Thursday, September 30, 2010

DAY 3 - Wiltons Master Course in Chicago ....

Evening everyone ...

Hope you are all excellent.

Can't believe we are on DAY 3 already. Today consisted of a power outage in the kitchens and dodgy icing!!! Oh no you are all probably thinking ... oh yes ...

Jetlag hit big time this morning and even after 5 hours sleep I was still exhausted and struggled all day.

We arrived at 7am this morning to start my beloved piping skills and half the school was in darkness, so after shuffling around the kitchenaid (very heavy) and finding a power outlet that was working we were back in business.

Was all about piping this morning, going over yesterdays and then learning a few more  ..... The Chandelier (might won't be hung in Buckingham Palace but are OK,), the Zig Zag garland (yeah alright), and then another type of garland which I will leave to the garland professionals and won't insult their abilities, quite complex ....

Have to admit was good to practise yesterdays skills and gave me good ideas for my 3 tier cake (see pic)

Thanks for your ideas, have gone with a 3 tier consisting of 6 inch round, 10 inch round and then 12 inch square, should look excellent. Now to decide on the colours. As its going to be too hard to bring back to Sydney, Terry who is from Boulder, Colarado is going to put it on display in her and her husbands bakery.

Debbie and Lorena took us through torting a cake and piping the icing which I hadn't seen before as the majority of cakes in Australia are fondant but was really good to learn for the buttercream style

After an awesome buffet lunch (like Sizzler) it was flower time with royal icing. We all attempted to do 'drop flowers' (looked quite easy in theory) but the icing was not playing ball today so we had to change to 'sweet peas' (see pic - ALOT more practise needed).

Managed to walk out of the shop again with no purchases - won't happen again though. There is just way too much to buy!!!

We are trying to sort out sight seeing plans for Sat and Sun. One of the locals husband is going to draw up a guide for us .... way too nice the local Chicagoians. Am craving a big glass of wine after the week so far so bring on Friday night!!! 

Anyway tonight is for planning the designs for our cakes - love it

Have good days

Fiona x

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

DAY 2 - Wiltons Master Course in Chicago - Tue 28 Sept

Hello Everyone .... here we go for DAY 2 after  6 hours sleep thank god WOOHOO!!!

We started at 0700 this morning and finished at 6.45pm as we had our first gum paste (flowers) class.

Our teachers for the Master Class are Debbie and Lorena and they are excellent. Very patient and explain everything really well. Mary is our gum paste teacher and awesome too.

One of the ladies is behind the scenes baking for our break times and my 'wheat intollerance' has had to go out of the kitchen for a while with the cupcakes that have been made for us .... it's worth it!!!

OK, today we had to practice all our 'perfect' piping that we learnt yesterday and then we learnt the reverse shell (not good), basket weave (yeah okay), cornelli lace (excellent), bead border (anyone that can make these buggers round gets a medal), rope (mine dismal), double over striping work (good fun) and then the crown boarder apparently which has gone out of fashion (hopefully will not come back for a while)

Also went to the Spotlight equivalent at lunch time to start thinking options for bedazzling up my soon to be 3 tier cake. Being me, had to buy all the colour ribbons as I couldn't make my mind up between all shades of the pinks and purples .... still haven't but got some awesome ribbons for future cakes.

No purchases from the Wilton shop - pretty proud of myself

We had 3 hours of the flower making gum paste class which was brilliant. Lots of fun and you will see the goodie pack we got which was just like opening a Xmas pressie. We started prepping the flowers like daisies, lillles and the rose bases (I chose pink in about 7 mins) and the rose leaves .... not a bad effort at all by all of us .... 3 more nights of this class to go and we are allowed to use these flowers for a final cake too (if they match our colour scheme remember)

Bob from Florida drove us home tonight and we got into a traffic jam through one of the towns, there was a big massive 4wd drive parked next to us and the number plate was 'big'. God bless the USA for keeping life easy for us.

Right, exhausted, need to sleep, enjoy the pics. No more piping tomorrow ... its cake time

The foam cakes in the pics are me trying to work out whether to do the square round round or the round round square ... what a decision

Fiona x

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wilton Master Course - DAY 1

Hello and Welcome Everyone to DAY 1 of the Wilton Master Course here in Chicago, Illinois USA. After an epic 24 hours to get here and 2 mornings at waking up at 1am and not getting back to sleep, it was time to start the course this morning.

I always say that you learn a new fact each day and on the journey over I learnt a few ....
1. Don't tell your life story (even if he asks) to the US Immigration officer who has the power of the stamp in your passport ..... he doesn't care
2. Don't argue with the Officers that say 1 personal bag and 1 cabin bag over - they wont change or bend the rules ... not even for an Aussie!!!
3. When the intercom at LAX airport announces your gate change .... please go and check with someone  behind the counter .... saves a plane load of people wandering the airport and nearly missing the flight!!!

There are 24 people in our course and we are all from all destinations from around the world. We played the 'who are you and why are you here' game this morning which was really interesting to listen to everyone's stories.

First moment of getting excited this morning was walking through the Wilton Shop and being told that we get 25% discount of all products. I sort of said to myself that I would wait until next week to make purchases but what a surprise when I left this afternoon with 2 books!!!

Today was all about what we are going to learn over the next 2 weeks and starting to think about our final 3 tier cake which we will design. Am already in a paddy about what shape I will do and have changed my mind at least 12 times.

The three things I learned today:
1. God bless aprons (thank you Sareybear)
2. Americans do not understand what hot chips are ... they are 'fries' .... thank god we cleared this up on DAY 1.
3. Piping icing takes patience!!! This I am still trying to learn ..... will get there ....(wont bore you with all those pics)

Have a look at the pics and you will get an idea of what the school looks like and what we did today.

Take care and until DAY 2
Love always
Fiona x

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chicago ... here we come ...

It has taken me one and a half years and many many visits to the Wilton website, however next Saturday I will be travelling to Wilton HQ in Chicago to do the Wilton Master Course for 2 weeks ... stand by callers for reviews and pictures.