Last weekend, I was lucky enough to be invited to review and take part in a Children’s cupcake decoration class run by Chrissie of Cupcakes by Chrissie in her Birmingham home. Chrissie started baking cakes for her son and his friends in 2005 and the business grew from there. After a trip to New York, where she was introduced to the American cupcake, Chrissie decided to use her home economist background to teach students how to make pretty, sophisticated and elegant cupcakes for all occasions.
I arrived at 9.30am to be greeted warmly by Chrissie and taken into her lovely home. All the classes are run from her beautiful kitchen and I was soon joined by five other ladies, all of whom had taken classes with Chrissie before. Our first task, after we had drunk our cup of coffee, was to learn how to make the perfect ball out of sugar paste. This would be the base for all our models as the day went on and it was a technique we all needed to master. It took me a little while but I got there in the end! We started making a racing car as our first model, where we took our balls of sugar paste and make them into flat sausage shapes to form the basis of the car. We used the end of a piping nozzle to make the wheels and another ball of sugar paste, with a flattened bottom to make the helmet.
After finishing the racing car, we moved onto a cow, a pig and a rabbit. All of which we made in a similar way. You started off with a ball of sugar paste for the body and another for the head. The heads were all shaped slightly differently depending on the animal involved. We made ears using leaf cutters or freehand with a craft knife. The arms and the legs were all sort of flat sausage shapes with pads made for their paws and feet. Everything was stuck together using edible glue and detailing was done either by using a small paintbrush or tiny bits of black sugar paste.
We spent approximately 30 minutes on each model. To give us a break, we used a mould to make a tatty teddy, which is made by pushing grey sugar paste into the mould and leaving it to set in the freezer for a couple of minutes. We then used silver lustre dust and black sugar paste to bring out the detail. To finish, we could either make a brown teddy in the same method as the other animals or we could make a caterpillar. I decided to make the caterpillar as it was just different sized balls of sugar paste. To finish, we used a grass piping nozzle to pipe grass on 3 or 4 of our cupcakes and used buttercream/ sugar paste circles to top the rest.
We left after 5 hours of cake decorating fun, leaving Chrissie with a messy kitchen, clutching our goodie bags containing cupcake cases and full instructions to make cupcakes ourselves at home. We all had a fantastic time and I cannot wait to make cupcakes like these again soon. Thank you to Chrissie for her excellent tuition and patience. It was great fun!
Many thanks to Beth from Jam and Cream PR for arranging it for me to attend the class
About the classes:
Cupcake classes cost £50 per person and include all equipment and 12 cupcakes to take away.
Classes are held in Castle Vale, Birmingham 9:45am – 1:30pm.
For a full list of upcoming classes please see here for details.
You can find Cupcakes by Chrissie on:
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By phone: 07701025647
Its Competition Time!
If you would like a chance to win a cupcake class of your choice from Chrissie, all you need to do is answer the question correctly below:
What is the number of the Wilton piping nozzle used to make the grass on my cupcakes?
Please email your answer to email@example.com by 12 noon BST on Monday 1st August 2011 and leave a comment in the comments form below (with a Twitter username, if you have one) telling me you done so. All the correct answers will go into a draw and the winner will be selected using Random.org. The winner will be informed via email and/or Twitter as soon as possible after the competition has closed.
This competition has now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered
Terms and Conditions
- The winner will select a class of their choice to attend from the list here.
- Competition is open to UK Residents only.
- The winner must be able to make their own way to Birmingham (just off J6, M6 near Star City and Fort Shopping Centre) for the class.
- The same competition is also running on the Midlands Food Bloggers blog but there will be only be 1 winner picked from all entries from both blogs.
- The judges decision is final.
- Any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org