Editorial Assistant Lauren Katz is enrolled in the part-time Pastry & Baking Arts program at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experiences!
The first step of learning how to make a wedding or "celebration" cake is learning how to pipe beautiful buttercream roses, buds and other flowers. If you've been following along, you should know by now that I was neither looking forward to this technique nor expecting to be very good at it, and I was right.
I was so ashamed of how my roses and piping work turned out that I actively chose to not photograph my work, although in retrospect I wish I had something to look back and laugh at.
"After about the 27th time, you'll get the hang of it," my chef-instructor said with a smile. She wasn't kidding.
But what I've realized (yet again) is that this is just another test at my patience. Piping perfect flowers isn't something someone should be naturally good at—it takes practice, diligence and concentration. I may never master the art of the perfect cala lily or rose, but I'll certainly improve over the next few weeks. And you know what? The cake underneath is going to taste the same no matter how beautiful my buttercream work is (or isn't).
I don't need to walk out of my schooling with the ability to brag about my piping skills. If I can tell my friends, family and peers that I can bake you the best lemon-scented cake you've ever had in your life, that is more than enough for me.
Got any piping tips? I'd love to hear them! Check back next week for more tales from the kitchen.