I really enjoyed learning to create the basketweave pattern, it definitely takes some concentration and counting in the beginning so that you make sure and space all your "posts" (vertical lines) and your "rails" (horizontal lines) correctly in order to get the woven look. Luckily all of my posts and rails met up at the end to complete the oval shape of my cake! I can't wait to try this technique again on a larger size cake.
I remember our rehearsal dinner cake for our wedding was a 3 tier square cake with a chocolate basketweave decorated with strawberries..that was a beautiful cake! Now I understand and appreciate how much time goes into creating such an intricate pattern. But don't let the basketweave intimidate you, it is really quite simple once you get the pattern started, you get into a rythm and it just comes naturally.
The first 3 weeks of class all of our time was spent on learning how to make different types of royal icing flowers. I had no clue you could make cake flowers out of royal icing, for some reason I was thinking that was only used to decorate sugar cookies, I sure was wrong! The flowers dry hard and can be stored for a very long time if kept in a sealed container and out of sunlight to prevent them from fading.
My favorite flower was the daffodil. For some reason out of all the flowers we learned this one just came the easiest to me. I could make these all day long. I love the pointed petals and the trumpet shaped center sticking out!
My second favorite flower was the pansy, which is the purple and yellow flower above. I love these two colors together! We also learned how to make royal icing birds by using a tracing technique and allowing them to dry and harden before placing them on the cake, similar to how you would ice a sugar cookie.
I'll leave you with one last look at the side view of my basketweave and rope border with flower accents! I'd love to do a tutorial on the basketweave technique and all the various types of royal icing flowers sometime soon. Not only do the flowers go great on cakes but I think they would look super cute on top of a cupcake too! I see many more royal icing flowers in my near future!