Now that my EDTC 300 class is coming to an end and I have completed all of my learning project posts it’s time to reflect upon what I have actually learned. If you haven’t seen any of my previous learning project posts the skill that I choose to learn was icing and decorating baking. I will give you an overview of what exactly I learned in each week of my journey and my overall process of learning online.
Week One – Simple Swirls
This was the beginning of my journey and it started off with preparing myself and getting supples. I started my online learning process early on by using this article to figure out what kind of stuff I might need to buy. It was very helpful so that when I went to start baking I wasn’t left wishing I had bought some of the stuff I would later see in many videos. After I had finished getting all my new supples it was time to start baking.
For my first week I decided that I would start off fairly simple and ice cupcakes. I made my favourite kind of cupcakes, white wedding ones and every week I used the same buttercream frosting recipe. Both websites were very easy to follow and made my first week of baking a bit less stressful. After my cupcakes were cooled and my frosting was ready I used the four different icing tips from this video to ice my cupcakes. They were fairly straight forward and the video was helpful but looking back on it I can notice now that her icing is not a very good consistency so maybe it wasn’t the best to look off of. Either way it was a great first week for a beginner like myself to start to get a handle on icing cupcakes.
Week Two – Icing Up Swirls and… Roses?
This week I made the same white wedding cupcakes and built on what I did in week one. The first week was all about becoming comfortable with icing as I was just starting out. So this week I decided I would continuing to work on those skills with a little extra challenge. I iced multiple amounts of cupcakes with the Wilton 1M tip that I used last week and with the practice it was very easy to see my improvement with the swirls. This made me realize it was a good decision to keep practicing. However, I did do something different as I made the swirls multicolour by adding different colours of icing in my piping bag. It felt intimidating at first but I watched this video online and it made the task seem way easier. It gave hints like not letting the colours get too mixed or you would have a gross brown colour.
Lastly, for this week I decided I would really push my self outside of my comfort zone and attempt to ice roses. For this I watched this video and at first I misheard what she had said so they weren’t working out quite right. I watched it again and learned what I was doing wrong so it just showed that she knew what she was doing and even though it’s just a video I still had to pay close attention. Overall, this week was a success as I got better at my previous skills and tried to push myself with a more difficult technique.
Week Three – Mixing It Up
This week was the biggest jump that I made in my progress. After making cupcakes in week one and two this time I decided I would attempt to create my first cake. I made a simple white cake and baking it was fairly straight forward. However, icing the thing was much harder than I anticipated. I watched this video and it taught me many things that I otherwise would not have known. I learned that when you ice a cake at first you put a very thing layer of icing on so that you lock in the crumbs and then you have to put it in the fridge to set. After that I put a much thicker layer of icing on as the video showed and using my icing spatula to make it as smooth as I could. After that I used my cupcake icing skills to fancy it up a little. Overall, the first cake I had ever made turned out fairly well in my opinion.
Week Four – Dripping with Flavour
This week I would be making another cake but I would try something a bit different. For the cake itself I used a different white cake recipe from the week before. This week I decided I wanted to make a drip cake. For this I needed to make a cake that was tall so I had to make 3 cakes from my 9-inch cake pan and stack them. When on the internet I came across this video and it had everything that I was planning on doing. It gives great detail on how you need to stack the cake and explains not only how to make the chocolate ganache but how to drip it on the cake as well. It was perfect to learn from and besides my icing maybe not being as smooth as I’d hoped I really loved how the cake turned out.
Week Five – A Piece of Cake
Then it was finally time to create my very last cake. For this cake I decided I would try making a three tier wedding styled cake but in a somewhat miniature form. I used the same white cake recipe I used in week four as I really enjoyed it and once my cakes were cooled it was time to get icing. This project I found more difficult than the past two weeks because for this cake I essentially had to ice three separate cakes. It was difficult for myself but the more practice I could get with icing cakes the better. Now the new technique of building the cake I would be learning came courtesy of this video. I had to make adjustments to how I would build because my cakes were significantly smaller. However, it still told me specifics like using cake dowels that I would have never thought of. After I finished building it I used the piping skills I learned in week one and two to make the cake look much less plain in my opinion.
Overall, I really enjoyed the whole process of learning online that I took part in for my EDTC 300 class. Regarding finding recipes it was something that was done with ease, instead of looking in cook books I would search it up and have my recipe within a minute or two. Then for the different icing and decorating techniques I would go looking on YouTube for videos. Rarely could I not find exactly what I was looking for. It is just shows how far the internet has come, where if you want to learn how to do something the resources will be there for you. For myself without these resources I’m not sure where I would have even started. All I can think of would be cook books but that wouldn’t overly help with knowing how to ice roses exactly unless you had complete step by step pictures. I’m just saying that these resources on the internet that can be used to learn online should not be overlooked as they can go such a long way.
As for what I have learned regarding icing and decorating cakes there is quite a bit actually. After completing this project I can say with confidence that I can bake cupcakes and cakes without over/under cooking them. Besides that I learned multiple icing techniques for cupcakes and feel they are at a high standard. When it comes to cakes I learned the fundamentals of icing them but I know that I still need a significant amount of work as I know they could be much smoother but that will come with time the more I do it. I learned how to make chocolate ganache and drip it on a cake. Lastly, I learned how to stack cakes and build a 3 tier style of a cake. I wanted to learn skills like these because I’ve always been interested in decorating baking but have never had the motivation. This project has taught me patience and that with hard work you can develop skills that you weren’t sure were possible. In the end, I’m proud of what I was able to achieve during my learning project.