Saturday, January 14, 2012

Whimsical Cakehouse Cupcake Course

I’m sure you have all seen the numerous cake courses that are now being offered on deals such as ‘Jump on It’ and ‘Spreets’. It is becoming a very popular way to promote a business and it certainly worked for Whimsical Cakehouse!   

A few months before Christmas I saw the deal Whimsical Cakehouse were promoting on Jump on It for a 2 hour cupcake decorating class worth only $49 which normally retailed for $160.  I literally jumped on it and asked my fiancé Dave if I could have it as an early Christmas present. (Great ploy early Xmas presents - they feel guilty that you don’t have much to open on the day and get you more – score!)

I only managed to go last weekend and I was VERY impressed. Set up in Linda’s house in Dolans Bay the kitchen where she gives her classes has floor to ceiling windows with views of the water. It boasts a modern kitchen with all the coolest gadgets and tools. Linda previously worked with Planet Cake but found the travel to work too much so decided to open her own cake school no further than the downstairs of their own house – genius! It is purely about cake decorating and not baking. It is very hard nowadays to set up a commercial kitchen as Council set such strict regulations and fees that it’s just not worth it. So she orders her cakes from Mundo’s Kitchen in Alexandria and they can deliver straight to your door and I must say they were very yummy! 

When I arrived I was given a stool at a table with 5 others and in front of me were 6 perfectly cooked vanilla cupcakes. There was a bowl of white chocolate ganache and a box full of cake tools – I was in heaven!
First Linda showed us how to trim away a little of the top of the cakes to form a small dome and to allow enough room for the ganache. She advised that we could put a little ganache between layers of the cut off cake to make a ganache sandwich – I was already on to that one and even made a little cake pop!

We then hot knifed the cupcakes to give a smooth surface for the fondant. As the main focus of the class was to decorate Linda rolled out the fondant and cut circles for us and we were shown how to put these on the cupcakes to give a smooth finish.

In the photo - top middle was my first cake and this was done by scoring lines with a knife and then using a tiny jagged pizza wheel to create the grooves. I then make slight holes with the end of a paint brush and placed a silver ball in there. Easy and it looked great! 

The cake top left was meant to be a star made out of the silver balls but a heart shaped would have been best – the balls did not seem to want to stay in the straight lines so the definition of the star was lost.

Bottom middle was 2 hearts cut out of fondant – the bottom was from purple fondant and the top white and we painted it with edible glitter! The two bow cupcakes were my favourite – I’ve made bows before so was confident with them but found the fondant a little dry from being left out for too long so they looked slightly cracked. But I was shown how to pipe with royal icing and I was very proud of my dots! They were so small that no squeezing was needed, just a slight pressure and release and they were done though it took a while before I realised I needed to place my elbow on the table to prevent the shakes!

The flower cupcake I love too. Linda showed us how to make the flowers from fondant. I am aware that I have a big cake tool shopping list and I hope to get some of these once the cost of our wedding has subsided! But all that is needed to make the flowers is a little flower cutter, a foam pad and a balling tool. You then let the flowers dry out over night or else handling them will damage or break them. And the dot is piped on with royal icing! Since Linda was short for time she had a mixture or store brought and homemade flowers. The white and pink flowers were store brought and you can taste the difference, they are a lot harder since they are made well in advance – you can still eat them after a year! The blue flowers Linda made and I piped the dot in the middle which I was proud of since they look just like the store brought flowers!

I learnt so much from the course and feel that my passion for cake decorating has been re-ignited! I am glad that I have a hobby that I am excited about to come back to after the wedding in April as I have heard that some brides get the post-wedding blues. However I am quite looking forward to learning new skills and trying the techniques used in this class at home and I hope that soon I can attempted the 2 tiered square cake course at Whimsical Cakehouse.

Although they look too pretty to eat they only lasted 2 days in my house and they tasted YUMMY!

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