Cake decorating

  • By
    Caroline Hire - Food editor - bbcgoodfood.com

Do you like it? Are the results worth the effort or the money? Caroline goes to decorating school and finds out...

Rose cupcakes

Last week The Apprentice featured wedding cakes retailing at around £600. Sounds a lot, doesn' it? But when you discover the amount of work and time that goes into one of those cakes, you realise it's worth every penny.

Pink rose wedding cakeI've always had mixed feelings about cake decorating. I'm not generally a fan of novelty cakes (you either love 'em or hate 'em). However, before my recent marriage I took a renewed interest in the art, thinking I might rustle up my own wedding cake (I didn't).

Post-wedding, the interest continued and last week I did the 6-day Professional Intensive Cake Decorating Course at Squires Kitchen's International School of Cake Decorating and Sugarcraft. They weren't joking when they called it 'intensive' but I loved every minute of it.

We covered marzipan including very cute teddies (ok so I'm warming to novelty), pastillage, and sugar flowers. Two very full days were used to master the art of royal icing, which required a lot of patience and precision. Sugar paste proved easier and we had impressive results all round. The sheer volume that tutor Paddi Clark got though left us speechless, literally, from exhaustion.

Simple elegance wedding cakeThe cookery team at Good Food loves a bit of cake decorating. June's Orange berry wedding cake is a stunner, as is Jane's pretty pink rose petal wedding cake and trendy Romantic rose cupcakes.

Are you a fan of cake decorating, do you have any tips, recommendations or successes to share? (I have a vested interest, I'm doing my friend's wedding cake next month, all suggestions gratefully received - or she may not be a friend for much longer!)