Last week I was invited to a workshop on Cake Decorating with Good Housekeeping magazine held at Chez Gourmet in Claremont. As you are most likely aware I am no kitchen queen but I do enjoy a bit of baking as long as there is no stress or deadline….and I can make as much mess as is necessary 😉
The aim of this event was to teach a group of girls like myself a few more tips about cake decorating and I was thrilled to be able to try out some new techniques and discover how easy some things are. In the past I would have found pretty little edible flowers rather intimidating to make by hand but now I’m quite keen to try them out for the upcoming 2nd birthday I am currently planning!!
We were placed in groups of 2 or 3 and rotated between different work stations where we had the chance to try each technique for ourselves. First up was learning how to make frosted rose petals (all edible!) This involves egg white and castor sugar and some roses of course!
Then I headed over to find out how to make those pretty edible decorations such as flowers, butterflies or leaves that cost so much! This was surprisingly easy and all that is needed is some plastic icing, a few tiny cookie cutters, a palette knife and some grease proof paper – and patience and time – as with most baking 😉 I’m definitely keen to try this out sometime soon and can’t wait to make a trip to The Baking Tin for a few new supplies for my baking equipment cupboard!
Next up was making Meringue Icing. In the past I have always made butter icing but this does work out to be terribly expensive when you look at the cost of butter these days! R30 or more for one block! YIKES. This was a little bit more precise and included a thermometer for measuring the exact temperature of the boiling sugar and water mixture to avoid caramelization. Once added to the egg whites we could choose from an array of food colours and decided to mix it up a little and use our pre-primary art skills to make a very pretty purple! This is a real win for kiddies birthday parties as most kids don’t really care about the style of icing as long as it’s SWEET – and this is most definitely that!
The last station was probably my favourite as it included Chocolate! We learnt how to make Chocolate Ganache with good dark chocolate, butter, cream and liquid glucose for shine! YUMMY. Seriously hard not to want to eat the whole pot before it’s even made it’s way onto the cupcakes…
After all this excitement it was time for the highlight – choosing and decorating our own cupcakes to take home. There was a wide array of decorating choices from miniature silver balls, cake glitter, tiny astros, and pretty flowers, heart and butterflies in a rainbow of colours. It was tough to choose!
I finally went with 2 purple pretties and 2 chocolate yummies decorated with butterflies, flowers and hearts – it was hard not to get cupcake envy afterwards when looking at the other beautiful, creative designs! Mine most certainly tasted good though and I wasn’t even home 2 mins when they had all been devoured. I was lucky enough to get a half to taste 😉 This will explain the lack of pretty picture of my creations.. this one will have to do…
What a fun afternoon! Not only did I get my bake on, I also got to enjoy a delicious high tea while meeting some fab bloggers in person (who I otherwise only know by their Twitter handles). Always a pleasure.
Thank you to Good Housekeeping for a fantastic, fun and informative time.
And here are some of my phone photos…
images: Kathryn Rossiter