Saturday, January 16, 2010

Countdown to Kelly Ripa, Day 24: Frosting fail

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I've got 24 days to learn enough about cake decorating not to make a complete idiot of myself when I go to New York with 14 other food bloggers to help Kelly Ripa and Electrolux support the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. As I mentioned the other day, cake decorating and I have had some problems in the past. In fact, I'm not a hugely visual person. Everything I make tastes good, but it doesn't look anything like the plates they put in front of you at restaurants. Presentation and plating: not my strong suits.

Yesterday's post was very important, of course - the facts about ovarian cancer, and what you can do to help scientists kick its ass - but today I decided to tackle my other fears and get my hands on some frosting. Next week my wonderful friend Clemence Gossett, baker extraordinaire, teacher, and owner of Gourmandise Desserts, is coming over to give me a tutorial on frosting, fondant and other decorating techniques. But I couldn't wait. I wanted to see if I could do it myself.

Um, no. This is what I was able to manage:


And that's with an instruction manual - Cake Decorating by Judy Kelsey, a very basic primer - open on the counter. It did me no good. I can't get the knack for how hard you have to squeeze, when you lift and when you press, and how fast to move the nozzle along the surface. So it's a good thing Clemence and I have a date. If anyone can whip me into shape, I'm confident it's Clemence. Did I mention she's French? The frosting doesn't stand a chance. She'll show me how to conquer it.

By the way, if you're in Los Angeles and interested in learning the art of cake decorating, Clemence's classes are fun, hands-on, very informative, and not too expensive. I've sat in on a few and I recommend them highly. (Here's the Gourmandise Desserts class schedule.)

A hint about tomorrow's topic: How many kinds of sprinkles (or jimmies, if you prefer) do you have in your pantry?

Do you have a question for Kelly Ripa? Leave a comment! I'll take them to New York with me and find out everything you want to know. Within reason, of course.

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