I just had a lovely weekend in my spiritual home, Melbourne. I flew down especially to do a one-day Cupcakes Masterclass at William Angliss Institute of TAFE, which was a follow-on course from the Cupcake Decorating course that I did last year.
This time, the focus was on cake flavours and textures rather than just decorating, and built on the skills that we had previously learned. It was much more hands-on immediately, with less demonstrations and more action from us. It was a full-on day, but I enjoyed it immensely.
Our teacher was once again Greg Williams, and there were 10 of us in the class. We were divided into groups of two, and each group made a different cake recipe. Greg also made a couple of other types of cupcakes for us to try.
Once all the cakes were baked, we spent the afternoon decorating them.
I really enjoyed this class, because the recipes and decorating techniques were of the type that I would use regularly, rather than being something so fancy that it would be too expensive and impractical to do at home.
- Lemon Delicious
- Black Forest Sponge
- Chocolate Spiced Pear
- Red Velvet
- Chocolate Hazelnut Orange
- Chocolate Mud
- White Chocolate Raspberry
My bench partner, Sharon, and I made the Red Velvet Cupcakes and a cream cheese frosting for the class. Sharon had been in my class last year, so it was nice to ctach up with her.
We once again piped chocolate shapes using hand-made paper piping bags, portioned out the cupcakes and frosted some of the cakes with pastry bags, and learned to make chocolate curls. As well as the cream cheese frosting, we made or watched demonstrations on making lemon curd, candied lemon, toffee shards (which unfortunately didn't work on the day), sweetened whipped cream, ganache, buttercream, caramelised pears and sweetened cherry pie-style filling.
While in Melbourne, I saw a preview screening of Beautiful Kate, Rachel Ward's latest film with a dark underlying story and some wonderful Australian actors (including Rachel Griffiths and Ben Mendelsohn), and went to the John Brack exhibition at the NGV - Ian Potter Centre. The Brack exhibition was magnificent - I had no idea that he painted such a wide variety of genres, and I was so impressed that I bought the exhibition catalogue so that I can see the images again at my leisure. If you are in Melbourne, I highly recommend the Brack exhibition, but hurry - Sunday the 9th of August is the last day.