a lot. It is very dry in Calgary, where I live, and especially during the winter I will move to more of the 50/50 mix. In the summer when there is more humidity in the air, this changes to more of a 75/25 mix. (75% being Gumpaste)
You could also make a “cheater gumpaste” by adding a bit of Tylose, GumTragacanthe, or GumTex to fondant. Add 1-2 tablespoons of Tylose powder to 1 pound of fondant. Rule of thumb says in Low humidity use less Tylose – High humidity more Tylose. Adding Tylose to your fondant allows it to dry solid and quickly. It’s great if you are in a bind and don’t have the time to make a batch of gumpaste.
I have also included a link at the end of this post that will direct you to a video showing how to turn your left over Royal Icing into a quick and great working Gumpaste.
Here is a list of a few gumpastes available in my area. Depending on where you are, you may have a more extensive variety. Experiment a bit until you find the one that suits you and your needs best. It really is just a personal preference.
Satin Ice Gumpaste 2 lb tub @ $13.99 Wht Only (Cake Mischief)
Confectioners Choice Gumpaste 2 lb tub @$14.95 Red/Blk/Wht (Flour Confections)
Bakels 6 oz. $6.49 Wht Only (PM Hobby Calgary)
McCalls Ready Made Gumpaste 300g $9.80 Wht Only (McCalls.ca)
Chocopan Gumpaste 2 lb tub @$12.99 USD (Avail online from US)
Wilton Gumpaste VariousColors 6 oz. $6.99 (Michaels)
Fondarific Gumpaste 1 lb tub $11.95 (Icing Inspirations)
Plantinum Paste 350g $23.50 Wht Only (Avenues Sweet Choices, USA)
Homemade Gumpaste Recipe (Makes 3 x 8oz bullets)
1 pound powdered sugar (icing sugar)
3 ½ oz. white cornsyrup (glucose)
2 Tbsp. Tylose Powder
3 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
Sift your sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer. Sprinkle the Tylose powder over top of the sugar and turn your mixer on low to stir this together well.
Pour the cornsyrup into the center of your powdered sugar being careful not drip any onto the sides of the bowl.
Mix the vinegar and water together and with your mixer on low, pour this into the dry mix. Once it forms a soft ball, turn out onto your work surface that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar. If mixture is sticky, put a bit of vegetable shortening on your hands and knead until you have a firm smooth ball of paste. If you mixture is very sticky, add small amounts of powdered sugar at a time being careful not to add too much, making your mixture excessively dry.
Divide the dough into three equal parts and tightly wrap in clingwrap. Store these “bullets” in the fridge in a Ziploc bag for up to 6 weeks.
Hello again cake friends! I hope this post finds you all well and happily baking up dreams.
My kitchen has been bustling with activity for the past couple of weeks. Halloween, last minute showers, and building new classes for the 2015 Roster have kept me very very busy. But putting all of that aside, it isn’t that long before all of the year end festivities start. This time of year can be quite the strain on the wallet, but you shouldn’t have to put your hobbies on hold completely. You’ll be happy to know that we are once again having our annual Winter Sale. Here at Lesi’s Kitchen it’s our way of adding a little cheer to this time of year.
Here are all of the specials, followed by the roster of classes for November. Your gift certificates however can be used on all of the classes, not just the November roster.
Special #1 : Sign up to Rose/Orchid Class and receive Intro to Gumpaste Free
Special #2: Sign up for Advanced Gumpaste and receive Intro to Gumpaste Free
Special #3: Sign up to Glamour Wedding Cakes and bring a friend for 60% OFF
BONUS SPECIAL: FREE GIFT CERTIFICATES
Get a $10 gift Certificate with sign up for Kids Cookie Workshop, Ginger Cookie Mural, Introduction to Gumpaste, or Cake Decorating-The Basics
Get a $50 Gift Certificate with sign up to any of the other classes.
YOUR BONUS CERTIFICATES ARE VALID WITHIN 3 MONTHS OF ISSUE DATE. BONUS OFFER CANNOT BE COMBINED WITH SPECIALS 1-2-3
Just a reminder as well, to sign up for your ONLINE Fat Chef Video Tutorial class at 50% offwhile the offer still lasts.
I really hope that you can take advantage of some of these savings. I look forward to seeing you in class. It has been quite a year and I personally am looking forward to the festivities that start popping up all over the place.
Until next time, Happy Caking!!
Lambert Academy Contact Information and Studio Location