January 28, 2011

A Rose by Any Other Name ...

I need help.

Serious help.

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend a mini cake decorating class where I got to try my hand at creating buttercream roses. I've watched countless videos on cake decorating since I started writing this new mystery series, and I've tried some other decorating techniques, but last night was my first hands-on attempt at roses.

Folks, it's not as easy as it looks -- not by a long shot! Making sure the icing is the right temperature and consistency, getting the center post just right, learning how to hold the nail between forefinger and thumb and then how to perfect the rolling motion with the nail hand and the up-and-down motion with the pastry bag hand . . .

I wish now I'd taken pictures of my efforts because they did not look like the rose in this picture. My first effort, in fact, came out looking more like a cabbage than a rose. My instructor called it a "classic cabbage." I'm not convinced she intended it as a compliment, but I'm choosing to take it as one!

My second attempt looked a little more rose-like but I tried to move it from the nail to my cookie (sadly, no actual cakes to practice on) without the flower lifter. Big mistake. I'd moved the first one without disaster, but the second one turned over and landed face down and the bottom was . . .

Well, let's just say that it wasn't decorative.

Obviously, it's going to take a whole lot more practice on my part to turn out a decent buttercream rose.

So if you have any tips you can share with me, I will welcome them all!

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