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.
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.
Camilla wanted to celebrate her birthday by getting together with her best friends and having a cake making workshop. They had a great time. Firstly they learnt how to bake the cakes from scratch using organic eggs and real butter as well as fair trade sugar and flour. I explained how much better ‘mouth feel’ and flavour you get using real butter rather than margarine which I really don’t think is good for you. I try and use organic and free range whenever possible in my baking lessons. There was plenty of time do chat over a glass of bubbly whilst the cakes baked. We even put on Heart FM for more of a party vibe. They were a really interesting group of girls. All of them lawyers in different fields and at different companies. Some of them want us to go into their offices to host one of our popular cake making team bonding, client and networking events. We’ve worked a lot with law firms over the years. They seem to really like how well are events work as icebreakers and bonding experiences. Once the cakes were baked I showed the girls how to trim the cakes using a cake cutter (a bit like a cheese wire) and a bread knife. Then I demonstrated filling and crumb coating the cakes. Finally I taught them how to ice the cakes with a palette knife and some different styles of decorations they could finish decorating the cakes with. As you can see they each did something totally unique in the cake class They were really thrilled with the end results and excited to take them home to show to their family and friends. What a great cake making birthday party Camilla had. And who knows, perhaps I will be seeing her soon at a cake making company event in her offices!
This was a lovelys small cake making class. The ladies had a great time learning how to bake delicious vanilla cupcakes from scratch. This gave me the opportunity to work with each of them individually giving them tips and guidance on how to improve their cake baking and decorating techniques. Michelle was originally planning on bringing her 9yr old daughter as she is a passionate cake maker and really wanted to have a baking lesson. Unfortunately the daughter ended up double booked so she brought her friend instead. Michelle enjoyed herself so much that she is now planning on bringing her daughter back to do the same class! They did a great job with their baking and all turned out to be fairly proficient at piping buttercream swirls and by the time we finished they were getting to a near professional level of cake decorating. We spent a lot of time focused on creating beautiful buttercream roses. These are the one time of buttercream flowers that we cover in the beginners class. I love the fact that people can move from beginners to a high standard in a short time when it comes to piping swirls on cupcakes. They were thrilled with the end results. We even made a few extra cakes so that they could sample their creations and still take home a full box of a dozen of their gorgeous cupcake creations. What a great cake class!
For her birthday Dan wanted to bring his wife Ellie for a private cake baking class with me. She was already an able baker but wanted to learn to lift her cake making skills to a more professional level. It was such a thoughtful present and she was thrilled that he had splashed out on a private lesson rather than a group cake making lesson. We had a really fun 3hrs together. She had never made red velvet cupcakes before so was really excited to try the recipe out. They came out absolutely perfectly which was a great boost to her confidence. As Dan was not sure about that flavour and much preferred good old classic vanilla cupcakes we made those as well! Dan got involved with the swirl piping too. They were very happy to be taking home two dozen cupcakes and a signed copy of my recipe book. What a great couple!
Jessie is a really keen baker, so for her cake making birthday party she wanted to bake her own cake from scratch! As you can see she did a fantastic job doing every step herself (with a little help from her friends) weighing, creaming, mixing & beating. She basically had her own private baking class. I then taught her how to create a stunning pastel watercolour effect on the finished cake. Whilst the cake was baking I had the opportunity to teach her and her friends and cousins how to pipe gorgeous ruffles and swirls in a kids cake class. They did a fantastic job with their cupcake decorating. Especially considering some of them were only 6yrs old! They loved the taste of the buttercream icing and cream cheese frosting in a variety of gorgeous colours. They were super excited by the huge range of sprinkles we have. The unicorn sprinkles were a big hit! The girls left the class with a good bag of their own cupcake creation to take home and share with their families. They behaved beautifully and Jessie had the best time having learnt cake decorating as well as having had her own private baking class. And she had the wonderful sense of achievement of having made her own birthday cake to take home.
