Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cake Connection: Angry Bird Cupcake Deco Class

Ever dream of making your own gorgeous flowers or too-cute-to-gobble cartoon figurines all out of sugar? And to have your work of art adorn your perfectly baked cake to impress?

Well, if you have a budding or developing interest in cake decoration, just like myself, attending hands-on lessons gives you a 360 view of the different aspects of decoration that one may not be able to glean off by relying on books experience I discovered just recently.

A couple of days ago I attended a 'Angry Bird Cupcake Decoration' class held exclusive for bloggers at the invitation and courtesy of Cake Connection, located at Jaya One, Petaling Jaya.

A little bit of background, Cake Connection is truly a dream business made real by two very affable and gracious ladies, Nancy and Shyamala. Once colleagues at an international MNC company, they both share the same personal interest and passion, and were always the happy bakers who would volunteer to whip up something in their kitchens for any function or celebration in the office. One progress to another, they then decided to swap their corporate suits for aprons, and have not looked back since.

It was a few months ago that I came across Cake Connection's website while searching for cake and baking supply shops in KL but have yet to pay the store a visit. So when I received an email invitation to attend a complimentary Angry Bird cupcake decoration class, I was JUST SO GLAD!

I have had a keen interest in cake decoration for years now and have always fully relied on books and the web for instructions. Although the idea to attend courses did occur to me once or twice, it had not stuck, till now.

The class taught us techniques and tips which may not be covered in books, and above all what I really like about it was that Nancy, our instructor, conducted the class with much clarity, patience and a step-by-step method.

These are samples of Angry Bird figurines that were perfectly molded in advance by our instructor, Nancy. They are so neatly and proportionately made!

The class started promptly at 10.30 am with a quick introduction of one another. There were Nancy, our instructor, and seven bloggers including myself. Following the ice-breaker, Nancy started the class by touching on the basics like the different available brands of fondant in the market, which one she favors and why, the difference between fondant and gumpaste and what is each suitable/unsuitable for and how to make our own edible glue at home.

Each of us was given printed notes to refer to and thanks to Cake Connection's generosity, the note even included a sour cream chocolate cupcake recipe (Sonia's blog has it, refer below for the link) and a chocolate butter cream recipe. Both are delicious to boot!! Pre-colored fondant and decoration tools were also prepared for our creative task.

Notes, colored fondant/gumpaste and tools were prepared for our use

After running through the basics, Nancy then started the hands-on way of showing us the correct method of kneading fondant to make it pliable, how to color a huge amount of fondant in a more effortless manner, as well as how to ensure that the color is incorporated evenly throughout.

Here's our friendly instructor at work to show us the right method of kneading fondant to make it smooth and pliable for molding

And then, she proceeded to coloring, rolling and cutting it for the cupcake surface

We were taught six designs of the Angry Bird characters which included 2D and 3D.

Each detail, big or tiny, from the beaks to the eye balls, ears and tails, were taught in a step-by-step and clear manner.

At one point just when I thought I had completed one of the figurines (the 5th one I think) with a feeling of relief coming over me, we heard Nancy said... "okay, attention all you beautiful ladies (ok, she didn't say beautiful), now we make the feather!" Errr...what??? Okay, I'm soldiering on, girlfriend!...

We were also taught on which detail to assemble or arrange first in order to make the whole experience easier, as well as how to steadily secure the 3D figurines on top of the cupcake in order to avoid slippage during transportation of the cupcakes.

Step-by-step method in making 2D characters

After showing us the 2D above, Nancy progressed on to show us how to make a cute electric green 3D piglet

Here are my 'work of art' after 4.5 hours of fun (and some stress!). That's an average of 45 minutes of decoration time per cupcake!! I guess I shall not complain anymore the next time I see an expensive 3D cupcake being sold outside.

Here are the talented bloggers (minus me and 3 others who were busy getting their cameras ready) with their work of art striking a pose with Nancy and Shyamala (in pink)

Sonia with her angry birdies

Lessons are comfortably held in a spacious room within the store itself. Our gracious hostesses also prepared light snacks to thank us for coming. We were overwhelmed with excitement over our work of art and everyone was clicking away, posing with their products.

Few of us stayed back a little while longer to check out the various cake decoration products at the store. Also, one can't help but notice and admire the sugar craft work of other students being displayed. Here are some of the beautiful work:

Products you can find at Cake Connection range from various tools and cutters, silicon impression mold and veiners, Wilton and Americolor food colors, sprinkles and pearl dust, gourmet vanilla extract and bean paste, many kinds of ready-made sugar ornaments like flowers and other figurines, impression mat, cookie cutters and many many more. A full list of products can be found on Cake Connection's website.

It was a fun and creative class, and I would like to again thank Cake Connection for having us there. Special thanks to Nancy for being the wonderful instructor who shared many additional tips with us and to Shyamala for entertaining Veron and myself with a thousand and one product questions at the end. Yes, we were the last two out.

To Ivy of My Story, Chris of Pure Glutton, Zurin of Cherry on a Cake, Tomoko of Caramel Factory, Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover and Veron of Quay Po Cooks, it was a pleasure knowing and meeting all of you. Have fun decorating at home!!

To my readers and visitors, do hop over to Cake Connection's website and my fellow bloggers' blog. Enjoy and hope you''ll be inspired to jump in the cake decoraters' bandwagon!

Also, Cake Connection has a list of upcoming deco classes in December and do check it out on their site. I am personally very keen on its rose-making class. Zurin, who has attended it before, was full of praises and looking at Zurin's cakes, I am totally sold!

Here are the contact details:

Cake Connection Sdn Bhd (above Royal Oak Pub & Restaurant)
D11-1 Block D, Jaya One
72A Jalan Universiti
46200 Petaling Jaya
Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: +603-79564450

Till then, cheers
petite nyonya