Monday, April 21, 2014

Craftsy Class Review: White Chocolate Wrap-Undersea Adventure with Paul Bradford

This Craftsy class covered how to make a very specific white chocolate-covered cake with an undersea design. It was taught by Paul Bradford, who runs his own cake classes online and in the UK. I thought that this class was kind of snuck in on us, since I haven't seem a lot of promotion of it on facebook etc. There's a facebook page that's supposedly a cake decorating fan page but really just promotes Craftsy classes, and I don't remember that it has posted about this class too much...I could be wrong, but it just seems to have been overlooked.

The techniques that he covered were pretty basic if you've worked with white chocolate and ganache before, but on the other hand, there was a lot of information included. He covered different types of ganache, assembling the cake, carving the shape, supporting it the right way, ganaching the final shape, covering it with modeling chocolate and making the decorations. There were a lot of tips that he gave along the way for working with white chocolate, and it would be worth it just for that.

This does teach a very specific design, but you could use the techniques to do different versions of it. Undersea cakes are very popular, and I sell a lot of shell molds and gumpaste shells in my Etsy shop, so adding the white chocolate coral and seaweed to your repertoire would be good.

I also liked that he went over the pricing for this cake, which seems to be what everyone is complaining about these days. I know that for my cakes my cost of ingredients is generally about 15% of the cost of the cake, and that ended up being what he said he would charge for the cake that he made. It was 300 pounds for the ingredients, and he said that he'd charge 2000 pounds for the cake. That's right, 2000 pounds. It served about 200 people, and the cost for white chocolate and ganache add up, so yes, that's the correct price.

The one thing I'll warn you about is that he has a fairly heavy Scottish accent, which can be hard to understand if you're not used to that. You do have to pay attention. One of my cousins from England once came to visit us when I lived in Florida, and I deliberately took him to meet an old guy who worked at a gas station near us. Really friendly guy, but he talked like Boomhauer with a mouth full of rocks, and you couldn't understand 90% of what he said because he had the thickest southern accent I've ever heard. When my cousin was finished "talking" to this man we drove away and he turned to me and said "I didn't understand a word he said." I laughed very hard, but there were times during this class that I felt the same way.

Here's my final review:

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Equipment You Have To Have: Rollers, luster dust, basic stuff.
Sleep-Inducing Level: Slightly soporific
What It Assumes You Already Know: Not a lot, but he also says "don't worry about it" about ninety million times, so he's assuming that you're willing to not have every single thing explained in detail for you. If you're the kind of person who needs to have a template for everything that you cut out, this might make you nervous. If you're like me and you're more loosey-goosey with how you do things, it won't be an issue.
Unnecessary Difficulty Level Of Methods Demonstrated: Nothing specific
Annoying  Host Habits: Just the accent...While this isn't really annoying, you do have to pay more attention to catch everything he says. If you tend to fall asleep if you sit still for more than two minutes you might miss a lot.
Level of Helpful Hints Learned: A lot about working with white chocolate.

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

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