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Lori Horton
Lori Horton is the owner of Celebrations by Lori in Pittsburg, Ks. With over 15 years experience in the bakery business, Lori opened Celebrations in 2000. She is always out front with the most unique ideas in cake and cookie decorating for all occasions. Celebrations is also on top of the industries' latest trends and products with the area's largest selection of baking and cake decorating supplies. Open Monday - Saturday, Celebrations can be reached at 620-231-5700 or at www.celebrationsbylori.com
Candy, Chocolate & Sweets
2011-03-01 11:31:00
The art of baking…how can I learn?
Answer: Many people are getting a new found respect for the art of baking and cake decorating thanks to the wave of shows on cable networks showcasing the cake world. The first thing I must point out is that nearly all of those programs are strictly for entertainment, they are not meant to be educational or documentary. While there are elements of reality, the day to day work of running a bakery and decorating cakes is probably not as exciting as it is on TV. That aside, it is still the most fun job I have ever had and I love sharing it with others through teaching classes. The first thing to consider before rushing out and buying the kids every cake decorating tool on the store shelf, is their age. Under the age of 10, most kids will not have enough strength in their hands to handle the constant squeezing motion required to pipe most icings. Failure can be very frustrating to a budding baker and may discourage an otherwise excited student. Older kids shouldn’t have any trouble, but it definitely depends on the child. You also want to consider their “hobby history.” Do you have a closet full of crafting supplies that have gone unfinished? If so, cake decorating will likely just be the next victim and you can spend a lot on tools that may go unused. Also, check out their current schedule. If your kids are already in two or three extracurricular activities, you’ll want to think twice about engaging them in another time-consuming hobby. If you are still on board at this point, then the best solution is to sign them up for a class at your local cake decorating shop or craft store. Most offer the Wilton Method of cake decorating, a wonderful introduction into the art of everything cake. Offering classes since 1929, Wilton has been the choice of hobby decorators and professionals alike for all the essential tools needed for decorating. In June 2010, Wilton launched an entirely new class program with a streamlined curriculum and lots of new styles of modern decorating. There are three types of classes covering lots of different techniques from beginner to advanced, butter cream to fondant, and lots more. With a hands-on skill like this, it is very helpful to have an instructor to demonstrate the techniques in three dimensions instead of trying to follow pictures in a book and fill in the blanks. This is also a great family hobby. Kids will need some help in the kitchen when it comes to the baking portion of learning, so why not get Mom and Dad involved in the entire experience. Parents can have just as must fun as the kids and then you can all practice together and encourage each other’s strengths. Once you’ve signed up for a class, there will be a list of basic supplies that will be required. Piping bags, spatulas, flower nails, decorating tips and practice boards are some of the things that you will use forever and are included in a class kit that most stores offer. You will also need some of the more common sizes of cake pans. A 9”x13” sheet cake pan is one that will get used a lot, 8” round pans are a great size, and a good cupcake pan or cookie sheet will never set in the cabinet long. Other important tools include: a heavy duty mixer for making all that icing, a little bit of work space in the kitchen and maybe most important of all, friends and neighbors to help eat up all the “practice” goodies! Like with any craft, the only way you’ll get better is to practice, practice, practice!
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