Friday, 10 July 2009

Cupcake decorating classes @ The Make Lounge

...or the night I realised I'm not particularly good at piping and that even if I was it's not really for me!

I was very excited about my cupcake decorating class at the Make Lounge on Tuesday however I left a little disappointed. Not because of the class which was good but because I realised that I don't particularly like buttercream (I prefer good old American butter and sugar frosting) and that I'm not really one that fru fru's my cupcakes with fancy decorations - I like sprinkles and lots of glitter :) 

There were about 10/12 of us in the class. First we learned how to spread buttercream with a pallete knife onto our ready prepared cupcakes - so far, so easy. Then came the more difficult tasks - firstly rolling our own piping bag for icing -this took me a few tries (all the while thinking "why would I do this you can buy them ready done from Lakeland"), but that's not a good attitude as I was here to learn, so I persevered and finally got it - my very own made piping bag! Then we were given lots of royal icing and some great food colour paste (v.good - someone unfortunately left a toothpic covered in the blue paste in the clean toothpick cup so I got covered in it - went home with blue hands and it took a lot of scrubbing to get it off!) and mixed up some colours for our piping. We then practiced on some greaseproof paper with stencils and I was quite proud of my butterfly as it was my first attempt at one! Then came the difficult bit - piping on the cake, freehand! The teacher, Michelle of Lavender Bakery, said a good way is to etch the outline onto the cake using a toothpick which maybe I should've tried as I was was my first time so I didn't feel too bad, until I looked around and it seemed most of the others were pro's with a piping bag - I did wonder (a bit meanly perhaps) why some people had come on the course when they all seemed to be fab at it already. I was a bit despondent when I left as mine didn't look as professional as a lot of those who were in the class but I cheered up when Manny was so excited to see them and so very proud of me (last time I used a piping bag I covered myself in the contents of it and this time I was completely buttercream free!). Looking at them now,they're not the prettiest but this really was my first proper go at icing so I'm actually quite proud of them. If you look closely you can see the glitter in the pics. Sorry the pictures aren't that great - my camera got all sticky from my blue hands! 

I do recommend taking the class however if you're a complete beginner like me perhaps having a little practice with a piping bag first is to be recommended! I shall be sticking with my cupcakes covered in lashings of frosting and plenty of sprinkles/glitter! I also realised that all my favourite cupcake places (Hummingbird, Outsider Tart, Buttercup, Crumbs and Doilies etc) stick to this style of cupcake - what's good enough for them is good enough for me!

Oh and "hello" to the girl who said she read about the classes on my blog if she's reading - I'm really sorry I've forgotten your name (I'm hopeless with names -sorry) - your cakes were absolutely gorgeous btw!


Manny said...

I am really proud of you sweetheart, and you should be proud of your cakes. It was your first go and I think they look really good, obviously the more you practice the better you'll get. Certainly nothing to be despondent about, they really did look good :)

TCake said...

wow anne you've posted lots since tuesday!.... don't be despondant your cupcakes were fab... i was the girl sitting opposite you!...have a cupcake filled weekend.. Teresa x

jennifer | themakelounge said...

Hi there and thanks so much for your post. Buttercream *IS* butter and sugar frosting - Italian Meringue Buttercream is just a slightly more delicate, lighter version that adds egg whites (per the handout in class). Different decorators/bakers use slightly different recipes and have different decorating styles; we're exploring doing a variety of types of food craft workshops in the future; I'm having fun interviewing lots of teachers! P.S. We did use glitter in the class - gorgeous shimmery, disco-y glitter! Love that stuff!

Gem said...

Sorry you were disappointed with your course! I agree that lashings of frosting makes the best cupcake..I'm going on a cupcake course in september at Leah's Pantry in Macclesfield and I'm hoping we'll be making cupcakes with lots of frosting there! I found on google the other day a drive thru cupcakes places in awesome would that be - i want one here!

I heart cupcakes said...

@ Manny - thanks very much hon - I'm not despondent now -was on the day though!

@Teresa - thanks! was nice to meet you - seriously your cakes were gorgeous! have a great weekend - i'm still trying to get times for the giant cupcake on Thursday!

@Jennifer - i know that buttercream is sugar and butter, however personally I'm not keen on the taste of it - its the egg I think - makes me feel a bit queasy. I know lots of people like it - its just a personal taste thing. I mentioned the glitter in my post - its fab isn't it - gets everywhere though! Good luck with the other classes

@Gem - drive through cupcakes - I must google that! How fab! Good luck with your class - mine was ok but just made me realise I prefer the good old fashioned cupcake frosting :) Let me know how your class goes!

Chocoralie said...

Hi Anna,

Thanks for the visit on my blog.

Being a cupcake lover myself, I just have to shout it out loud:


Love and cupcakes,


Michelle said...

Hi, Thanks so much for coming along. I thought your cakes were great, it takes time to get perfect piping but it is more important to enjoy it! I have an alternative frosting recipe for people not so keen on the Italian meringue buttercream, will have to make it for you some time. I like making something a little bit different and less sweet but it is true that it doesn't suit everyone. Glad you managed to eventually scrub off the blue colouring - it is the worst one for staining, I have blue hands fairly often! Hope to see you again soon, Michelle x