All this changed for me when I got a few birthday cake orders from my friends for their kids.They didn't want a fancy cake alright but when I was asked to bake for someone else,I wasn't too happy with the product I was giving them.That too for their birthdays!I decided that I have to learn cake decorating,at least for times when I was baking for others.
I've always felt I was not someone who'd you call 'artistic'.I can follow directions but cannot do something creative on my own.Cake decorating gave me a good start,I realized I loved making patterns(even if imperfect!)and soon got addicted to it.I was content when my cakes started looking good as well.A big thanks to Subhashini who gave me a good start and keeps giving me directions when I'm stuck :)
Here I present you a super simple cake decorating technique.Using a good vanilla cake(or any flavour of your choice)as the base,some buttercream and 2 leaf tips you can create a stunning Sunflower Cake for your loved ones.Don't tell them it is so easy to make ;)
Sunflower Cake Tutorial
Things you need
One 8' round cake - I used my favorite cake recipe(without Nutella)
One batch Whipped Buttercream
1/3 cup Dark chocolate ganache OR any filling of your choice
Leaf tip - 68 (Ateco)for the sides
Leaf tip - 352(Ateco)for the top
Edible gel colour - Lemon Yellow,Golden Yellow,Leaf Green(Wilton)
Disposable icing bags - 2
How to proceed
Bake and cool your cake completely.If possible cover in cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.Chilled cakes are easier to torte and crumb coat.
Divide the buttercream into two parts(I always keep about 1/3 cup icing aside before coloring just to be safe).Colour one part yellow and one part green.
To colour the icing-dip a toothpick into your desired colour and swirl into the icing.Use a new toothpick for colouring it second time-do not use the same toothpick-blend well using a spatula and keep adding colour till you get the desired shade.
Place the two leaf nozzles in two disposable icing bags by snipping the end of the bag and placing the nozzle in it.I use the glass method to fill my icing bag.
Use a big plastic glass and place your icing bag in it.Fill about little more than half of the bag with buttercream.Twist the bag closed and remove air bubbles if any by squeezing some of the icing by the tip into the bowl.
You can leave the cake plain(without filling)or torte the cake into two even pieces horizontally.Sandwich the cake with ganache and do a simple crumb coat.
Crumb coating is done by using a very thin layer of icing on the cake and is done to seal in any crumbs.Apply about 1/4 cup of icing on the cake and smooth the icing as best as you can.I didn't do a very good job as I thought anyway the cake is going to be covered,don't be like me :)
Start from the outside of the cake-Hold the bag at a 45D angle with the point of the triangle of the tip facing upwards and squeeze out one petal.Make sure the tip of the petal stands upright.
Pipe another one close to it and follow this method till you finish one full round.
Start piping petals inside and keep filling the whole cake with this method.
When you are about 3/4 done,mark a small round in the middle of the cake,using a bottle cap or a cookie cutter.Fill the round with chocolate chips and some Oreo crumbs.
Continue piping round the center till you are done.
Now the sides
Hold the green coloured piping bag and do a shell-motion by piping one leaf and starting the next one at the tip of the first leaf.
Finish the sides of the cake by piping this way.
I have tried my level best to explain it in a simple manner.Still if you have any doubts,please let me know in the comments section.Also let me know if you'd like more tutorials like these.All ideas are welcome :)