Cake and Pastry Artist Lesi Johnson

XDream Cakes and Pastries in Calgary

Lesi’s Kitchen, January 2013 Newsletter

CakeBreak   

brought to you by

Lesi’s Kitchen, School of Cake Artistry

What’s News

 

Happy New Year – New year, new you?

 

Another year is in the making.  Another year of great caking.  A couple of times a year I like to choose one worthy cake designer and honor their hard work and skills with the:

Golden Spatula, Award of Excellence
Lesi’s Kitchen

“Golden Spatula” Award of Excellence.

That award was presented to former student,  Natasha Munro.

Natasha has honed her skills and has accomplished some amazing cake works.

Here is a little bit about her and her adventure in the caking world that we all love so very much.

“I have loved baking for a long time, maybe close to 10 years now. But I first started gaining an interest in cake design about 2 years ago. My first fondant cake was the one I made for my daughter’s first birthday party. After that, I was head over heals in love.

I have always had a passion for all things crafty, and when I pair it with my love of baking… It’s heaven for me.
I have have taken a few classes with Lesi and they were awesome. So much information packed into a Saturday, and lots of fun at the same time. The rest of my information has been mostly self taught, from either books, blogs, YouTube or good-old trial and error.
I actually find a lot of inspiration through scrap-booking style and other crafty projects, and also through real life items. I also love cruising through some of the great cake blogs out there.  If I’m really stuck for an idea I can always turn to pinterest.
I plan to start up a little home business in caking, but for now I have been keeping busy with projects for my family and friends.”

Natasha Munro

 

2013 Class Schedule   is up and ready.   www.lesiskitchen.com

 

Still a few spots left available for Gumpaste Basics class January 26th.

 

Gelatin class is here.   This exciting 2 day Workshop that will take place:

Monday February 11th        6:30pm to 8:30pm

and

Wednesday February 13th    6:30pm to 8:30pm

 

Help me, Help You

I looked at your suggestions for  ideas for classes that you would like to see in Lesi’s Kitchen.  There will be several classes scheduled on weekday evenings  that span 2-3 hours.  To name just a few:

Gelatin ribbons and butterflies

Crazy cake pops

Glam MiniCakes    and many many more.

Be sure to keep  your eye on the upcoming schedule so you don’t miss out!

www.lesiskitchen.com

 

 

LIKE US on FACEBOOK      facebook.com/LesiCakes

 

 

 

 

 

A Handy Little Cake Tip

 

Take a piece of adding machine paper.  Wrap a piece around the circumference of your cake.  Cut it to match up end to end with no overlap.

Fold in half and then in half again and again to make equal segments between the fold marks.

This little piece of folded paper, now unfolded will make a perfect ruler.

Use it to  mark your cake for decorations that need perfect spacing.

ie: draping, piping drop lines, pearl placement, stripes, etc.

 

 

For more tips, recipes, and cake information

“LIKE”  us on Facebook                         facebook.com/LesiCakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something Special Just  for You

Super Moist Carrot Cake

Prep Time:    30 Min

Cook Time:  40 Min

Yield    1 – 9×13 inch cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sugar, oil, and eggs. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, chopped nuts and flaked coconut. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Happy Caking

Lesi

Topsy Turvy Workshop – August 25th, 2012

August 25th, 2012

 

Only two spots left for this fabulous Topsy Turvy Cake

workshop.    Don’t miss out.

Visit our class page  for all of the details  and to book your spot!

www.lesiskitchen.com

Cake Tips

Did you know:

Egg whites consist of tightly wound but separate strands of protein.  They uncoil and link together during whipping and their structure becomes web-like, trapping and holding air.  This trapped air creates an egg white foam that becomes  a leavening agent in meringue based recipes.

FACT #1          Older,  warm egg whites whip better and faster than fresh cold ones.

The protein structure in the egg white will relax somewhat as they warm up.  That means that whipping them to a stiff peak will take less time.  You can get this same volume with egg whites directly from the fridge but it’s a longer process.

As well,  egg whites that are a few days old (2-3) will whip to a greater volume because the protein structure relaxes with a few days of aging.  When you get your egg whites from the grocery store, they are more than likely a few days old anyway,  so this rule would only apply if you were so blessed as to have access to farm fresh eggs or  you have a chicken coop in your backyard.  Let your fresh eggs sit for a few days before whipping them.

