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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Finishing Touches

 

When I'm creating a cake, I like to start with the flavors and go from there. Preferably the design is inspired by the flavors. For some cakes, I break the "rules", but in general the flavors are my guide. This is something that I have always tried to do, but being on The Great American Baking Show made me hyper-aware (borderline paranoid ;) ) of my decorating decisions. 

Sorry Johnny, Mary is just a little more angelic out of the two. :)

 

One thing I really admire about Mary Berry is how she can articulate her ideas in such a concise way. Simply put, she says that it's best when "what's in it is on it". Example: a cranberry orange cake could be decorated with sugared cranberries and candied orange peel. This is attractive and a great clue to your eater as to what flavors they can anticipate. 

 

 

Johnny Iuzzini also challenged us to have garnishes and decorations that are functional. Ideally every part of your bake should impart flavor, texture, etc. For my first showstopper bake, I had planned on putting green candy leaves on my cake. When Johnny inquired about their flavor, I cringed and said "sweet". Not good. So, I added toasted, chopped pistachios. This added flavor and texture. Wahoo! 

I'm really thankful for each time the judges challenged me. Their expertise was not taken lightly, and I'm proud of the ways I improved as a baker. I totally treasure each bit of wisdom I soaked up from them. What a gift! 

 

 

There is one time when I go completely out of bounds: sprinkles. I have a slight sprinkle addiction. I can't help myself!  I'm aware that they are not very functional in providing flavor, but they bring me lots of smiles, so okay. Sprinkes, I can't quit you. 

So, to summarize, if you find yourself with a great bake but you aren't quite sure how to finish it off...put what's in it on it...make it flavorful...you'll be in good shape. 


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