Sunday, 4 June 2017

Wilton Cake Decorating Course at Bake-it-yourself (BIY) | Part 1

As a baker, I feel the need to constantly upgrade my skills. Even though I have been learning how to bake and decorate with YouTube and Google over the past 2 years, I have always wanted to take an official course and refine my decorating skills even more. There's always some limitation to learning things by yourself after all.

Initially, I wanted to go for the PME Diploma course but I was informed that I need to have foundation on covering cakes with fondant. I have tried it before but I also feel the need to improve on my fondant and gumpaste skills. I probably have a ton of questions I would like to ask as well.

After making comparisons between a few schools, I decided to apply for Wilton Cake Decorating Course at Bake-it-Yourself. Overall I was enticed by the lower course fees and additional 5% discount on my 3rd course, not forgetting a free gift for every course. Beforehand, I also went to their Facebook Page to check the student's photos and I find the cake designs prettier than the rest, they must have good instructors.

Wilton Course 1 is a prerequisite for Course 2/3 btw!

P.S Btw this post is not sponsored, I paid for the full course fees. And I also do not have much photos as photo-taking isn't allowed during the lesson, so pardon me if this post becomes very lengthy with minimal photos! I just want to share how my experience is like. 

There were only a total of 2 students that day, including me. More students will make the class livelier and you get to make more friends, but having just 2 is also beneficial in a way that you get to know your instructor better and the class is definitely more private. So things are not as rushed and you can also ask a lot more questions. Personally, I think the best number is about 3-4 students!

Everything is provided by BIY so I just have to bring simple things like apron, cloth, scissors and a pen. Apron isn't compulsory if you don't feel the need to. I like how BIY already prepared cakes and cupcakes for us, together with a course book and kit! From research, I found out that you will have to bake a cake for homework at other schools. Not that I don't enjoy baking, but I find it a hassle if I already have to deal with my own orders. So this was a plus point!

Day 1:

Stephanie was our instructor for Course 1 and she's really patient and friendly! She went through the course kit together with us and some basic knowledge on the materials and tools. The main bulk of lesson 1 includes introduction to basic piping lessons and we had some hands-on practice on the Wilton practice board. Although I already have piping experience, it's still good to go through the foundation to perfect every single detail. Sometimes you might think that you know what you're doing, but the technique may not be 100% correct.

I usually work with Swiss Meringue Buttercream for my cake orders and the buttercream that was used during the lesson was mainly made of shortening and icing sugar. To be honest, I really don't like the taste and texture of it. But it makes a good practice material for beginners because of its stability and stiff consistency which does not melt or soften as easily. After a few practices, we were given 3 cupcakes each to decorate using the rosette or swirl technique.

You don't have to work with ombre tones, I just wanted to have fun with different colours that's all.

We were then given a dummy cake (Which is a styrofoam imitation of a cake) to practice icing. Actually, it's more challenging to ice a dummy cake, because the styrofoam is so light! And we can decorate the cake with a cupcake design on it using the piping gel transfer technique. This is good for complex drawings or if you are not confident to draw directly on the cake.

At the end of the lesson, we were given a cake and box of white buttercream for our homework and we will have to bring the cake for our next lesson to finish up the details.

I think by now you can tell that I'm in love with pink! You can choose any colours and if you do not have any colouring at home, just pop by at their retail store to get it! Students get 5% off! I wanted to do something really light but I didn't want a solid colour so I did the watercolor technique instead. This isn't taught in class, but in case you want to know, just cover the cake with white icing, swipe some pink icing randomly on the side and scrape it off using the same "hot water" technique.

I personally love this Watercolour technique a lot! And it works well with all colours!

So this is the end of the Day 1, stay tuned for Day 2 post if you want to know more! (:

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