Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Language of Fondant

It's a good thing I didn't write this post last night, or it might have come out sounding frustrated and even a little bit mean.

I had my first fondant and gumpaste class last night. I guess I should have taken into consideration where I was taking it, but it didn't really cross my mind. I have a new found compassion/sympathy/empathy for ESL students and Spanish speaking students who come into schools where English is the main or only language.

My teacher kept switching between English and Spanish, but even when she was in English her accent was so heavy and she spoke so softly and mumbled her words, it was difficult to understand her. Thankfully, the two girls across the table took pity on me and translated when necessary, but even they were confused at times. She is definitely not nearly as good a teacher as my last one. I think I can still learn and make it through the course. I will not take another class at that store though. I'll drive to another store up by where I did my student teaching if I have to.

On the upside, fondant is fun and I'm glad I am learning to use it. It's definitely a cool medium to learn.


Kimberly said...

I've long been curious about fondant. Hope the class is still worth your while despite the frustration!

Jaina said...

Kim-I think it will be. I'm still excited for it, my teacher just isn't nearly as awesome as the last one. (I may be emailing the last one for clarification and pointers on things) After my first real introduction to fondant last night, I really like it. It's got a lot of possibilities and is very versatile. I was against it at first but then decided to learn it. I think I'm going to end up liking it better than I thought. I'll post pictures when I have something to show. It's kind of like a dough that is very stretchable and shapeable, kind of like playdough, for lack of better descriptions. I'm intrigued by the possibilities of this medium. I'm so glad I'm exploring it :)

The Chic Chauffeur said...

I love the look of cakes decorated with fondant. Wish it tasted as good as it looked!!!! Can't wait to see one of your creations.

Jaina said...

Chic-While pretty, I always thought they weren't as cool as a really good buttercream cake. But now that I'm working with it, I think I might change my tune. (though buttercream will always be my true love) The fiance was playing with fondant over the weekend, and marshmallow and cream cheese one. The marshmallow one is way too sweet for me, the cream cheese based one was decent. I actually tasted a little bit of the leftover cuttings of my Wilton store bought fondant, and I didn't think it was bad. Not nearly as sweet as the ones the fiance made. I thought it tasted just like a sugar paste. I know a lot of people hate it though. I guess it's just different palettes?

Heidi said...

You will LOVE this class by the time you are done. It is so amazing the things that you can do with fondant. I use fondant on almost all of my cakes. It is just so much fun to be able to mold it into anything.
I can't imagine going through the class without being able to understand what the teacher was saying. You can use your book and figure out most of it. If you get stuck and need help I will give you all the help I can. Just let me know!!!
You should post some of your projects, I would love to see them!

Heidi said...

And I would love to know how you made a cream cheese fondant. That's one I've never heard of. I do like using the Marshmallow though because it is so much cheaper than Wilton's.

Kelly Deneen said...

Bummer that you had a hard time hearing your instructor, but what a fun class! You'll have to take photos of your projects!

Anonymous said...

I love how positive you still manage to stay about things. Despite the frustrations, you don't give up, and in the end, you'll be very happy.

You are amazing! You are just such a happy, positive person, who always finds the bright spots in just about anything.

I can't wait to see one of your cakes!


Jessica said...

I'm glad that you're having fun, but sheesh, why must it be so confusing?!

Jaina said...

Heidi-Thanks! I'm actually excited for tonight's class, and I'm prepared from the book. I redid the cake board since I'd lost the marble effect since I had to re-roll. I'm so excited with how it turned out, I took a bunch of pictures of just the board. I will definitely post pictures of the class cakes when I have them.

Kelly-Yeah. Thanks, I will! There should be some up in the next day or two.

Cheryl-Aww, thank you! I'll get pictures up as soon as the cakes are done! (one tonight, so pictures in the next day or two)

Jessica-Seriously. Oh well. I'll get through it and learn a lot and then go take the other classes elsewhere.

Fresh Mommy said...

Sounds like a fun class to take. Well, in theory... not with the language part. Hope it gets better if you go back. Can't wait to see pics of what you make though!!

Anonymous said...

It is very difficult to take a class with somebody you can't understand very well. I love accents, but when I'm trying to learn a new subject I really need somebody who I can clearly understand to teach me. Not understanding them while trying to understand the subject/task is frustrating and can easily damage your enthusiasm.

I hope this class gets better for you.

Jaina said...

Score One-Thank you. It was definitely frustrating at the beginning. I've discovered that while she is excellent at what she does, she's not that great of a teacher, so I'm at the point where it doesn't really matter what language she is speaking, I'm working visually. Between watching her demonstrate and reading the instructions and looking at the pictures in our book, I'm getting things figured out.

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