Sunday, December 30, 2007

Snow Flake Cake

This is the cake I've been excited about making. I found the inspiration on
Two weeks ago I started to make the royal icing snowflakes. My friend Leigh came over to help. I quickly discovered that I don't know anything about royal icing and thus had many broken snowflakes. I made the wilton recipe as precisely as possible, even pulling out my electronic scale to weigh ingredient on my second batch because I swore I did something wrong the first time. The first batch came out like a glob of cement. I added more water then was written but then I worried that that would weaken the snowflakes. The second batch turned out exactly like the first, a big glob... So, in the future I'm going to have to guess at the consistency and add water until I think it's right. I don't like doing that, I have to do the same with the buttercream and it makes me feel like I'm going to mess it up...
I guessed at the snow flake pattern. I drew a circle and then divided it into using 4 lines. I then added little wings to each of the lines. Overall, I was happy with my design, it looked really close to the picture I was using.
I used tip number 3 initially to make the snowflakes but felt they were too delicate and would break so I switched to tip number 5. I was happy with the way they turned out. It was fun piping with Leigh. She did a great job for her first attempt at piping.
After I was finished piping about 50 snowflakes over the course of three days...
I then went on cakecentral to see if I could learn anything more about making RI snowflakes. As usual I found a plethora of information, more then I could ever want to know... I found out that the snowflake patter was from the wilton 2003 yearbook. I was able to download the pattern (a little late but now I know to do more research BEFORE I make the cake). I also made two e-mail friends through cakecentral. I sent them both questions about RI and snowflakes. They got back to me within a day, which was cool. They want to see pictures of the final cake, which is nice.
To assemble this cake I packed up the snowflakes and transported the cake to my aunt's house. I assembled it there. I broke about 1/2 the snowflakes I made. Tip 5 were the only ones that survived. I would have spaced the snowflakes on the cake differently had I put some thought into were I was going to put them all on the cake, but I didn't. My original thought was to insert them all into the side but then I had some left over so I layed then down in between the snowflakes I inserted. It was even around the outside, which is what bothered me, but I think that has something to do with my obsessive nature :)
So, overall- I'm not sure how I feel about royal icing. I like how it hardens and you can just lay the design right on the cake. I don't feel I've mastered the recipe and will attempt a different once next time. If it's too hard, its hard to pipe, if its too runny you can't really make any nice designs like flowers, which I don't like. So we will see. I'll give it another try once I find a cake I want to make.

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