We baked!! I really, really wanted to make a cake for my awesome cat-obsessed friend. I asked her what she wanted and she threw me a little by asking for either a light chocolate cake or a pavlova (I’m kinda getting a reputation for my pavs :P)… so I decided to do both! Chocolate sponge cupcakes with meringue icing. People usually ask me for super rich desserts so I didn’t actually have a favourite light chocolate cake recipe and was a little nervous about this because I’ve also never tried making meringue icing before although I’ve long wanted to… and I only had the night before/morning of the lunch to prepare, which is not a lot of time for things to go wrong.
They didn’t go wrong. 😀 Baked a bunch of chocolate cupcakes:
Sat in front of the air conditioner (it’s very hot here at the moment) and Rose and I sculpted these cat ‘toppers’ from fondant, hand painted them with food colouring and brushed them with edible gold dust. Whee!
Next I cut holes in each and filled them with a tsp of nutella. Mmmmm.
I whipped up some meringue icing, made by boiling sugar to soft boil stage then pouring it slowly into whipped egg whites. It’s like marshmallow fluff. Pipes perfectly.
And assemble! Gorgeous!
Here’s the collection all together. 😀 I hate cakes that look pretty but taste shabby. These were perfect. So pleased!
We had a really nice party. 🙂
Sophie, my gorgeous god daughter, has just turned 2. Rose arranged the gifts this year, and I decorated the cake. Rose put a great deal of thought into the collection of presents, and none was more appreciated than the mini trampoline she assembled from flat packed with only a few bruises and cursing before the big reveal. Sophie has christened it Bounce and it gets a good work out. She was extremely difficult to photograph! She’s reached that age where the only time she’s still is when she’s asleep. 🙂
I somehow pulled off 9 hours of work in total yesterday over 2 busy gigs, between exhaustion and the post surgery pain I was in no for state to bake a cake like I’d arranged. So we did the next best thing, Rose arranged a mud cake from the local Cheesecake Factory, and bought me ingredients for an excellent crusting buttercream frosting, and I decorated it this morning. I’ve not done a lot of this kind of piping work, but Sophie’s Dad specifically requested buttercream as she really enjoys it, and I’m personally a huge fan of cakes with minimal fondant ie ones that actually taste good as well as look pretty. So I decided to pipe a bouquet onto the cake. Finished with her name and sprinkled with a little edible gold glitter, out turned out pretty special. 🙂
I’ve been offering Cupcake Decorating workshops through the local Women’s Community Centre at Stepney, SA. This is the first time I’ve worked as a facilitator with this centre, so I was quite nervous at first, but I’m finding my feet. We decided to offer four classes for the cupcakes, also two for face painting, and one for glitter tattoos. So far I’ve facilitated two cupcake classes. In the first one, I demonstrated making American style buttercream icing with cream cheese, and royal icing. Everyone learned how to cut and set up an icing bag, and fill it. Then we practised using different tips to make icing swirls on upturned cups. Once people had the hang of them, they iced some real cupcakes and decorated them with food glitter. We also practiced lines, dots, and flowers with royal icing on biscuits.
People made big improvements quickly with their handling of piping bags which was encouraging for everyone.
This week I brought in fondant and flower modelling paste. We learned how to colour fondant, and how to marble different colours together. We made fondant flowers with cutters, learned how to use different types of molds to shape fondant, how to hand shape roses, and how to cover cupcakes with buttercream and rolled fondant. We packed a lot in to two hours! I’m so impressed with what people came up with. Some things were much easier to pick up than others, but everyone went home with a basic understanding of how to work with fondant so they can further pursue whatever they enjoyed most and practice their skills. 🙂
In the next two classes I’ll be showing how to fill cupcakes with yummy things like Nutella, how to make and pipe ganache, and how to make and hand paint flooded run out style cupcake toppers with royal icing. We’re gathering more participants with each class which is great, people seem to be enjoying then and going home with some useful new skills, not to mention some really pretty cupcakes. 🙂