17 November 2005

Bad Clown Cupcakes

Perhaps I was a bit smug when I began cake decorating classes. I'm no stranger, after all, to world of art making. I can wield a mighty glass cutter and know my way around a power tool.

But that doesn't mean I can squeeze a pastry bag.

Last night, our instructor, Carole, demonstrated several piping designs, including rosettes, rosettes with stars, roses, leaves, stems, sepals, and the shell border. I got the hang of a couple of these, but none of them were close to good looking. My leaves were far too realistic than the perfectly shaped hearts of the instructor. And I could not make a shell, no matter how many I tried. But It wasn't until we got to the sweet pea that I felt a total failure.

I blame it on the bag. Last night, out of laziness (and because people really do this), I subbed plastic, disposable pastry bags for my tough, washable ones. (Have you ever washed a pastry bag? Ick!) I had spots full of trapped air all night and could not escape the bag farts. I would draw a stem, and in the middle, a burst of air would explode on my practice board.

Maybe it's not all the pastry bag. I can be a little impatient.

When we moved on to the more free-form clown cupcakes, I thought I'd ace icing these. Instead, my clowns are sad, scary proof that I stink as a cake decorator.

And thank goodness! How fat would I be if I were doing this for a living?


lucy said...

Have you seen or heard of Hidden Kitchens? A book by some women who do a show by the same name on NPR. I heard them interviewed on Morning Edition yesterday and it made me think of you. I had heard an piece awhile back about this man that made candy while in jail- it was one of their stories. Interesting.

Your clown is better than mine would be. My sister teaches cake decorating and has tried to show me a few things- I totally sucked.

Grommie said...

Practice a lot and find some nice disposable pastry bags that aren't too slippery (Wilton's are too slippy for me). You can make a batch of buttercream, label it "for practice" then pipe, scrape and reuse it repeatedly. This re-using also teaches one not to lick messy fingers.

Art2 said...

Well, all I have to say is any cupcake that is supposed to look like a clown is evil anyway. Clowns are so creepy.

I hope you are having fun doing this! I think it would be a blast.