This is it! The last week of my learning project. I have to say, it does feel bittersweet. As promised in my very first learning project post, I baked and decorated a cake completely from scratch. I have been preparing for this over the last couple weeks of my learning project. Two weeks ago, I decorated cupcakes, so I could learn about working with buttercream and using various decorating tips. Last week, I made fondant roses, so I would have some practice before making them for my final project. Since I did the preparations, I felt pretty confident going into this final project.
I started by calling my family friend Bree to ask her some questions about cake decorating. Bree is an incredible self-taught baker and decorator. I could not have found a better person to talk to about learning to bake online, as she learnt almost everything she knows about cake decorating from YouTube. She also has experience with gluten-free baking! You can check out her work on her Facebook page Bree-zerts. Bree gave me some great tips about working with fondant, such as how to use water as a glue to keep fondant in place. Overall though, I do not think a phone conversation is an effective way to learn how to decorate. While it was great for getting some extra tips, words simply cannot beat a visual explanation or video demonstration.
For the cake, I followed this gluten-free vanilla cake recipe made by Nicole Hunn. I substituted the four egg whites for two whole eggs because I did not want to waste anything, and I was not worried about the cake being slightly more yellow in colour. For the buttercream frosting, I followed the same recipe I used for my cupcakes. You can find that recipe here. I had fondant leftover from last week, so all I had to do was add colour to that. In addition, I watched a few different YouTube videos on cake decorating. For the majority of my learning project, I have found videos to be an extremely helpful resource that allowed me to succeed. This week, although the videos I watched made it look so easy to ice a cake, I struggled. I think this was due to the fact the videos I watched were purely visual; they did not include an explanation of the steps to icing a cake. My cake may have been a little bit of a mess, but I did my best to make it presentable.
I used the app Skyflow to create a time-lapse of my cake decorating process. Although I only had the ‘limited’ free version of the app, it worked great. I only had to view one advertisement the entire time I used the app, and I was able to use every feature I wanted without being required to upgrade. I would highly recommend Skyflow for any kind of time-lapse video, as it allows you to film for as little as a few seconds or as long as two days! I filmed my process on the app in three parts, and then combined them into one video using iMovie.
Finally, here is my finished cake! Although I am not completely happy with the way the icing looks, I am still super proud of it. This cake is a representation of everything I have learnt over the last five weeks, and my new love for baking! By the way, it also tasted amazing; it was incredibly moist and perfectly sweet.
Thank you for following this journey with me, I really appreciated all your kind words and support along the way. While I will not be baking on a weekly basis anymore, I definitely plan to continue with this new hobby. The first thing I plan to do is remake my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe because those were seriously just so dang delicious, and they disappeared way too fast!