Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Cake Decorating at Black Pearl Epicure


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...

Christmas is creeping steadily closer, and preparations are well underway at Chez Cakelaw. Even though I go to my mother's for Christmas, I have for the past few years been making Christmas treats for my friends, which takes some planning to ensure that there is no last minute rush on, say, the depleted condensed milk isle or the dried apricots at my local grocery store.

On Sunday, just for fun and to get me into the Christmas spirit, I attended a half day Christmas cake decorating course at Black Pearl Epicure. As you can imagine, in such a short time, we are not going to be creating the Sistine Chapel of cakes, but our teacher, Judy C of Cakes by Judy C, showed us three simple designs. The first was simply sticking lustre dusted Christmas shapes and silver cachous on the cake; the next was creating a holly wreath around the edge of the cake; and the third, which I chose, was a candle design.

Here is my finished cake:


The hardest part was actually icing the cake itself, not the decorations. To make the candles, we just rolled up sausages of rolled fondant of different sizes, hollowing out the top of each with our fingertip to imitate a "burnt out" look. The candles (and all other decorations) were stuck to the cake with water. We then cut out holly leaves using a holy shaped cutter and green rolled fondant, marking leaf markings with a knife, which we stuck on in a twisty way at the base of the candles. The little holly berries are balls of rolled red fondant. Next, using royal icing, we piped on dripping candle wax and the candle flames, then finally, highlighted the piping with silver lustre dust and put a glow around the flames using gold lustre dust.

The ferns were painted on using a dab of Wilton green gel colouring which had been diluted with water to make a paint, while the non-edible ribbons were stuck on last using dabs of royal icing.

I think the cake is simple but effective, and Judy C was certainly a good teacher.

I hope your own Christmas preparations are going well!

18 comments:

Johanna said...

when I was younger I used to decorate cakes but got too busy - I love this design but I know what you mean about it being tricky to ice a cake so the icing looks neat and smooth - we made the christmas pudding for my family on the weekend - feels just too early but it does creep up on you

Ellie said...

Can't believe christmas is around the corner. I am yet to make any christmas goodies :( This cake is so well decorated! I have always wanted to learn more about cake decorating skills.

Jennifer said...

What a stunning cake!!!!! It's absolutely beautiful! WAY TO GO!!!!

Simply Life said...

Oh my, another GORGEOUS cake! That is just beautiful!!!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Aww that's beautiful! That looks like it belongs in a cake shop window! :o

Julia @Mélanger said...

I have a couple of classes at Black Pearl coming up soon. I can't wait. I did look at this one, but couldn't afford them all. Always good to know there are some simple ways to make something look special!

The Caked Crusader said...

Your finished cake is beautiful - I've never been able to decorate cakes and admire anyone who turns out something this elegant

Emily said...

You have skills! This cake is gorgeous!

Also, I would like to say goodbye to Fay. You'll be missed!

Happy cook said...

Looks so so beautiful, wish i could decorate like this,

Palidor said...

Wow! You are so skilled. That is a gorgeous cake and definitely will put anybody into the holiday spirit.

adele said...

Ooh. Lovely!

jillbert said...

That is beautiful! I love going to classes like that - sounds so fun.

Nutmeg Nanny said...

What a beautiful cake! I wish I had the skills to do stuff like this... :)

Cakelaw said...

Hi Johanna, I still have so much to learn about cake decorating. The simplicity of this surprised me, because the end result looks complicated.

Hi Ellie, yes, Christmas is scarily close - I have baked my own fruit cake but nothing else yet.

Thanks Jennifer :)

Thanks Simply Life.

LOL Lorraine - thanks.

Hi Julia, this was my second Black Pearl course, and I have found them both to be good so far.

Hi Crusader, when shown how, even someone all thumbs like me can make something that looks good.

Thanks Em - and Fay would appreciate your good wishes.

Hi Happy Cook, the great thing is you can - you just need to be shown how.

Thanks Palidor - we had a good teacher.

Thanks Adele.

Hi Jill - agreed - it's great when you learn something new. I had iced a fruit cake before, but the techniques used here were different to what I had done before.

Hi Nanny, you can - believe me. In just 4 hours, we were shown how to do this, then did it.

isa said...

Beautiful cake! You are very talented!

Tina said...

The cake looks absolutely divine! I love what you have done.

Cakes by JudyC said...

HI! I have only just found this entry - thankyou ( from JudyC!)
I posted a link to this blog entry on our FB page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ashgrove-Australia/Cakes-by-JudyC/147378830152

thanks again!
JC

Cakelaw said...

Hi Judy, no problem - it was a fun class.