The ladies at Dodo’s cupcake decorating hen had the most fun. Her friends and family were an absolute blast laughing and joking and keeping me entertained. I should have known that they were going to be an ‘up for it’ crew when Dodo arrived wearing an extremely detailed naked lady all in one! Once we had got over the initial hilarity of that they knuckled down to learning all my expert cake piping tips. Before long they had mastered the art of cake decorating with buttercream swirls and even created some of there own experimental designs. One of the girls was so good I asked if she wanted to join the Cookie Girl team! At the end of the two hour cake making workshop they were absolutely thrilled with their cupcake creations. Dodo wasn’t sure where they were headed next (it was a magical mystery tour type of hen) but she was very excited to get home and share her little cupcake works of art with her husband to be.
When Morgan asked me if I could give her a baking lesson to help her make her little boys birthday cake I was thrilled to help. I thought that my dinosaur cake was the perfect model for him. I pre baked the cakes (one 4pt pudding basin and one 2 pint pudding basin) with a vanilla sponge recipe. (Here’s one I made earlier: http://www.cookiegirl.co.uk/blog/2016/9/20/dinosaur-cake?rq=dinosaur%20cake) . We spent the first part of the cake class assembling the sponged together (securing them with wooden skewers) to make a cute dinosaur shape. Morgan and I then set to work creating the eyes, tail, mouth and teeth out of rolled fondant. We made up a large batch of bright green buttercream and I gave Morgan a demonstration in using a palette knife to cover the cake with a thick layer of icing. We then added the eyes, teeth, mouth and tail to create a cute and friendly edible dinosaur. We managed to finish the whole thing within our 3hr half day private baking lesson. Morgan sent me a video of the cake which was a huge hit and she got lots of great feedback for her work.
Vineet was celebrating a significant birthday and wanted to celebrate with her closest friends by having a creative time doing a cake making workshop with us. They were a lovely bunch of girls who couldn’t wait to get started piping buttercream swirls onto the delicious cakes I had made. There was time to have a glass of bubbly whilst they waited for the last couple of girls to arrive. They were soon getting stuck in trying out their piping skills on a variety of different buttercream swirl techniques. They were soon getting the hang of it and making professional looking cupcakes. They absolutely loved the vast array of decoration that we had, especially the rainbow unicorns and mermaid sprinkles. The girls found the cake class a great ice breaker and way to bond as not all the girls knew each other. They piped, they laughed and they got competitive. At the end of the workshop they agreed that they had absolutely loved learning a new skill and were excited to get practicing the next time they baked. In the mean time they couldn’t wait to take the cakes back to share with their families.
Introducing our fantastic new bright, light West London venue. It is a fantastic place for hen parties, birthday parties and cake classes. Basically here we can cover all your cake making and cupcake decorating needs. It is also a great environment for conference activities, team building and client events. So whatever your cake making related needs we are pretty sure that this is the ideal venue for us to host it in. We are also now offering cocktail making workshops alongside our cake making classes which have proved really popular with our hen parties and we plan to begin offering them to our corporate clients for their company events.
Here is our first cake making class at our new venue in White City. When we decided to move back to our own flat for various reasons we knew that we would not have space to have anything other than small private lessons there. Initially, we put all our group cake decorating classes on hold. I really wasn’t sure what we would do with regards to a location. Then I remembered that when we had left the area 8 yrs ago the company that were building the Imperial College building at the end of our road, offered to build us a community centre. I went to have a look at it and I couldn’t believe how perfect it was for our fun filled cake making hen parties, team building events and cake classes. Now that we have done a few events there they seem very keen for us to book in as many cake workshops as possible. Also, because it seats up to 80 and even has a projector screen (perfect for powerpoint) it is ideal for conferences, networking and client events. I look forward to sharing lots more images of the various cake classes and workshops that we have planned there.
