Cake Pop Class with April Carter at the Make Lounge

I had been talking about attending the Cake Pop Decorating Class at The Make Lounge for awhile now and for the month of August they were offering an Olympic discount so there was no reason not to go. I thought I would run the idea past some of the girls at work that are into baking so I didn't have to go solo again and surprisingly 3 of them wanted to join me.

The Cake Pop decorating classes are taken by April Carter of Rhubarb and Rose. April is the author of Top of the Cake Pops which is a great little book showing the step by step process of making and decorating cake pops from simple sprinkle covered cake pops and then also how to make celebrity shaped cake pops. I have made a few cake pops from which didn't make it onto my blog unfortunately, however my ex housemate Helena took some great photos and they are on her blog fourzerofive.

When we arrived we were given a glass of wine and about 7 blank cake pops. We needed to have one that had a dimple in it and one that was a oblong shape. We were all quite intrigued as to what we were going to make out of these odd shapes.

You can see the dimple one off to the right and the oblong one in front.

First up we had to learn how to dip the cake pop and the just dipped them in 100's and 1000's.

We then learnt how to do a marble effect which was such a simple idea and looks great, though I chose pink and yellow which wasn't enough of a contrast, so I took a few pictures of the other girls so you can see the effect.

Elsa concentrating on not losing the cake pop into the candy melts.

Next April showed us how to roll out some fondant and cut little shapes out using plunger cutters and we stuck these on.

Next we step up the skill level (well for me anyway) and April showed us how to create a pig. It actually wasn't as hard as I thought, though I did have a bit of an accident with the first one, it didn't survive the cut.


I went against the norm and made a yellow pig... crazy!! I live on the edge you see.

Jenny got it right with a correctly coloured pig and even put a pretty bow on it.

Elsa requiring assistance from April, we had a few accidents to say the least.

Kelly's Pig

Kellys' Pig's tail

Next we found out what the dimple one was for... an apple! How clever. 

Kelly perfecting her leaf

I'm not good at delicate detail, but I don't think I did to badly, it kind of looks like a leaf.

My shiny red apple which I gave to my physio the next day when he signed me off... woo!

And for our final creation, we used the oblong cake pop which was transformed into...

A sheep! How freaking cute is he?? I was so simple to create yet looks so adorable (ignore the fact mine looks like its on some form of drug).

All of us very happy with our bag of goodies, we were also quite full of sugar from eating our 'failed' cake pops and drinking wine.

Happy Baking x

Sticky Toffee Cupcakes

Just a quick blog from my iPhone so excuse the Instagram photos. I am just  excited as finally, after moving into my new flat in London with the lovely Pete, I finally got to bake (it's only been a month) and try out my the new oven. Fan forced! YEY!

I decided to bake something from the Hummingbird Cake Days book and choose a flavour/recipe I hadn't done before and with the change of seasons sticky toffee cupcakes seemed like a great idea. 

From the look and smell they will be tasty, but I'll have to wait for morning tea tomorrow before I find out... And so will Pete much to his disappointment.  

Happy Baking x

My Parisian Baking Weekender part 3 – La Cuisine French Macaron Classes!

After lunch I headed back to La Cuisine for the French Macaron Class which was held in the upstairs kitchen. The class had about 8 people again, however a few students joined us late, which didn't bother me as I got to jump in a make the lemon curd for the class which is something I've been wanting to make for sometime.

We started off with the fillings for the macaron's, first was the lemon curd which you have to stir and stir and stir... and stir which was quite tiresome, but a great work out for your arm. Another student made the vanilla cream and once they ready we tipped them into a tray and were covered with cling film to stop them from getting a skin across the top while we made the macarons.

Next we had to made our sugar syrup which has to be heated to exactly 118 degrees Celsius. I forgot to ask but I think they were using meat thermometers which is the same as the one I have at home, so I might cross of candy thermometer from my wish list.

We then added the sugar syrup to the meringue mixture and continued to beat the mixture until the bottom of the bowl was room temperature which seemed to take ages, but then again we had just added piping hot sugar.

While the egg white and syrup mixture was still beating we made combined the remaining ingredients including the main ingredient ground almond. Then we had to make biggest decision... what colour to make our macarons!!!

I went with blue.

The next step was folding the meringue into the mixture and luckily for me one of the students that came in late and was paired with me, which meant we could take turns at folding in the mixture. For such dainty treats, they certainly need a lot of muscle.

Once the mixture looks like this and falls of the spoon with the right "plop" then its ready to pipe.

The Kiwi mum and daughter next to me seemed to know what they were doing, so I took a few photo of their red macarons (just in case they were better than mine) and the contrast of colours was great too.

You can see here my consistency of size is a bit out, practice makes perfect.

After some practice, these were my final baked batch and I managed to find a few of similar size to match up.

It will be a test to see if I can get them this good looking at home, hopefully even better. 

We then lined up as many matching cases as we could and piped into them the lemon curd and vanilla cream.

These were the Kiwi mum and daughters red macaroons, they were perfect.

After we were done all the macaron's from the class were devided evenly so we each had a box of colourful macarons to take home... or to a music festival which serves as a great snack after to dancing to disco at 2am.

Happy Baking x