Mark and I are taking a cake decorating class at a local Michael's, specifically Wilton Method 1. We have to make a cake each week for class and decorate it using techniques we learn. We are allowed to make any type of cake with any recipe that we would like, but to my great chagrin, we must use the Wilton buttercream recipe.
To call it buttercream gets on my last literary nerve, since it uses Crisco as a base instead of butter. This is to allow it to sit out for weeks at a time (even though cake only stays fresh for a few days) and to give it a thicker consistency to give piping and decorating clean lines and good support. I think it tastes awful, and so does Mark, even though his "buttercream" recipe is similar to the class recipe. For more on the "buttercream wars," see his blog.
Anyhow, I've made two cakes thus far and both went to Amber's work the day after. The second was made specifically for them.
The first was practicing the star fill-in technique, as well as piping letters.
The second uses flowers. The rest of the class made a clown cake, but clowns are an abomination and I am horrified by them. Thus, I stayed with flowers so as not to have nightmares.
I am relatively satisfied with them, but it's hard to care about a confectionary creation when you aren't even tempted to sneak some icing.