Cake class, baking fails and wedding woes

14 Dec

It’s been a while since I published my last post, so I thought I should try to squeeze another one in before Christmas. I don’t know about you, but this year seems to have flown by. I can’t believe it’s only 11 sleeps till Santa!

So, what have I been up to? I ran a women’s 6km race for the third year in a row. I’d like to tell you that I beat last year’s time but, bizarrely, and disappointingly, they didn’t have a race clock up at the finish line this time. I suspect that I came in a little over last year’s time, but I am still pleased with that, since I did very little run training this time (apart from Boot Camp).

Let’s see… What else? Oh yes, I got engaged :). The BFG proposed in a romantic setting, on my birthday, with a beautiful ring that he had designed, after months of planning, without me suspecting a thing! Is it at this point that I should feel guilty for all the times I was impatient with him for not having proposed yet? Ahem. Yes, well. Good things come to those who wait.

More recently, given my hankering for baking, my obsession with sugar, and my idea that I could save a crap-ton of money and have a lot of fun making our wedding cake, I decided to enrol in a cake decorating class. After perusing a few different websites which promised to teach you how NOT to create abysmal cake fails but were priced at around a squillion dollars, I eventually found one that was reasonable and semi-local. The class was held over four weeks in November and December so, fittingly, it was a Christmas cake decorating class. The class was designed to teach the basics of cake icing and fondant modelling as well as provide students with gifts for their loved ones for the festive season (if we didn’t eat them all ourselves)! Some supplies needed to be purchased but, if you couldn’t find a stockist or forgot something, the items you needed were always on hand (apart from the cakes we needed to bake for weeks 2 and 4). The teachers were friendly, wise in all things cake-related and taught us in a structured way while maintaining a relaxed atmosphere. I can’t recommend their classes highly enough, in fact. Curious? Live in Auckland? Fancy a little cake decorating yourself? Their 2015 class dates are already up, so check them out. Go on! You know you want to!

Some of you may have seen the finished products created by my own fair hand and, I have to say, that I am pretty damn pleased with the results and keen to keep learning and practising. It’s been a while since I’ve had any sort of creative outlet, so I would come home from each class buzzing and eager to show my B-Fiancé-G my new creations. He was suitably impressed and may yet let me make our wedding cake … Though the BFG is a bit of a groomzilla, so we shall see if that actually happens :P. Here are some pictures of my creations. I think they’ve improved week after week. What do you think?

Speaking of weddings, who on earth can afford to get married these days?!?! I can’t believe how expensive it is to have a wedding – even one which isn’t lavish or extravagant. I’m probably not old enough to say that it wasn’t like that in my day, but I will say that it certainly wasn’t like this in my parents’ day. It was perfectly normal for your aunty to make the cake, for a friend to cater the reception and for your family priest/minister/reverend to officiate at the ceremony. You drove there in your own car or a relative drove you, the bride’s dress was probably passed down from your mother or a sister or you made it yourself, and your honeymoon was a lovely one week trip around the South Island. These days weddings have become a multi-million dollar industry.

I must have emailed at least 40 or 50 venues and caterers, googled a dozen wedding dress places and scanned a handful of wedding blogs, including the insightful Bull$hit free bride. I’ve found some great ideas for DIY stuff (which I love doing), and some hints on how to prioritise and what to cut, because, frankly, a lot of the so-called essential or traditional elements of today’s weddings seem to me to be things that have been introduced to ensure that the happy couple spend more money. Who decided that it would be a great idea to travel to the ceremony in a limo or a humvee? Why do people release doves or have really expensive favours when their guests are already getting free food and booze (if you can afford to offer that to your guests)? And what is with this new “first look” craze? Admittedly, it probably doesn’t add to the cost of the event, except that it could perhaps add another hour or so to your photographer’s bill. But it is a very strange concept to me. I, for one, want my “first look” to be when I walk down the aisle/grass/garden path/hallway/aisle of the plane and see the wonderful BFG all suited-up and looking nervous but happy to see his wife-to-be walking towards him, trying not to trip over her dress.

We might have opted for an intimate event but we both have large families, so that is not a option. That’s fine: we want everyone to be there and have fun and who really cares if there are satin-beribboned and balloon-festooned silk chair covers and designer iPad wedding favours? Not us. However, even when all of these superfluous items are culled, the price tag is still rather hefty. So, we are reassessing the situation and trying to think about how to do it affordably, tastefully and differently. All suggestions are welcomed, dear readers!

I want to add a wee note about cake fails. Many of you will have seem memes on Facebook about these, but did you know that there is now a website dedicated to cake wrecks? AND there is a book! BFG knows me well as it was one of my birthday presents. Spoiled girl :). I do prefer it when you can see the wreck next to the original. You know, the picture of what the cake is actually supposed to look like? But, apparently there are some inherent copyright issues if the original pictures are published in hard copy, so all you see are the failed versions. Still very entertaining, however. What is it called when you laugh at other people’s misfortunes? Ah yes, these will give you a healthy dose of schadenfreude.

To finish, I’m posting two very special cake fail links. One is of wedding cake fails and the other of Christmas cake fails. I hope you enjoy your feeling of schadenfreude as much as I did :). Oh and Merry Christmas!


One Response to “Cake class, baking fails and wedding woes”


  1. Weird and wacky food trends | Ambrosia Baby - January 19, 2018

    […] I’ve also been to lessons with the amazing Paula Jane Cakes (I talk about the lessons here) and to cake decorating shows where I saw some wildly impressive cakes. It seems that you can make […]

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