Originally posted February 16-17, 2008
Over the weekend I was lucky enough to attend the 2-day Madhatter course taught by Anna-Maria. There were four other very talented women in the class, and it was fun to talk to some other people who are passionate about cake decorating. It was great to hear some of their cake stories and share tips and tricks…it was a great weekend.
On Saturday we learned how to cut and ganache the bottom and top tiers. Usually if there is time it is best to also cover the bottom layer so that it is easier to put the stripes on during the second day, but we decided to wait until the ganache had some time to set and do it in the morning.
Sunday we covered the bottom tier, put on the stripes, covered the top tier and placed it on top of the bottom one, made the ribbon and bow, and placed the balls around the base of the cake. Everyone used very different colors, so it was great to see all of them together at the end.
For most of Saturday night I had color combinations swirling around in my head. Orange and green? Tangerine and aquamarine? Magenta and bright green? In the end, I was inspired by fabric on the shirt of a woman who was on the bus with me on Saturday night. Since the Madhatter has such bold lines, I figured that bold colors were best for it. I chose bright red, orange, and a dark coral color with black and white accents.
I was very happy with most of the craftsmanship (or craftswomanship!) on my cake. The top tier ended up giving me a bit of trouble though. It wasn’t cut quite right (I didn’t take off enough of a wedge for the first cut), so I ended up having to stick some extra pieces of icing underneath the base of the top tier to hold it up at the correct angle. The good thing about cake is that there is usually a way to fix the problems that arise…you just have to learn those tricks, though it is of course best to avoid having to use them in the first place! The covering of the top tier was less than ideal as I pushed down a little bit too hard when I was smoothing the darn thing and it got squished on the side. But there is something to learn with every cake, and hopefully I will improve next time.