Yesterday, I attended another cupcake decorating class, this time at CW Cakes in Malvern. I had no expectations as to what this class would be like, as I bought the class through a voucher site that didn't describe the class.
Our friendly instructor, Ella, introduced the 2 hour class as the Black and White Cupcakes course, and our decorating medium was to be black and white fondant.
Although I had already done a fondant decorating class this year, the CW Cake course was different again, and I learned some new techniques - namely, stencilling and the use of moulds.
The first cupcake is the "Chanel" handbag:
This was made by simply imprinting the fondant with an upholstery type design, cutting out the disc, then attaching two black fondant "C"s in a mock-up of the Chanel logo and attaching three little lustre dusted fondant balls of various sizes. The disc was attached to the top of the cake using sugar glue, and the decorations were then attached to the top of the cake in the same way.
The next design was the cameo brooch:
This involved placing an imprinted disc of fondant on the top of the cake, lustre-dusting it using a large make-up style brush, adding a scalloped black fondant circle, and making a cameo brooch by pressing fondant into a silicone mould, popping it out then lustre dusting it before attaching it to the top of the cake. The pearls around the edge of the cake were made by pushing a rolled sausage of fondant into a pearl mould, then using a knife to cut off the excess. This was my least favourite design because I think it looks kind of clunky, and there is no way that I would personally want to eat that much fondant.
One of my favourite designs was the stencilled chandelier:
This was made by rolling out the fondant to 2.5-5mm thick, pressing a stencil firmly onto the top of the fondant, covering the stencil with very thick black royal icing, scraping off the excess with a plastic spatula, then carefully lifting up the stencil.
This one was made similarly, except that edible glitter was sprinkled over the stencil design before lifting off the stencil:
Our next design involved an imprinted black fondant disc, two fondant ribbons cut using a ribbon tool to create an off-centre sash, and using two different sizes of flower cutters to create the flower, with silver cachous to form the centre of the flower:
Once again, everything was attached using sugar glue. I also filled this cake using white buttercream piped into the cake using a Wilton 230 piping tip.
Finally, we made my favourite design:
This involved an imprinted fondant disc, to which was attached two fondant leaves made using a plunger cutter and two fondant flowers which were pressed into a hibiscus mould to give them a more life-like appearance, with silver cachous attached to form the centres.
My other cupcake classes this year were at Whimsical Cakehouse (fondant) and Crabapple Bakery (buttercream). I think that the most elegant cupcakes are achieved using fondant, although the buttercream ones are tastier. I liked a number of designs from both Whimsical and CW Cakes, but the cake preparation taught at Whimsical, by cutting and ganaching the cake before decorating, gives a superior end product, although time consuming to do.
I like that the techniques taught aat the fondant classes are very easy to replicate at home, and I already own a number of the tools required. Other tools, such as the ribbon cutter, are not necessary, as the same result can be easily achieved with a knife, and good old fashioned water or sugar syrup works just as well as sugar glue. If I am ever called upon to make special occasion cupcakes, I know I have learned enough decorating techniques to make some elegant yet simple cakes.
Last night, to top off a very food orientated day, I went to see Margaret Fulton - Queen of the Dessert (A Musical) at Theatreworks in St Kilda. It was lots of fun - I had no idea what to expect, but in the end loved it. Being a Margaret Fulton fan made the experience even more special - my first cookbook was the Margaret Fulton Cookbook. The performance also offered a chance for some celebrity spotting, as Eddie Perfect from Offspring, among other achievements, was in the audience.