I was on the look out for a cake decorating class here in London and that's when I came across the class at Bea's of Bloomsbury in Holborn. I have had so many failed attempts at making butter cream and cream cheese icing that I realized unless someone showed me how to go about it- procedure and consistency wise- I wouldn't succeed. Trust me, this is talking from experience...I have wasted icing sugar, cream cheese and butter by the truck loads because I goof up quite often when it comes to frosting.
Bea...one of the sweetest people I've met is a pastry chef and owner of the quaint lil tea shop called Bea's of Bloomsbury and her basic class on cupcake decorating was all that I was looking forward to. She even let a friend join in absolutely free of cost, making up for rescheduling the class. We got there at around 5.45 and was totally made to feel at home. Bea brought over a plate full of cupcakes for us to dig into and we did, shamelessly, rather! The red velvet with cream cheese was brilliant and so was the vanilla with passion fruit frosting. So after we had our mouths full we cleaned up, put on our aprons and Bea gave us a small introduction about herself, her transformation into being a pastry chef and what her class would cover. She conducts different classes at her restaurant, details of which are on the website and I assure you, it would be absolutely worth it, if ever you want to give it a shot.
The class started off with Bea showing us how to make the perfect, silky smooth chocolate ganache, followed by taking us through the processes of getting the perfect Italian butter cream consistency and then of course my favourite, the cream cheese frosting methods. We were then taught how to make cones with butter paper, fill it with melted chocolate (white and dark), fold it and draw designs, write out names etc etc. Once that was perfected, Bea showed us how to fill, hold and use a pastry bag to frost cakes and cupcakes. Then came the best part, we were given an array of cupcakes to decorate on...with Bea showing us some easy piping ideas and decorating methods throwing in quite a lot of interesting tips for storage, colouring and fixing issues which I thought was incredibly useful. She laid out about a hundred different sprinklers with various themes, glossy glitters, shiny dusts and fancy flowers...all for decorating. I literally went crazy decorating and so did the others. She cleared any doubts we had and asked us to take our own sweet time decorating the cakes...so yes we were at Bea's of Bloomsbury till around 9pm decorating, laughing, eating and having a jolly good time. I left the shop happy, high on sugar and with 2 boxes full of cakes decorated by yours truly. So hopefully the next time I bake a cake, I wouldn't be stuck when it comes to frosting and will remember all that Bea taught us. Here are some of the cakes I perfected, and some I destroyed :)
Vanilla cake with raspberry icing
Vanilla cake with vanilla icing
Celebrating Pinktober, the National breast Cancer Awareness Month with this raspberry butter cream frosted cupcake.
Red velvet with cream cheese frosting
...and these are some I did after I lost my patience
(from left to right: blueberry frosting, cream cheese, vanilla, chocolate ganache)