A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the Florida International Cake Exploration Societe (ICES) Mini Classes! I say lucky because I was only able to afford the registration and tuition because I won a scholarship from the national ICES chapter this summer. As a side note, if you are an ICES member, apply for the national and state scholarships! From what I hear, very few people apply so you have an excellent chance of winning.
I took two classes from Ruth Rickey about different edible painting methods. In the first class, we learned oil painting and water painting techniques on fondant. But, I really liked the pen & ink drawing we did! There’s something about the pureness and simplicity of the black & white dots & lines that appeals to me.
In Ruth’s second class, we played with cocoa butter! Again, I really like the puppy dog painting because it’s just as series of dots and lines with brown cocoa butter. Then she gave us some colored cocoa butter…and the painting looks a lot like a water color to me. The last one we did was a silhouette. First, we brushed the fondant plaque with colored petal dusts. Then, we used black food coloring to paint the scene on top. Doesn’t it look a little spooky? I love that one!
I had a little free time at the end of the class so I quickly painted a border and wrote “Happy Birthday” with colored cocoa butter on a chocolate fondant plaque. It was Adam’s birthday that week so that’s the reason behind the message, but I love how the colors really pop on the chocolate fondant!
This is a photo of Ruth and me after class. I adore her chef coats. She wears a new one every day, and they’re all stylish, colorful, and fun. She custom orders them from Crooked Brook – too pricey for me right now, but definitely something to keep in mind for the future! I’ve been experimenting with sewing my own aprons lately…maybe I’ll attempt a chef coat next.
Ruth and I also got to talk about half marathons. She walks lots of half marathons every year as part of the Team in Training, which raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I tried to sign up for Team in Training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon…but no one is returning my emails…so maybe I’ll do it for my next half marathon!
Quick running update: For those of you just joining us, I (and a few friends) am training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in early March 2010. Training was going absolutely swimmingly…and then it was suddenly halted when I started experiencing sharp pains in my left knee. I went to the orthopedic specialist last week. He diagnosed me with patella tendinitis and sent me to physical therapy. I had my first physical therapy session yesterday so I’ll hopefully be back running the Gainesville sidewalks soon!
The second class I took at Mini Classes was Susan Carberry’s 3-D Cupcake Cookie. What a fun class! Here’s her display piece:
Not too shabby, eh? This thing is actually a hollow cookie decorated with fondant! The top of the “cupcake” comes off and you can fill it with candy or another special surprise. Wouldn’t this be the perfect keepsake for a 1st birthday party???
The last class I took was Kathy Scott’s Petit Fours. She’s hilarious so I usually spend the whole time laughing when I go to any of her classes or demos. To make petit fours, she cuts cake with different shaped cutters (hearts, hexagons, diamonds, etc). Kathy has created these great plastic molds in the same shapes. She coats the mold with white chocolate and lets it set. Then she places the cake in the mold and fills it with more white chocolate. After the chocolate has set again, you have a piece of cake surrounded by white chocolate! Kathy has also developed some cute fondant molds in similar shapes so she can create little toppers for the petit fours. As a finishing touch, she airbrushed them with a little pearl color. Gorgeous, huh?
While I was taking all of my classes, my friends Mikkel and Julie (and a lot of other people, of course) were taking day-long courses with Nicholas Lodge. He’s one of the most respected people making gum paste flowers in the business today. Why didn’t I take the classes from him too? There was just too much other stuff I wanted to learn! I have a couple of Nicholas Lodge’s books and a DVD so I’ll learn from those for now. Here’s a photo of Mikkel, Nicholas’ assistant Scott Ewing, me, Nicholas Lodge, and Julie:
If you want to see what they learned in class, check out Julie’s blog. Gorgeous, life-like flowers!
Stay tuned…if I’m motivated enough, perhaps I’ll demonstrate some of the things I learned at Mini Classes for you all.