Layer cakes, cheesecakes, bundt cakes, coffee cakes, and - let's not overlook cupcakes! Chocolate, lemon, vanilla, blueberry, coffee, key lime, elaborate with frosting, elegantly simple with a modest dusting of powdered sugar. Yep, I loved them all!
So when I first became vegan I was sure that they'd be forever off my plate. No more. A sweet memory only, filled as they are with chickens' eggs and cows' milk. But then I discovered the myriad vegan cookbooks out there with all of their simple cruelty-free substitutions and I quickly came to cherish a few particular favourites.
And during the last year and a half or so, I think I've become a pretty good baker. Good enough to please my family, friends and coworkers anyhow, so generally I am happy with my progress. But the one thing I have never mastered is formal icing. Piping shells, roses, lettering...that kind of thing.
So when a chance remark to a coworker revealed that one of the big box arts/crafts chains offers Wilton cake decorating classes I took the plunge and signed up for Course I. How hard can it be I thought, to learn smooth frosting, piping dots, leaves, stars and the like? And surely I have an advantage in that I already make cakes all the time and have a few things down pat. One thing did concern me: the stipulation that we use all Wilton supplies - some of which are not vegan - and follow prescribed recipes, which of course include butter. However, I remembered that a great blogger, Vegan_Noodle, also completed this course, so I emailed her for advice. Vegan_Noodle set me straight on substitutions - use the VCTOTW buttercream recipe and omit the meringue powder entirely - and I set off happily to the class.
In Week One I discovered that we are expected to bring a full cake to each class. Each week. It should be ready 'torted' and frosted all over. Man, this is more work than I had expected. The class is on Tuesday evenings so it makes for a pretty long day. Oh well..... In preparation for Week Two I made a basic yellow cake - just two layers because there seemed no point in making something extravagant - and followed the directive to frost it with pale blue buttercream.
Now, just to preserve my self-respect/ego, let us - before we go any further - review some of my past works:
And just for kicks, here's a couple of arty close-ups:
And what about a slice of Humphrey Hound's carrot and beet birthday cake:
So bearing all of the above in mind what, I ask you, what is this heap o'crap????
Stay vegan, friends, and don't eat blue cake! :(
Saturday, March 14, 2009