I have no artistic skills at all, but I love cake decorating. I find it to be therapeutic. I learned a great deal from watching cake master, Buddy, on Cake Boss. He is awesome. I am always blown away by his masterpieces. Cake decorating takes vision and artistic talent. I have the vision, but lack the latter to back it up to create artworks of brilliancy.
Last year, I took a class in cake decorating for just the first quarter. Beginning students learn how to frost a cake smoothly, practice piping roses, stars, shells, dots, and soforth…the basic piping methods. The next quarter would have been working with fondant, which I missed. But I plan on taking more classes in the near future, focusing on fondant.
I wish I had made this cake after taking the class on fondants. It would have come out so much better after tackling some basic knowledge of fondant. I made this Baby Grand Piano Cake for my former boss’s daughter. I don’t know why, but they wanted a chocolate gluten-free, dairy free ice cream cake. It was my first time experimenting with gluten-free, dairy-free cake. I used a dairy-free form of mint chocolate chip “ice cream” called rice dreams. The baking part was easy. It is the decorating aspect I need to practice with.
If this hadn’t been an ice cream (or rice dream) cake, life would have been so much easier. I had to work fast so that the pieces did not melt and fall apart. I did part of my finishing touches in the freezer. And because fondant should not be kept in the refrigerator or freezer, I could not risk the fondant softening and losing its shape by covering it and keeping it in the walk-in for too long. After cutting out the piano shape on the sheet cake, I filled it with a layer of rice dream and placed another sheet cake cut out. I kept it in the freezer until the last hour the cake was to be presented. This is when I started covering it with the black fondant, the part I did in the freezer to prevent the rice dream from melting.
I wanted to be more creative with the inside of the piano, but ran out of time. The piano lid is supported by a cardboard, which is covered by fondant. My first attempt failed when I just made the lid with fondant only. After it dried, it just started cracking and broke apart because was too heavy on its own.
The base of the cake holding the cake together is made of rice krispies (lessons learned from Buddy). It is a great support, considering how heavy the cake is. The piano bench is also made with rice krispies and lollipop sticks for the legs.
I think I am going to start taking classes again soon. I miss channeling my creative juices while trying to make something look halfway pretty lol. Friends and family love getting free cake from the cakes I practice on. Some students use dummy cakes to practice on, but I think it is a waste of frosting unless someone really wants to be licking Styrofoam because they love frosting so much.