Brickendon and Nazeing women get creative with cake business

Jackie Rorke, 46, of Brickendon and Gill Hayes, 47 of Nazeing run day classes for people of all ages decorating cakes of any size and shape.

Jackie said: “Two hours an evening once a week does not really allow sufficient time to develop skills. Furthermore many were disappointed when places in subsequent courses were very quickly snapped up leaving them unable to continue.”Our main objective is ultimately to provide a quality day’s tutorial at an affordable price, covering a variety of interests including the art of cake decorating, floristry and jewellery design.”

The Cake Decorating Classes are a one day course which begins at 9.30amand finishes at 3.30pm.

The number attending each day is limited to 12 and each course covers a different aspect of cake decorating including cup cakes, two-tier cakes, celebration and novelty cakes.

Cake decoration courses take place at Fanshaws Rooms at the Parish Hall in Brickendon and course prices vary from £42 to £48

All equipment is provided even the ready-made cakes to be decorated and taken home at the end of the day as well as lunch and refreshments throughout the day.
Jackie added: “While neither of us will be giving up the day jobs – yet – we have been amazedand excited at the amount of growing interest in our project particularly at the start with cakedecorating and see no reason why we should not be equally as successful, in time, withfloristry and jewellery courses. Although organising each course is hard work we recognisethat our success is also due to the exceptional skills of our tutors.”

How to cover a cake in fondant.

1) Knead the correct amount of fondant until soft and pliable. Add food colour paste at this point if required.

2) Brush your crumb coated or marzipan covered cake all over with very hot apricot glaze.

3) Lightly dust your clean and dry work surface with icing sugar and begin to roll out your icing, lifting and moving it slightly to avoid sticking – do this regularly to avoid having to use too much icing sugar.

4) When you have rolled out your icing so it is large enough to cover your cake, lift by sliding both hands under the icing, palms facing up so they are supporting as much of it  as possible. Quickly but carefully position over the middle of your cake and gently place on top.

5) Smooth the top of your cake with an icing smoother or the palm of your hand in sweeping circular motions.

6) Work your way around the sides of your cake, tucking the folds of fondant in and smoothing with your hand as you go, this looks as if it’s going to be harder than it is. You have to unfold the icing and smooth it onto the cake.

7) With a smooth bladed knife trim the icing from around the bottom of the cake being careful not to get too close to the base of the cake.

8) With an icing smoother, smooth around the outside of the cake in small circular motions. Trim any excess from the base and smooth some more.

Hints and tips

An icing smoother gives a superior finish, if you don’t have one you can go over the finished cake with a pad of sugar paste wrapped in cling film.

If you use too much icing sugar it will dry your icing out and cracks may appear when covering.

Cracks may also appear if your icing is too thin.

A rough edge at the base of your cake can easily be hidden with ribbon.

Always use paste food colour, not liquid as this will change the consistency of your icing.

If you see an air bubble under your fondant pierce it with a sterile pin and smooth the air towards the hole.

An example of a fondant covered celebration cake