This class is a very basic-to-intermediate review of different ways to add texture and pattern to fondant cakes. I say fondant because once again, pattern on buttercream is ignored and fondant is used for everything, sob sob! I would like to see some more buttercream classes, but if you haven't, take the piping basics one. People need to learn to use buttercream.
Marina Sousa taught this class, which goes over six different textures, including sequins, ruching, zebra prints, geometrics, ruffles and fringe. The problem is that some of these techniques need some special equipment that you might not have, including a kitchenaid pasta roller and those new onlay mats that everyone is trying to sell.
For most of the techniques there's an alternate method given, but it's obvious that they're working with a couple of companies to try to sell their products. I hadn't seen the onlay mats in action, but I'll be willing to say that in the time it took her to get it ready I could have cut the shapes out and attached them to the cake without using the mat itself. I also could have attached the shapes to a buttercream cake, which might not work as well with the mats based on the pressure that you have to apply to the surface to get them to stick.
They also show the designer pattern sheets, or whatever they're called, on a couple of cakes. If you have to take a class to figure out how to stick one of those on a cake just stop right now. I'll safely say that you can skip that section entirely and move on to the things that actually require a modicum of skill without missing a beat.
The section on ruffles is kind of a hot mess. The section on sequins has some interesting stuff about gelatin in it, which I haven't used but would probably try if the mood struck me. The section on ruching doesn't really show you how to do ruching at all, since she's using the term incorrectly. But it will show you how to draw some draping marks on a cake.
Back to the buttercream issue, too. She says that that kind of technique requires fondant or modeling chocolate, but you can do draping and folds on buttercream if you know what you're doing. It's harder than doing it on fondant, so of course people won't want to do it, but it can be done.
So here's my final review:
Skill Level: Beginner
Equipment You Have To
Have: A lot, if you want to do every method the way that she does them. There are alternate ways to do these things, but there are sections of this class that are basically commercials for a couple of products.
Level: Not bad but it's a short
class.What It Assumes You Already
Know: Nothing.Unnecessary Difficulty Level Of Methods
Demonstrated: It was all pretty
Annoying Host Habits: She kind of hesitates when she talks like she's weighing every word before saying it. The cakes that she makes during class also aren't the most "neat" in terms of being symmetrical with the patterns, so that kind of irks me. If I'm paying for a class I want to see a neat result, even though I know it's a pain to do this kind of decorating on camera without time to neaten things up.
Level of Helpful Hints Learned:
Fairly basic stuff, and the techniques are pretty specific to one or two effects.
I'd say that this class would be best for a beginner or someone who just wants to learn a few different ways to go beyond a flat design on their cakes. You might pick up a new technique or see a different way to do something, so it's worth it for a sale price.
Click here for my Craftsy pattern shop, which has a bunch of freebies in it: A Cake To Remember On Craftsy
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, online cake supplies at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com