 

Happy Caking

 

Lesi

 

PS  Only two spots left for August 25th Topsy Turvy workshop.   Visit the class page to register

www.lesiskitchen.com

Sometimes in Cake Decorating, things appear more difficult than they actually are

In the cake decorating world, sometimes things appear to be more difficult than they actually are.

Never again be phased by gumpaste flowers, edible gelatin ribbons and butterflies, or  multi-tiered wedding cakes.  They look daunting at first glance, but if you have all of the steps to follow, and you follow them in the correct order, your final result will astound you.

Here in the “Kitchen” , Lesi takes each student through the steps, one by one, until the final goal is achieved.  Everything from baking the perfect cake to creating the most elaborate of wedding cakes.

Take the featured  wedding cake for example.  It appears to be a very difficult project but broken down to it’s basic components, each done step by step, even you can achieve this final result.

Come and join us for a class and discover new  potential for your cake design and cake decorating.

Glamorous wedding cake construction

Cake decorating classes wedding cakeswedding cake decorating classes

What’s New for June 2012

Great News!

We have added another basics class to our June schedule.  Saturday June 2nd, 2012 @9:30 – 2:30pm

Our June class sold out so quickly, we had to add a second class to the roster for the month.

The new “basics” gives you a foundation to build your cake art on.  You will learn the essentials of baking and masking a perfectly moist, delicious,(and level) cake to apply fondant to. Then after tackling the hurdle of making a very simple but tasty homemade fondant, you will learn easy and helpful hints for working with fondant  to create a lovely little piece of cake art all your own.

You  won’t want to miss this class.  It is perfectly essential to every cake decorators arsenal of knowledge.

Come take a class with us…..or maybe two!

 

Happy caking.

 

Lesi

www.lesiskitchen.com

Visit us on facebook    http://www.facebook.com/LesiCakes

 

 

Cake Trippin’ Toronto, Ladies in White Week 1 – 3

Cake Trippin’ Toronto,  Ladies in White    Week  1 – 3
The beginning of this journey started out  very intense.  Thrown into a mix of young ladies that I didn’t know from Adam and plunged  into the hardcore  arena of caking.  This is how I got to know these amazing Ladies in White.


Within the first 40 minutes of the day beginning, we found ourselves knee deep in flour and sugar.  This indeed was a high production kitchen.  Weighing, mixing, baking.  No rest for the weary here.  Thank goodness for good friends (which is what we quickly became) and comfortable shoes.  That first three weeks were all about  the cake;  cake ingredients, cake baking, cake flavors,  cake fillings, cake toppings, cake layering, cake leveling, cake masking, icing and covering cake.  If ever I had the inclination to even think I knew everything about cake, I would have been so off the mark.

At the end of week one, I was exhausted.  By weeks two and three, things started to level themselves out.   I have learned so much, made friends that  I hope to keep for years to come and came out on top in situations that,  at times,  seemed unbearable.   I have to admit,  I  had a day when tears were involved  and I have learned that,  here, friends come in all forms.  All of us are out of our comfort zones, away from our regular supportive  family and friends, and  we’re  learning to lean on each other.  None of us are alone here. In the end, we grow and thrive.

Me personally, well, I have a new found respect for this art form that I have chosen to call my profession, and of course  the kitchen scale.  It no longer is my nemesis.  I can cost out a recipe like nobody’s  business and it’s all about the business.  The business of cake.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake (or cuppies)

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake (or cuppies)

You all know that I am all about making any job easier, So I was all over a homemade cake mix.  Especially one that is versatile.  Here recipe is the recipe for you to try and once you have it,   I’m going to jazz it for ya!

Basic Cake Mix

  • 8 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. baking powder
  • 2 c. unsalted butter (or shortening,  I choose butter everytime!)
  • 5 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. salt

 

Cut ingredients together using a pastry cutting tool.  This will make a course-grained mix.   Divide into 5 equal portions of 3 1/3 cup each. Will store 6 weeks or will freeze for 6 months.