I was really excited to be invited by Amiculum to give an inspirational speech as well as a cupcake making conference activity. They wanted me to tell my ‘Start Up’ story which is the easiest speech I can give as i know it so well! They even prepared me slides to illustrate my story (me on my cookie rounds, on my cake stall on Portobello, my cakes and cookies being sold in Selfridges and my recipe book) so I could give a power point presentation. I wasn’t sure whether to use a mike or not to teach the cake decorating workshop as it would have been impossible to hold it whilst i was demonstrating. Luckily one of the delegates stepped in and held it for me so I could concentrate on the cake class. There were 90 participants none of whom had done cake decorating before. Although I’m not sure if I believe that as the general standard of their cake making was so high. Everyone learnt 3 different piping techniques during their conference activity. They then voted for each tables best cupcake. Then they brought all of them to my table and i picked the three winning cupcakes. One of them won a signed copy of my book and 2 of them won a Cookie Girl decorating kit. I really loved working with this company and think they did a great job in their cake making conference activity.
I had a lovely morning on Saturday teaching Aimee and Beejal how to make sugar paste roses by hand in our full day cake making class. They also used cutters and moulds to create a variety of different sugar paste flowers and leaves to create a stunning range of floral cupcakes. We also spent time working on their buttercream piping techniques and using rolled fondant to cover the cupcakes. Although both of them are keen bakers neither of them had any experience with piping icing or working with fondant icing or sugar paste. They were surprised to discover how straightforward it was to construct these beautiful adornments. It is really about knowing the correct equipment to use and having the process broken down into simple step by step instructions. The girls absolutely loved their cake making class and are looking forward to coming back to do more soon.
This group of students did a fantastic job at their cupcake decorating class. They had all taken part in the beginners cake making class and now wanted to improve their cake icing skills. This class is great for preparing you to tackle the more advanced cake icing techniques as it begins to get you to work on a smaller scale with greater detailing. As long as you are able to pipe an icing rose then you will be able to manage the content in this 2hr workshop. You will focus on flat icing the cupcakes with a palette knife before going on to pipe miniature roses and rosette designs on top. I then show you a fantastic and deceptively simple technique for piping on leaves without using a nozzle. It is just created by cutting the piping bag in a particular way. These girls had all mastered the techniques during the intermediate cake decorating class and are planning to attend our advanced cupcake decorating class soon. We are also really pleased to be able to offer these classes to our corporate clients for their team building, networking and client events.
There is nothing I like better than a challenge so I was thrilled to hear from Nik who wanted something unique. He told me he worked for a company called nike. ‘Ah yes, I’ve heard of them’, I replied. He wanted a bespoke event created that would stimulate some great brainstorming. This gave me the chance to create some fab edible trainers (Nike obvs), football kits and world cups. They would use the cakes instead of a mood board and then pitch their concept. The themes they were given were; ‘Woman’s World Cup’, ‘London Marathon’ & ‘Nike Air’. Let’s just say that some of the deliveries were more successful than others and the stand out pitch was not for the winning presentation. But the first pic below shows the winning teams brilliantly executed design. They showed great focus and team work as well as an impressive technical ability with the actual piping and decorating. For me there design stood out as cohesive and well realised. The girls were thrilled with their prizes of Cookie Girl cake decorating kits.
I had a lovely time teaching a private baking class to Imer and her daughter Emine. They anted to learn how to make red velvet cookies and chocolate fudge cupcakes. I’d never tried making this flavour of cookie before but soon realised that I could easily adjust my class is cookie recipe. I have to say that the results were absolutely delicious. So I thought I would share the recipe with you.
Red Velvet Cookies (double quantity)
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vinegar
3-4 tsp red food colour
2 tsp vanilla extract
225g/8 oz butter, room temperature
340g/12 oz granulated sugar
85g/3oz sof dark brown sugar
425g/15 oz self raising flour
200g/7 oz white chocolate
Preheat oven to 190/375/Gas Mark 5. You will need a large, heavy, ungreased baking sheet.
Add the vinegar, food colour and vanilla to the milk. Set aside to curdle. Cream together the butter and sugars, then add the eggs, one at a time.
Now add the 'buttermilk' mixture alternating with the flour, mixing well between additions. You should now have a soft dough. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add to the dough. Now use a spoon or ice-cream scoop to portion up balls of cookie dough. Place these inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until they are just cooked/dry on top but still wet and gooey under the top layer. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 10 mins then place on a wire rack to cool fully.