So, after booking a day off work I pootled off to the Make Lounge in Islington for the event. Before we got down to the hard work the organisers piled us with champagne and we got to have a quick chat with Mich. She was really friendly, asking about my blog, what I liked about cupcakes, most unusual baking experience etc, and what I hoped to learn from the day. We also talked about her lovely cakes which were on display, and of course I forgot to take pics.
Once everyone arrived, and I finally got to meet Sarah, we donned our cupcake aprons and took our seat, ready to learn.
We started with a brief introduction round the table. Mich asked me if I thought the cupcake craze would ever end and of course I stood up for them, and when I mentioned the whoopie pie fad I could tell she wasn't a fan by her face! She also announced to everyone that my blog was "one of the longest running" which was a shock to me (I'd told her I'd been writing my blog for nearly 3 years), and she also mentioned my brussels sprouts cupcakes which got a few eughs from the others! I also got told off by Mich when I happened to mention that Sainsbury's sell a large range of big cupcake cases, completely forgetting the event was organised by Tesco! Ooopps. Must've been the midday champagne!
After everyone had introduced themselves, Mich got down to business. First she showed us how to make sugarpaste roses. She made it look so easy and quick but was a very good teacher and answered all questions we had, and happily posed for photos etc.
Next up she showed us how to make a simple candy cane decoration. These were adorable and perfect to top your festive cupcakes. The twisting of the two colours wasn't as easy as Mich made it look, but I got the hang of it eventually.
|Mich's perfectly formed roses|
|Mich's frosted and decorated cupcakes|
Mich then showed us how to use royal icing to add details such as leaves or swirls to the frosted cupcakes, or LVCC signature lined fondant toppings. She also showed us how to use cutters and embossers, and how to use lashings of glittery to make your cupcakes even prettier!
|my cupcakes frosted|
First up we made some decorations using sugarpaste, which wasn't as easy as Mich made it look. My rose petals kept sticking to the punched pocket thing (we used one sliced open to put the blobs of paste between to smoosh out to make the petals) and then it looked more like a party of lady that I shalln't mention than a rose so I started again!
Then we got hold of some buttercream and naked cupcakes and frosted them. I tried a zig zag style that Mich suggested, but I think I prefer the swirls!
|so glittery and pretty - my lovely rose|
|soooooo pretty - yes I'm proud of myself|
|cupcake and my chubby candy cane|
|all my cupcakes decorated|
Time flew by really quickly and before I knew it the class was over and it was time to box up our cupcakes and head into rush hour with our box of pretty, glittery goodness! Alas my cupcakes didn't make it home looking quite so pretty. As soon as I put the lid on the roses got a little squished (they were a bit big for cupcakes but its my first time!) and by the time I'd gone on several buses to collect Manny from St Thomas's my cakes were a bit of a squishy mess. BUT they tasted lovely, well the vanilla ones I got to try did - really tasty and still moist today! And the buttercream was ever so tasty too. Talking of buttercream, Mich said we should stick to a 60/40 icing sugar/butter ration to always get tasty, easy to pipe frosting. She also suggested making ganache, then making vanilla frosting and mixing the two to get ultra chocolate'y frosting! Like I said she really was full of hints and tips!
You can arrange a masterclass with Mich on the LVCC website. They are quite expensive but so worth it I'd say. She was a very good teacher, and herself and her assistant were there to answer any questions we had and help us out with any problems we were having! She was also really funny and down to earth and genuinely in love with cake decorating.
This post is a bit photo heavy already so I've put some photos of the other decorators cupcakes on my Flickr page. They're all so pretty!
Thanks again to Sarah and Tesco Real Food for the opportunity. And Mich for being such a great teacher. If you want to learn some of her techniques she has several books on cake decorating, with a new one, The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Cake Decorating Perfection, due out in February.