Making Wedding Cakes; Teaching Naked Cakes in Portugal
I was invited by the team at Istofaz-se to run a class on making wedding cakes; teaching naked cakes in Portugal seemed like a very appealing proposition, so off I went.
I was to devise and construct a Wedding Cake Masterclass demonstrating how to bake, make, level, fill, dowel, construct and decorate the very popular naked wedding cake from start to finish.
My wonderful hosts from the cake decorating school in Lisbon Sonia, Margarita, Jose and Joanna welcomed me at the airport last week and the class took place at their cake decorating school Istofaz-se above their very busy cake supply shop in Lisbon.
Day one, fresh from the airport, a trip to the cake decorating school to finalise the plans for the class Making Wedding Cakes; teaching naked cakes at a school abroad was new to me and I was keen to meet Team Istofaz. Sonia was baking madly in the kitchen preparing the 15 students a three tiered cake each to assemble and work on. I have to point out that is 45 sponges, that is a lot of mixer time and a big queue for the ovens and the equivalent of about 7 large wedding cakes. So I not only deeply indebted to Sonia for her blood, sweat and cake tears but sending her a shiny Gold Cake Star for her culinary endeavours!
Meanwhile I went to the local fresh produce market and flower shops to source the fruit and flowers for the naked wedding cakes, that wasn’t such an arduous task….
Ahead of the wedding cake class I was let loose at the local shops and markets to source and assemble the flowers and fruit that I usually use in England to decorate the naked wedding cakes. Portugal is a lot more seasonal in its supply of fruit and flowers so some items were hard to find such as figs, pomegranates and passion fruit but I eventually succeeded in my search for spray roses which I was oddly triumphant about much to the bemusement of the local florist.
I love local fresh produce markets so time spent doing this was very time well spent.
An early kick off on the day and we started the wedding cake class promptly and covered everything to do with the cake construction from baking, storing, filling, dowelling through to assembling and stacking and then the part everyone was keenest for, decorating.
We ate lunch together in a local cafe and I spent the day surrounded by beautiful cakes and equally lovely, hospitable, happy people who each had a huge love for cakes and baking, I was keeping very good company!
Levelling levelling levelling was very interesting without a spirit level between us. All I had at my disposal was a phone app, and a very bad tempered phone app at that. When it hit the level and the light on the phone app went from red to green a cheer went up and a few triumphant high fives!
Testing times but worth the investment in time and almost worth the horrific mess of flying crumbs as we used the cake levellers furiously to achieve those lovely level wedding cake tiers.
Levelling is an unbelievably messy business, Where those crumbs didn’t fly wasn’t worth thinking about, they went everywhere and were then trodden into the floor for good measure, I don’t envy the cleaners that night.
Demos at every step of the way, step by step tuition and guidance as we moved onto the filling and dowelling the wedding cakes. All day there was a translator at hand so everyone was on task and busy notes were scribbled on the whiteboard, it was an information packed line of production of learning, fun and cake crumbs.
Stacking the tiers, the moment of truth, has all that time spent levelling and using the spirit level and the ruler paid off, lots of concentration and anticipation as the wedding cakes took shape.
Next the highlight, student finally got their hands on the flowers and the fun really began. Any energy that was flagging in thee late afternoon was reignited by this stage. We spoke at length about the types of fruit and flowers you could use on the naked wedding cakes and the endless combinations that there was to choose from to achieve a wide range of results.
An early start to the class and a 10 hour day later and we were 15 wedding cakes richer for it. Every single one of the finished naked wedding cakes looked beautiful and so different from one another given that they all had the same selection of fresh fruit and flowers to choose from. They stood tall and proud (and so did the cakes!) What a spectacularly successful day
The pupils command of the English language was a lot better than my Portuguese, which disgracefully comprises of just two words, obrigado and now my new word gleaned from the weekend, bolos, how could I fail to pick up the portuguese word for cake at to add to my narrow Portuguese vocabulary repertoire!
It was a jam packed day, excuse the pun, long and exhausting, time flew by but we stuck religiously to the time plan and sprinted to the finish line bang on time for a 7pm finish.
Beautiful results, a lot covered, plenty learnt and we could have gone on for hours talking about the cakes and their designs and all the rigours of the wedding day that the cake has to cope with and how to deal with them. lots of industry talk and technical conversations and all with the aid of a translator when things got tricky.
Smiling faces all round, my lovely students with their glorious naked wedding cakes:
What an experience, what a pleasure to meet so many lovely and hospitable people with keen and hungry minds and a shared passion for the baking and supplying of top notch wedding cakes.
Naked cakes are a trend that has not hit Portugal yet and so these Ladies will be blazing a trail ahead of their time and I look forward to seeing the results of their future commissions.
Watch out world, naked wedding cakes are coming to Portugal and they are looking particularly stylish.
I will be back next year with another class on Making Wedding Cakes; Teaching Naked Cakes in Portugal has been a complete pleasure and I will bring lots of new cake design ideas and some hints and tips for furthering your cake businesses and more time spent on the photography next time too I promise!
Obrigado por sua empresa , ver próxima Ladies tempo and thank heavens for Google Translate!
For enquiries about Wedding Cake Masterclasses or One-to-One Tutorials and How to make your Own Wedding Cake Classes with Miss Ingredient please do get in touch to enquire further: email@example.com or phone 07810 508834 to chat further