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Practise Makes Progress II by cakecrumbs Practise Makes Progress II by cakecrumbs
Recently, I shared with you guys a cake for my sister's 21st birthday. As well as it being her birthday, the 27th of September marks an important milestone for me personally as it was for her birthday 3 years ago (4 cakes, 3 years? maths is weird) that I made my first attempt at cake decorating. I made sporadic attempts at entering this hobby, usually waiting for family members' birthday to attempt it again. It was a while before I started seriously getting into the hobby, but I still regard this as my starting point.

So her birthday every year marks in important self-checking point for me. It's a time to reflect and look back on what I've achieved in the last year.

Here's a breakdown of the above:

2009: Sister requests a chocolate ripple cake. I come up with the idea of transforming the log cake into a rounded cake. I look for ways to ice and decorate it: I attempt making ganache and fondant for the first time. Ganache works, but is hardly the glossy, perfect ganache I wanted. Fondant is a disaster: I make all the beginner errors it is possible to make and wind up with horrible roses.

2010: I buy myself a cake decorating book and sister chooses a cake from it. First tiered cake. Fondant skills have improved enough to be able to cover whole cakes with fondant, but lacks finesse. Surface isn't smooth and edges are messy. Fondant Pegasus is a disaster and collapses and breaks everywhere: have overcome most beginner errors, but still some to work on.

2011: Sister requests a cake with mousse. I come up with the idea of making a mousse cake stuffed with profiteroles. Attempt chocolate garnishes for one of the first times. Cake looks nicer than 2009, but lacks in taste (insofar as my standards said, recipients liked it). Chocolate base cake was dry and mousse had too much gelatine and as such had set too much.

2012: Sister requests a chocolate ripple cake. Difference of skill level between this one and '09 is large. I wrap it with a joconde imprime and fill it with chocolate mousse. Have perfected the mousse recipe since 2011 and the result is a perfectly light, smooth and delicious mousse. Have learned to balance flavours so it is not overly sweet as in '09. Ganache is much better than '09, and the garnishes use much more advanced techniques than in '11. Need to refine the finish on the joconde, as well as work on the chocolate techniques as the chocolate ruffles were streaky.




So I hope this can encourage those who have left me comments saying they believe I have talent, lamenting that they cannot do what I do, telling me they can't bake. Whatever art form we begin, we're all terrible at the start. No one is born able to make masterpieces. We all require time and practise. No one taught me how to bake: I leanrned everything I know by trial and error. So get in the kitchen and have a go. Document your progress. Don't be frustrated by mistakes and failures - embrace them, for you will learn much more from getting it wrong than you ever will from getting it right. And most importantly; never compare your ability to anyone elses. Judge yourself only against yourself, for that is the only comparison that matters. One day, you'll also look back and say, "Wow, I've come so far."

2011: 2012:

Moar progress:
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:icongazmanica:
gazmanica Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Mmm time a wig... and by the way I'm the sister you've never met...and its my birthday! Yeah
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:iconfixinman:
fixinman Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No amount of practice in the world can replace pure talent, and you have more than should be allowed.
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:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
Naww, I was pretty terrible when I started out.
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:iconfixinman:
fixinman Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
So was I until the talent kicked in. You just have a lot of talent in a lot of areas.
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:iconaphid777:
aphid777 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is incredibly inspiring :) Practice definitely makes progress! :D
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:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012
Thank you! I am glad it could inspire. :boogie:
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:icontalty:
Talty Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012   Artisan Crafter
This is very inspiring :happycry:
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:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012
Yay! :la: I like showing that I'm not magical haha. We're all just a different stages of our progression.
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:icontalty:
Talty Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012   Artisan Crafter
You lie! I'm convinced you're magical...
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:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012
Haha. Shhh. It's my biggest secret. :eager:
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:icongsnail:
GSnail Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's so inspiring! I make cakes for everyone in my family's birthdays too, it's so much fun. I've never tried anything as fancy as fondant, but maybe I'll do some experimenting soon...
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:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012
Thanks! That's all it takes - a little experimentation and then soon you'll find you can't stop!
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:iconkodaic:
Kodaic Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Student General Artist
You're progress is completely noticable. Great work! :)
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:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012
Thank you! :heart:
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:iconkodaic:
Kodaic Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Student General Artist
You're welcome! :)
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:iconkuneria:
Kuneria Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Student Digital Artist
You only started cake-decorating four years ago?? it seems like you really had an aspiration for it XD and I thought you may have went through like.. culinary school to become professional cake-decorator

amazing progress 8D this is so inspiring
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:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
xDD Thanks! I could never afford classes (even now I have to budget fairly carefully to be able to afford to practise baking), so I had no choice but to teach myself. It takes longer, but I, personally, feel I learn more by making mistakes than I would from doing classes and finding out how to do everything the right way.
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:icontacoroach:
tacoroach Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This was so touching. ;~;
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:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
Thank you. I'm glad. :heart:
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:iconnymria:
Nymria Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
Amazing! Such progress! I still think the cake in 2009 looks delicious. I like chocolate cake :>

Also, that rose doesn't look horrible at all! :noes: And it was your FIRST attempt at cake decorating?
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:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
Thank you for thinking so. :] Chocolate ripple cake is always amazingly delicious, even if it looks like a mess haha.
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:iconclaremanson:
claremanson Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
i love this! I know what you mean about people saying they have no talent and wishing they could do what i do. It makes me laugh as i know i still have a very, very long way to go before i get anywhere as near as good as you.
Every time i see something new from you i get very jealous and that's a good thing! It's inspires me to keep at it, practice makes perfect after all and i am a perfectionist so i think this is such a great thing to post to keep up that encouragement.
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:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
I find it a really hard type of comment to respond to -- I feel like pointing out how talent-less I actually am and that's it's all hard work, but I also don't want to be throwing compliments back in people's faces, either! But it really is all just in the practise.

You're much more advanced in the food photography side of it than me, so at least you are able to show off any food you make to advantage! If you can photograph it well, the aesthetics of the food itself matters much less, and your photos are positively mouth-watering!
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:iconclaremanson:
claremanson Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
photography really does help with food presentation, especially for me as i don't really do anything fancy to catch the eye so have to try a lot harder to really make it look good and stand out.
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:icondeathdog3000:
Deathdog3000 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love that cute idea with the stars and the clouds in 2010 cake. ^_^ Now you make me want to attempt to make a cake.
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:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
:la: Yay!
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:iconfirila12:
firila12 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
that is true !! you've done a lots of work :0)
plus you're talented and creative so well done!!
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:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
xD Thanks!
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