I've been having so much fun reading these forums, it is addictive!
I do have a question--what would be a good first cake to try for a newbie, i.e. round, square, 2 layer, etc?
I do like a challenge, so I'm game for some complexity
I would start with a two layer cake in whatever shape pans you have. Then just have fun decorating and playing with new ideas. My first cake was a regular round, but I decided I wanted to try covering it with fondant w/ fondant roses and chocolate leaves. I had a lot of fun. It wasn't perfect, but I thought it was pretty good for my first decorated cake. Just have fun and experiment with whatever techniques you have seen that intrigue you. You cant go wrong!
depending what you intend to do with the cake. I mean - do you want to serve it your family / friends on no special occasion, where even if it will be less than perfect it doesn't matter? Or do you want to decorate a birthday cake or other special occasion cake?
There are some easy yet stunning cake designs. Chocolate decorations are safe bet, fondant flowers (cutter cut out), fondant dots and balls...
These are cakes you want when the result matters.
From cakes in my gallery, easy cakes were http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1348952, http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1327636 and http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1327391
From galleries - here is good example http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1301001
- actually, this is a good candidate for first cake covered in fondant. If you get tears, folds etc. you can smooth it out and cover it with the dots.
If the result is not as important, go wild. Go in articles or search the web, looking for tutorials. Try any cake what catch your attention.
And good luck to you.
Thanks to both of you--cake will be just for fun for us, and my friend who just likes to eat cake! So, I think we will just try and have a good time. Will check out those links too--