If there was any talent or a skill in the world that you could have, what would you choose?
Personally I would have a hard time choosing between killer dance moves,
I actually had to take Drawing 101 as part of my degree requirement in college, and let me tell you I was LUCKY to get a B in that class. I thought I would fail it for sure. I’m pretty sure I got a B only because I tried so hard, but the truth of the matter is that I’m just not that good at drawing.
This lack of drawing as a skill can be a problem since my career is art based and people generally expect good artwork.
But then the stencil trend started, and I couldn’t wait to get on board! That’s right, cake designers have started using stencils on their cakes and I am SO excited about it. I noticed it a few years ago when wedding cake artists started showing up with incredible, multicolored and textured intricate designs on their cakes, and I just couldn’t figure out how they repeated a design like that so perfectly. Or sometimes the cake lace pattern would match the lace pattern on the bride’s dress and I just couldn’t figure it out. Then I discovered the secret: STENCILS!
This has been my first chance to try it out and I am truly loving it! I think the texture of the buttercream in the stencils is so interesting and the paw prints I used look so much cuter than traditional fondant cut outs placed around the cake (or than anything I could have drawn with my piping bag).
So here I am today to celebrate the fact that stencils are in my wheelhouse now and that I’ll be able to add cute designs to cakes without attempting to draw them.
Now for my tip of the week: To achieve this super fun watercolor design, I dyed four different bowls of buttercream (my client and I had discussed some ocean blues and greens for the design) in my desired colors and set each up with a spatula so I wouldn’t mix the colors before getting them on the cake.
Next I positioned the stencil on the cake and held it in place with one hand, and smeared some of the buttercream across the stencil cut outs, making sure to get at least two colors on each paw print whenever I could. Then I took my trusty bench scraper and smeared the frosting but in varying degrees of smoothness to create the cool texture on top of the watercolor pattern.
Something that I learned along the way is to only smooth frosting on the sections that my hand was long enough to hold against the cake at one time. When I spread the buttercream farther than the distance that my hand was bracing against the cake, the buttercream would smear under the stencil a little bit because the stencil would pull away from the cake wherever I wasn’t applying pressure. This didn’t cause much of a problem, but the lines wouldn’t come out as neat and clean as I would have liked.
I can't wait to use this technique again because it is just so darn cute!
Happy eating, y’all.
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