In Marina Sousa’s Craftsy Class titled, Advanced Fondant Techniques, you are not going to learn how to decorate a cake with simplicity in mind. Simple is not even in her vocabulary! There are dizzying arrays of techniques that she demonstrates as she builds a creation, in this case a birthday cake creation, which will take the breath away from even the most jaded of birthday girls and/or guys.
Enrobing, paneling, wrapping, stenciling, embossing, texturizing, lace, piping, painting, bows, flowers, ribbons, scallops, pearls, pop-ups, cutouts, extruding, imprints…these techniques can be and are all incorporated into one cake! The beauty of the way she has designed her course is that you can take all or some of what you have learned and translate either one or all of these techniques into many different combinations suitable for almost any occasion that cake is called for. Heck, I call for cake first thing in the morning just because I like to eat it with a cup of hot coffee, but let me tell you it would be hard to eat one of Marina’s cakes. They are just too pleasing to the eye to cut into! Wouldn’t everyone love to create something that beautiful?
This class is going to appeal to beginners, intermediates and some advanced cake artists. The reason I say some is because the word “advanced” has a specific level of subjective interpretation. Personally, I think it is advanced because of the number of techniques Marina manages to incorporate into one cake without it looking like a jumbled mess. Certainly, “advanced” could also mean that it is so hard to implement, as to almost be unattainable. Thank goodness that Marina makes it look so easy and this is again where the Craftsy platform shines brightly. You can watch Marina repeatedly to review what you may be unsure of implementing yourself. If you take this class, you will not only challenge yourself, you will amaze yourself with what you can do as a result. In short, I think an “advanced” teacher will be able to plant seeds in your mind to foster your own creativity and “Advanced Fondant Techniques” will inspire you to go beyond a simple three tier symmetrically stacked cake for sure!
One thing that resonated with me while watching her and listening to the many tips she gives is that every single aspect of the cake doesn’t have to be “perfect”. As a perfectionist myself, I strive to cover a cake as close to perfect as I can get. To quote Marina: “Choose your battles”. At first I thought, well…isn’t that taking a shortcut? But, in actuality, if you are going to impale a cake with a flower or cover the edge with a lid, or wrap ribbons up the side of it, you will undoubtedly cover any blemish that is glaringly “not perfect”. So, the lesson is to save your efforts for the design as a whole, rather than hone in on one particular area. While this mindset works when you are incorporating lots of embellishments onto the cake, it really is not going to work when you have a cake without lots of “bling” on it. So, like any method that you learn, you have to store it in your brilliant cake mind and whip it out when you need it!
One trick I really love is the trick she uses with stencils on the fondant! I incorporated that in the little purse cake I made for my project. The stencils I use always are reserved for royal icing, but not after seeing what Marina does with them. Royal icing is a wonderful, necessary medium in the world of cake decorating. But, let’s face it…it has to dry. Her technique of embossing with them is simple yet sensational. That is yet another of the many tips that will stay with you after watching this class. As a cake professional or even a budding cake artist, an important skill is learning many uses for decorating tools that you may already have in your possession. I encourage any cake artist who would like to learn how to incorporate multiple techniques and layers of texture to take this class. I can’t wait to try my hand with Fondarific, especially with her inlaid design method. It’s just so darn pretty!
Craftsy Class: Advanced Fondant Techniques
Skill Level: Beginner/ Intermediate
"Must Have" Tools for Craftsy Class
- Clay Gun
- Luster Dust
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Joanne’s love of pastry started with earning her Girl Scout baking badge! Since then, she has graduated from the French Culinary Institute and The New School in NYC, where she also completed an internship with Gail Watson Custom Cake. Joanne has advanced training with industry experts such as Nicholas Lodge,...