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These links will provide you with a wealth of knowledge.  Check them out.
MEET YOUR INSTRUCTOR!

Laurel A. Torres - Primary Instructor:  Wilton Method Instructor since 1996 at Rojay and Wilton Hall of Fame Instructor.  Prior to joining Rojay, Laurel was a principal cake decorator at Sam's Club and got her basic training from a culinary class at B.O.C.E.S. in Valhalla, NY.   Has taught over 1000 students and is dedicated to making sure each and every one will gain a positive experience!  Teaches all levels of classes and also teaches special holiday classes such as sugar egg, fondant projects.  Available for private lessons, individual or group, and makes cakes on request for special orders. She has recently been published in a few cake publications and has done some cakes for media events.  Click here to see!

Please note:  As of February 1, 2013, I am no longer teaching classes at Michaels.  If you are interested in private lessons please email me at Cakelady35@aol.com
STUDENT CORNER
So you say you cant decorate a cake?  You always wanted to try but just havent had the time to do it?  You dont believe you can?  Well check out the Student Gallery!  If THEY can do it, SO CAN YOU! 
Private Classes are now available.  Email me for more information
WHY DO WE PROCRASTINATE?
There are many reasons why people procrastinate. For some it happens occasionally under specific circumstances, and for others, it is a way of life. Have you ever waited until the person ordered that fondant cake before you even tried to work with fondant? Have you ever waited until the last minute to make royal icing flowers for a cake and on the day the cake was due, your flowers were not dry enough to place on the cake? Let us explore a few of the reasons behind why people procrastinate.
Click here to read more and to get helpful tips on breaking the cycle!
QUESTION:   How long can I keep Wilton products?
RESPONSE:     All shelf life information is based on unopened packages and proper storage of the product.  Proper storage includes dry conditions and no exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures.  The more ideal the storage conditions, the longer the shelf life.

Icing Decorations...................24 months      
Tubed Icings and Gels...........18 months
Meringue Powder..................12-24 months
Gum-Tex..............................12-24 months
Color Flow............................12-24 months
Liquid Colors.........................12-24 months
Flavors..................................12-24 months
Glucose................................12-24 months
Piping Gel.............................12 months
Ready to Spread Icing............12 months
Whipped Icing........................12 months
Creamy White Icing................12 months
Gum Paste Mix......................12 months
Wafer and Fondant Mix...........12 months
Ready to use Fondant.............12 months
Sprinkles and Sugars..............12 months
Sparkles.................................Indefinite
ATTENTION ALL STUDENTS:  If you have taken a course with me and would like to share your thoughts, comments  former "fears" regarding your cake decorating experience with other potential future students, please post your comments in the guest book below. Testimonial from other students who have taken lessons can be very inspiring to potential students who think that they "can never do this".
SUGAR SUGAR?  Which one to Use?
My students know that I stress the importance of "pure cane sugar" when making icing decorations. Still confused?  Here is an excellent article printed in the San Francisco Chronical by Miriam Morgan, Assistant Food Editor.  This article will explain it all! Click Here
Someone recently said..."I am a perfectionist and constantly have to tell myself that it’s a cake order not a competition cake.  But someone once told me if you aim for the moon you will catch stars on the way down….."  I fouind this quote very interesting as it can also apply to new students who are just beginning to learn how to decorate a cake!  Remember...Rome was not built in a day.  PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!!!!
ICING COLOR CHART

Want to know how to make certain colors?  What to mix with what to achieve the color you need?  CLICK HERE for a comprehensive color chart to help you!
ADVANCED FLORAL SEMINAR CLASSES
Have you completed Course 1, 2 & 3?  Are you interested in learning how to make 20 more flowers that are not taught in the current Wilton classes?  If so, click HERE to find out more about this exciting new Advanced Floral Seminar class!

You may have seen pretty flowers used as a garnish or mixed with baby lettuces in a spring salad, but have you ever wondered which flowers are safe to use with food and which should be avoided?

Edible flowers from your own organic garden (or that of someone you trust) are a fine choice, as are those that come packaged in the fresh-herb section of the supermarket. However, never eat flowers from a florist, a nursery, or a garden shop. The same rule applies to flowers you find growing along a road or in a park.

You'll want to be certain that the flowers you use with food have not been sprayed with herbicides or chemically treated. And make sure the flowers are edible even if you use them only as a garnish.

Here is a list of some popular edible flowers:

Apple blossoms
Bee balm
Carnations
Chamomile
Chive flowers
Dianthus
Geranium leaves
Hollyhocks
Impatiens
Lavender
Lilacs
Nasturtiums
Pansies
Rose petals
Sage blossoms
Snapdragons
Violets
REAL FLOWERS ON CAKES
Garnishing with Edible Flowers

Do you want to know the difference between fondant, gumpaste, royal icing, butter cream transfer, chocolate transfer, edible image?  CLICK HERE
DUTCH COCOA VS. UNSWEETENED Can I substitute regular unsweetened cocoa powder for Dutch cocoa without any changes to the recipe?

This is actually a very common question that we hear people ask all the time. The simple answer is no. The two cocoa powders are completely different. And here's why.

Cocoa powder is made by separating cocoa butter from cocoa solids. There are two different processes that can be used, the Dutch method and the Broma method. Unsweetened cocoa, which is dark brown, acidic and bitter, goes through the Broma method, which doesn't involve any additional steps as does the Dutch method. To produce Dutch-process cocoa, the solids are neutralized with an alkalizing agent. This visually turns the cocoa a pale reddish brown and makes it chemically nonreactive.

Recipes specifically call out whether they require Dutch-process or unsweetened cocoa. It's not a good idea to swap out regular cocoa for Dutch cocoa or vice-versa. Dutch-process cocoa does not react with baking soda like regular cocoa does, so you should only use Dutch-process cocoa in those recipes that have baking powder. Dutch-process cocoa is more commonly used in European-style cakes and confections, where its subtle chocolate flavor is preferred to the strong taste of regular cocoa. But for chocolate cakes and brownies, you'll want to use regular cocoa, because it has that robust chocolate flavor. But, please, do not use drinking cocoa in baking recipes.




Laurel with Buddy Valastro AKA:  The Cake Boss
Laurel with Elissa Strauss of Confetti Cakes
Laurel with Mike McCarey of Mikes Amazing Cakes
Laurel with Mike McCarey and Lauren Kitchens
"I sometimes receive letters of people in the beginners stages feeling frustrated because something didn't come right the first time they did it.. I didn't learn in one day.. As a matter of fact I learn everyday. It takes a year to ge comfortable with basic skills. Some people learn faster, others will be slower. But all can be achieved with a bit of passion, patience and practice. If you give up you will never learn. If you keep trying, I promise you will get it. Keep trying, that is the key to success...never giving up".. Edna De LaCruz