Wednesday 8/17/2011: For this class we prepared an 8 inch round cake and two types of icing (thin for the whole cake and medium for the design). We learned how to tint the icing which was a chore since I had tiny plastic cups to mix up the icing. I mixed the thin icing in the Tupperware container which later was a mistake because the metal knife scratched up the container. Whoops! I understand why the instructor suggested that we leave the lid on our food coloring but that doesn't mean I like it. For those of you who don't know - you leave the lid and poke holes in the top with a tooth pick so that the color does not dry out. Now this means you get to use a million toothpicks to tint the icing. Luckily I was perfectly happy with pastel colors. Fall is approaching which means I will have to be real patient tinting icing because you can't double dip the toothpick. AHHH!!! During the piping lesson we learned how to pipe dots and squiggly lines. Bag pressure is key and I started using muscles in my hand that I didn't know existed. Next it was time to level our cakes. I didn't feel the need to purchase a leveler because I want to make cupcakes not cakes. Man was I wrong so thankfully another classmate let me borrow her leveler. It is surprising 1. how much cake comes off when removing the "muffin top" and 2. how much it makes a difference to level the cake. (And yes I did not resist the temptation to eat the cake top in class) The top of the cake was really sticky which would be a mess to ice. I checked with the instructor and her cake was sticky too. Also, you ice the bottom of the cake so it has to be level. The book instructed us to ice the cake and then pipe a cupcake on top. Oh yeah, we learned how to use piping gel as a template. You put wax paper over the design and trace it in pen or pencil. Then you flip the wax paper over and pipe over the design with piping gel. You let the piping gel dry and then place it on the cake. Magically the design is now on the cake! It makes it a lot easier to pipe out dots when you have the outline...well it is supposed to be easier. One issue I have with this class is that a lot of time was spent on instruction and practicing so when it was time to pipe the final design I felt rushed. Bottom line was that I learned the technique and the cake tasted amazing!