Monday, 22 September 2014

My name on a biscuit...


I went to a www.cakepoppins.co.uk class yesterday - yes she makes amazing cakes, cakepops and cupcakes but she also runs classes so you can learn some new baking/decorating skills for yourself.

Yesterday's class was using royal icing to decorate biscuits, something I wish I'd done pre-St Basil's Cathedral.

There were 5 of us on the class, Kate had baked the biscuits and so all we had to do was, watch, listen, have a go and r-e-l-a-x.

No one was able to roll the greaseproof into the piping bag shape, something I'm sure I could master after watching it repeatedly on YouTube - so Kate made all of our piping bags.

The first part was to pipe the outline in stiff icing, remembering not to pipe too close, then flood the biscuits (piping runnier royal icing onto the biscuit) up to the outline - using a cocktail stick to spread it.

Kate told us which biscuit to work on and the colours to use - a bit like "paint by numbers" and we all followed, this was helpful for me because it meant that I could concentrate on getting the techniques right before having to worry about picking colours.

So when we'd worked through the teapot, the dog, the duck and the fish, we could do some of the other shapes (circles, hearts, stars and choose our own colours!

This was most challenging part of the class for me - so many pretty colours to choose, but what if they didn't look right together and what kind of pattern should I do - so many variables to worry about un-necessarily. Kate's solution to a crap looking biscuit was to eat it! A helpful tip.

Talking of helpful tips - the class was full of them: getting the consistency of the royal icing right, mixing colours, choosing royal icing, feathering, flooding, dropping, storing royal icing and getting the colours looking vibrant.

I've done the macaron class and the cakepop class, both of which were equally excellent and strangely relaxing once you get going. Classes are small so you can ask lots of questions and you get to take loads of tasty treats home!

See: http://cakepoppins.co.uk/Classes.html for classes/dates/prices