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Decorate a Cake for Valentine's Day

Decorating cakes with Paula Tosonotti, who makes it all look effortless

With Valentine's Day around the corner, lots of us are thinking sweets and treats. Local restaurants have a lot to offer for that memorable meal, and a homemade and custom-decorated dessert might just make you the cupid of county. 

Last year, Paula Tosonotti of Cake Fiction showed Patch how to decorate cakes and cupcakes with a professional flair. We revisit Cake Fiction for tips, just in time for Valentine's Day. 

For hints on working with fondant, watch the video. 

Paula Tosonotti is a baker and a cook, who uses inspiration from all over the world for her Cake Fiction creations. The Argentina native has been baking cakes since 1995. Her family has been in the catering business and she has studied in Paris, Argentina and the French Culinary Institute in NYC. She crafts unique and stylish cakes custom-designed for each client and event, and Patch visited her last year for an overview.

Paula agreed to meet with me and demonstrate some easy cake decorating techniques- for the home cook. I was excited to get tips and improve my decorating skills.

I walked into her home and could smell a sweet cake like aroma- yum, I thought. We walked into the large dining room with a collection of sample cakes on the table. It was a variety of tier cakes in different shapes. One stood out – it was a Marc Jacobs bag she made for Bloomingdales. It was beautiful and looked very real. I was amazed at the details and the texture. She explained to me how the embellishments always take longer where as the cake itself takes about two to three days.

She creates about four cakes a week and usually works on her own, sometimes asking help from her husband. She wants to control the quality and makes everything by hand, including the beautiful flowers and other embellishments for the beautiful cakes. Speaking of handmade, she even makes her own fondant .

Fondant is the confection used as a filling or coating for cakes. Paula explains the fondant needs to be worked and kneaded like dough in order to make it smooth and pliable. If the fondant is not the right consistency, it tends to break after drying.

Paula kneaded enough fondant to cover a round cake. She worked on it for a while- at least ten minutes. The result was a play dough-like texture. She then rolled it out- I think she made it look much simpler than it is. The cake was covered shortly after that and smoothed over with her various gadgets.

My favorite part was making the flowers. She rolled out another fondant ball and cut out beautiful daisies. Yellow fondant was used for the flower centers. The combination of the pale green cake, white daisies with the yellow centers was gorgeous and tempting. These decorations can also be placed on a cake covered with butter cream or any other topping.

I thanked Paula for her time and was delighted to get a personal demonstration from an expert. It was very clear how much she enjoys creating personal cakes for her customers. I thought of her very lucky to be able to spend time at something she loves and make a living out of it.

I left there very inspired to decorate my own cake- and Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

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