I’ve been wanting to find out more about on this PME Sugar Paste Module on the web but I can’t seem to find any so here I am, hoping to share my experience attending the class.
PME Professional Diploma is from UK and divided into 3 modules – Sugar Paste, Sugar Flowers and Royal Icing. It’s not essential that you complete all 3 but if you do, you are awarded the Master Certificate! In the sugar paste module, you will cover Basic Techniques Coating, Crimping & Embossing, Fabric Effects, Textured Drapes, Frills Ribbons, Bows & Sugar Embroidery, Modelling Fun Figures, Textures, Inlay & Applique, Stacked Cake Design & Handling, Designing Celebration Cakes & Colour Balance, Basic Business Guidelines and Copyright & License.
There is only a handful of schools in Singapore that taught this Diploma. I did try to ask around how is the learning experience on other schools and considering my schedule, what the school provide and the instructor, I finally make the choice and is extremely happy with the school I went to! You will be facing the instructor for full 5 days so do make sure you’re comfortable with the environment, the instructor and knowing what to expect. Another consideration factor is learning the authentic technique, as this is not a “fun” class to begin with and it’s not cheap either. I’ve seen examples of other student’s work from other schools and what was taught did not really follow the syllabus!
And this bring me to this offline topic that still lingers in my mind after sometime! I attended a demo lesson in another supposedly famous school, the lesson fees are not cheap in the first place. While I thought I could be early to get a front seat, I was surprise to see the school have “chopped” seat for their regulars despite they said the seats are first come first available basis. Secondly while we get to sample some of the bakes, we are reminded repeatedly to use the same toothpick (not branded toothpicks!) for all the bakes and to use the same disposable cup! While I am all for recycling and agreed that we should use the same disposable cup but the toothpick is just a little too much! How much does a toothpick cost?! compared to the costly lesson fees we paid?!
Anyway, the school that I went to this time have no qualms about us using the colors that they have or when we cant find a color we want, the instructor offer to pick a new bottle off the retail shelf for us to try. In fact she told us this is the best time to try all the colors so we will know what to expect before we buy them. She was also kind enough to share with us how to use other tools that we have bought but may not know how to use it.
Back to what was taught on Lesson 1 – theories are covered as per UK’s syllabus. And we get to “play” with sugar paste! afterall the course is about sugar paste which we fondly call fondant here. I don’t have much experience coating a cake with fondant, I think I did it twice so far so this course is just perfect for me. We coated 7 cakes (5 individuals and 2 tier cakes) within 5 days so by the 4th day, it become so routine … knead … knead … roll … roll and ta~da cover the square/round cake. Of coz it’s not as simple as that! There are loads of tips and tricks, how to “treat” the cake before coating, how to manage the fondant, how thick to roll, how to coat a round cake and square cake, how to “treat” the fondant after you’ve cover and to the smallest skill – what angle your palette knife should be when you trim the edges. It’s sure a lot of information to absorb! Before I went for the lesson, I thought I could have some “good” time ~ go to class, learn, have a leisure lunch then go home! I was wrong, we all went for quick lunch, go back to class and continue the lesson. I’m glad the pace of the lesson was very well control by the instructor and she make sure we really understand the lesson before proceeding. We got to work on a dummy round cake as the first cake – coat the cake with fondant and play with crimpers!
Before the lesson I didn’t really know how this work but I fall in love with them after the 1st lesson! They are easy to use and instantly beautify the cake! Then it’s about texture, applique, inlay and not forgetting the farbric rose that I detest making it! The above one is done by the instructor 😛