***If you add  2 cups of powdered milk to your basic mix,  you can use water when adding wet ingredients.

 

 

Now that we have that out of the way,  it time to fancy it up.

 

Start with 3 1/3 cup of cake mix and add:

 

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1/3 c. cocoa
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

 

Use milk to thin this mixture until you reach desire thickness.  Batter should still be thick but  thinned  enough to pour easily.

 

 

For cake bake at 350? for  35 – 40  minutes or until top springs back on touch

 

For cupcakes bake at 375? for  15 – 20 minutes or until top springs back on touch

 

 

And there you have it.   Chocolate pumpkin cake batter, for layer cake or cuppies.  Excellent served naked (the cake that is) with whipped cream,  or with creamed cheese icing.

 

Yum yum

New Gelatin Technique for Cake Decorating


Our inaugural Everything Gelatin: Butterflies, Exquisite Bows and Sequins class was a huge hit.
Included in the class registration fee are: the imprint mats, gelatin, brushes, forming trays, recipes, pictorial and text instructions, as well as much input from yours truly, moi! Probably more input than was necessary but face it, this caking thing is exhilarating and gelatin is new uncharted territory here.
These gelatin items are completely edible, beautiful and everyone that has seen them can’t believe that they are not real. We are taking our decorating to the next level and you’re going to want to catch a ride with us. Watch for all the new stuff that’s coming up in the near future as well as a repeat of the Gelatin Class.
Happy Caking!

Upcoming Specialty Classes at “Lesi’s Kitchen”

March 26th, 2011 This month’s feature class has been cancelled to allow for Instructor Training Day…..I have to stay one step ahead of you all. :)

April 23rd, 2011 we are proud to be hosting our very first ever Cakin’ Kids class. Baking and decorating with the younger crowd in mind. They will leave with basic cake making knowledge, and have a lot of fun picking up some basic icing and fondant skills while creating some yummy fun of their own. This class is geared for kids age 12 – 15. Younger children can be accommodated under the supervision of an adult.

May 28th, 2011 we head into territory slightly outside the mighty cake realm. Pies, Pies, Pies will add a little variety to your caking repertoire. Easy never fail pie crust is a skill you will be able to tuck into your goodie bag. Seldom heard of pie recipes to wow even the most discerning palate. Dessert will never be the same.

June 25th, 2011 we bring to you Amazing Cupcakes and Cookies. These are not your average pretty cupcakes. They are specifically themed for any occasion. They look like you’ve spent hours but are amazingly simple and truely a treat for all. Come express yourself!

July 23rd, 2011 take flight with the Butterflies. Gelatin Bows and Butterflies is the newest technique to hit cake decorating. You will learn the secret to realistic looking butterflies to embellish your summer creations. These bows are like no other! You won’t believe they aren’t ribbon! This is truely too good to miss.

Well, that is what is shaping up in “Lesi’s Kitchen” for the next little while. I hope to see you in class. In the meantime,

Happy Caking!

Lesi

“Lesi’s Kitchen” Grand Opening Classes – Please note: These are NOT Wilton Classes!

It has been a long time in the workings, but I am now offering the next phase to  what you now know about cake decorating and  classroom instruction.

I have put together select  project classes that are  designed to take your cake decorating to the next level. Finally you will be able to take the classes specific to the techniques that you have been dying to learn.

The offerings will cover everything from amazing life- like  florals to intricate cake sculpting.    Gone are the days of  our grandma’s round, pink  flowery cakes.      Move  over granny,  there’s a new Grandma in town…..  and she’s bringing on the Ultimate in  Cake Design!

Get ready to learn more modeling  candy clay techniques, more realistic gumpaste flowers, a menagerie of animals, fairies and elves, cars, handbags, and shoes,   just to name a few.

You will gain fabulous insight into recipe how’s and why’s, as well as, get the scoop on some awesome “must know” cake and pastry secrets.

Here’s the best part. You will learn the secret of “how to cake decorate without breaking the bank!” (it’s my little pet peeve)

There is so much more to learn.

Each workshop is based on a 2 – 3 hour curriculum and is designed to meet the needs of today’s busy cake enthusiasts.

Sign up for a class today and take your baked goods to a whole new dimension.

Go to: http://xdreamcakes.com/products-page/