Thursday 15 December 2011

Cupcake decorating class

I did my first cupcake decorating class in October 2010 and really enjoyed it - so much so that I've done several since then!

I saw an offer on for a "cocktails and cupcakes" class at the Cocoa Box (see end of post for links) that had a 2 for 1 special offer (costing £49 per person normally). I suggested it to my friend Jules and she jumped at the chance.

The class was actually held in the function room of a small hotel in north London and I have to say the cocktail - basically a welcome drink - was a little disappointing. Luckily the cake decorating was a lot better!

There were quite a lot of people - OK, women - and we all sat at big tables with all the equipment that we would need for the class.

We were even given cupcakes to decorate. Note how some of them have risen higher in the cases than others - this would be important later.

To start with though, we learnt some modelling techniques. We each made a flower and a bow, and a little ice cream. To make the waffle print on the ice cream, we were shown how to lay a cocktail stick sideways and press it into the icing, then lay it the other way to create a criss-cross effect.

The icing had already been made, though we were given a copy of the recipe, and put into disposable piping bags. I realised this was where I had been going wrong! It's all to do with consistency, and if your icing isn't too runny, it's actually really easy to pipe and make nice patterns. Also if you haven't discovered disposable piping bags yet, then go get some! I used to use a piping bag which came in a kit with a selection of nozzles, but it got really messy and had to be washed out afterwards. You can buy disposable ones in packs of 50, and all you do is fill the bag with icing and snip off the end- it also makes it a lot easier if you want to use different coloured icing as you don't have to keep washing out the piping bag!

I really enjoyed learning how to pipe the buttercream in a swirly pattern, and discovered that if you pipe from the centre outwards you get a very different finish to when you pipe from the outside inwards.

We also used liquid fondant icing, which again had been made for us. This is where we needed cupcakes that hadn't risen so much in their cases, so there was a little gap at the top. We poured in the icing (if the cupcake had risen above the cake case, it would have run over the edge) and let it set. We then pressed the models we had made gently onto the top of the cupcakes.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I went to this class earlier this year and it was good fun. Love your cupcakes especially the ice cream cone :)


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