It was hard to believe that Rebecca had never tried piping buttercream swirls when she did cake making before. She was an absolute natural! She really benefited from the focus of a private one to one cake decorating lesson. We covered the swirl piping techniques that we would do in our usual beginners cake class as well as some of the sugarpaste work we do in the full day decorating class. She absolutely loved creating the sugarpaste roses and as you can see from the photos she did a brilliant job with them. She spent time experimenting with the different fondant molds to make a variety of edible adornments including; broaches, bows and flowers. She also decided to use this cake class to experiment with two tone icing colours. I showed her a variety of different ways to get good effects without having to invest in a two channel bag (which I personally don’t think look very good anyway). We had such a great time working together and I’m looking forward to her returning to learn intermediate and advanced piping techniques at her next cupcake workshop.
I had such a lovely morning teaching Rami and Selina the art of cookie baking. As you know there is nothing I love more than giving people baking lessons. It is always fascinating to me the different reasons people come to me to learn how to bake. Sometimes they just want to learn baking skills to treat their friends and families. I also have people come from all over the world because they want to learn to bake cookies and study cake making to set up in business. Rami has a business selling Dutch pancakes in stores in the middle east. He wanted to add cookies and ice cream to the menu and thought that I was the perfect person to teach him how to bake the perfect cookie. We made a classic American style, soft, chewy chocolate chunk style as well as a oat cookies. I showed them my secret method to ensure the chocolate stays melted even when the cookie cools down- I know impressive huh! They had a great baking lesson and were amazed by how delicious there freshly baked cookies were. She is also an instagram expert so gave me some great social media advice, which I really need to put into practice. They are such a fun couple and I really enjoyed spending time with them. I look forward to working with them again in the future. Perhaps they will come and learn cake baking so that they can extend their menu even further....
As you probably know by know I love cake decorating and there is nothing I like more than creating a cake table. They are a lot of work though so I only do them twice a year. Once for Teddy's birthday and once for Cosy's. Luckily they are six months apart which gives me plenty of time to recover! For some reason my husband always seems to be away in the lead up to Cosy's birthday which is frustrating as it's when I need him most. This year he was at his brothers stag party and didn't get back till the night before the party. That meant that as well as effectively being a working single parent for the week I had to work cake making night and day to get all the treats prepared for the cake table. When I say had to obviously I mean want to but it does always turn into a big commitment on top of everything else. This year I did a couple of things I haven't got round to before. One is I printed off some mermaid themed 'food cards' from Etsy which my talented adult daughter wrote on in calligraphy. I think this really pulled the whole look of the table together and made it look more finished. The other thing is that I set the table up and photographed it before the guests arrived to make sure I got some good picks before everything got mauled. Also, I got a pic of the mermaid birthday cake in situ before whisking it away to bring out as a surprise for the magical moment when everyone sings 'Happy Birthday'. Unfortunately the mischievous birthday girl snuck a good look at whilst I was taking the pics. Next year I may need to arrange someone to take her to the park whilst I do that. Having done all this in advance did mean that I was able to socialise a bit during the party and have a few drinks rather than my usual rushing around like a mad person. I did indulge in a couple of bottles of Corona beer and relaxed whilst the kids did a great job entertaining themselves. In fact I relaxed so much that it wasn't till everyone had left that I realised that I'd totally forgotten to do the Pinata! Still at least I didn't forget the cake! The funny thing was I had thought I was so organised, wrapping the parcel for pass the parcel (or parcel, parcel, as my kids call it) and prepping the party bags in advance. There's still always something I've overlooked!
We had a great time on Saturday's half day cupcake baking workshop. The cake making class was attended by four passionate bakers. Tina and Sophie were old friends who shared a passion for cake baking. Sophie treated Tina to the class as her birthday treat. They both work in theatre so were pleased to find a date that fitted in with their busy schedules. Tina will soon be off on tour with world famous celebrity Peppa Pig! The other two attendees were Irit who is a talented pianist and singer and Anam who works with children with special needs. They were all very focused which ensured they got fantastic results. Their cupcakes came out perfectly light and fluffy and they soon picked up the various cake decorating techniques. They loved doing the rose swirl and as it was a small class I was able to work individually with each of them. This ensured that they all managed to create perfect buttercream swirls. They loved getting their hands on our huge box of sprinkles and edible decorations. The glitter was an especially big hit. At the end of the 3hr session they had a great sense of achievement, each leaving the cake making class with a box of a dozen delicious cupcakes to enjoy with their friends and family.