Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking part in a Valentines themed cupcake decorating class at Primrose Bakery, in Covent Garden.
I remember as I walked in thinking how much I liked the pairing of pastel and bright colours in the shop, as this really brought a friendly and welcoming atmosphere to the place.
Once we were all given a large and a mini vanilla cupcake – the class was ready to begin and I braced myself for the swirl-off; the challenge of challenges in the cupcake world… well in my head anyway!
There are many bakeries out there that choose to pipe frosting on their cupcakes, but Primrose Bakery is well-known for their signature swirl.Head Chef Lisa Chan was leading this class and started off by demonstrating how to make a simple buttercream frosting, which was also coloured pink to go nicely with the theme.
After attempting it for the 100th time, even my cupcake was ready to give up. But Lisa was very patient with us amateurs and showed us again and again until ours looked half-decent. We were then allowed to let loose with the sprinkles and decorations; so my first swirled cupcake was born.
Comparing mine and my friend’s cupcake next to one of Lisa’s professionally swirled cupcake was depressing, but it gave me hope that with practice, I can also ‘dream’ to create such beautiful swirls.
Then onto the mini cupcake – I went for green icing this time. You’d think this would be easier because of the size, right?
When we moved onto the chocolate cupcakes, Lisa showed us how to create a flat top with a smooth looking finish, as the consistency was different for the chocolate frosting.
One of the most useful things I learnt on the day was how to create the perfect cone using parchment paper. This was very important for the next stage of our class – piping techniques.
It’s a bit difficult to explain each step of how to make this tightly bound cone on here though. The trick is not to have a hole at the end to ensure you have control over how much icing comes out of the tip.
The flat surface of the cupcake was great for piping on, so Lisa showed us how much frosting you should use, how to hold the cone, how to create straight lines and gave us a useful tip to use our spare hand to help maneuver the cone.We were given a piece of parchment paper to practice on too (thank goodness), so I was able to test my piping techniques out before making a mess of it on the actual cupcakes.
To be honest, the personal feel to the class was probably what I liked the most. Unlike other experiences I have taken part in before, this felt more intimate which allowed the person leading the class to divide their attention fairly amongst everyone.
Our cakes and biscuits were taken away to be packed up in boxes along with a few other goodies like a signed postcard by the owners of the bakery, a cupcake recipe and a voucher for a free cupcake.
With all these beautiful treats on offer… how could we resist?
The main aim is to always enjoy an experience like this. So I can confirm this is exactly what we did and we all left the shop with big fat grins on our faces and a bag full of cake goodness in our hands.
Thank you Primrose Bakery for your hospitality and delicious treats! I know the cupcake receivers also appreciated it.