Friday, 19 July 2013

Master Chocolate Cupcake Class ~ RedBalloon

Brought to you by RedBalloon & Digital Parents Collective 
Everybody loves cupcakes !

As promised my cupcakes ...they didn't last long
I've always wanted to learn the tricks of masters in the baking trade, decorating techniques and to gain hands on experience. Learning something new should be pleasurable.

I told you I'd invited my mum to come along with me to this RedBalloon experience. My hubby was traveling down to Sydney that day as he was busy getting our new home ready without the 'small' and wifely distractions. Since it was my birthday the next day. Mum graciously minded my little drummers and I took my friend.

It was my turn to explore my inner chef , spending two and a half, fun, hours with a specialist CHEF.
Chef told us he'd worked for Gordon Ramsey and was once Jamie Oliver's boss.

Each cupcake is made from scratch ,baked fresh every day.

I was promised at the end I would be able to trot home with a box of my own delicious cupcakes and pretend I was a domestic goddess !

We were presented with gorgeous new aprons (which we took home) and after an OH &S run through we started baking ...well mixing , creaming butter and sugar (pre-measured for us) , shared in groups of two (1 x 3). The kitchen was small considering the number of us.

Chef joked he was going to cheat as he showed us their commercial machines that produce over 3000 cupcakes a night ...he was stirring us (no pun intended) because we kept on mixing by hand.
He explained they sourced the highest quality ingredients including free range eggs, creamy butter, the world's best vanilla and Belgian chocolate. 

He shared a few secrets like making sure the sugar was fully dissolved into the buttery mixture , and to speed it up we started adding egg mix * yolks broken and slightly mixed prior to the addition to creamed butter and sugar - in small quantities at a time - or else - you get cat vomit - when egg and butter mixture separates !

The 2 ladies beside had cat vomit because they added too much egg ; Chef to the rescue - he beat the xxxx of it and saved the day.

Then we tasted tested the Belgian chocolate bits in milk, white and dark , very exquisite morsels and very moreish. Chef encouraged it, and forced us to keep nibbling away as we added Dutch cocoa, plain flour and rising agents, milk and the melted chocolate mix. The batter was flying everywhere ...and then we gratefully licked every beater clean.

As the group was large, we were starting to get behind so Chef waved us off downstairs and added 'our' batters to the shiny, foil cupcake papers (another keen participant stayed to help). 

He used what I would call an ice-cream scoop to dollop even scoops of chocolate batter into the foils. I was very surprised to hear they only needed to be cooked at 120 ° c.

Add and smartie and it's always a matter what at 3!

No more mountainous cupcakes for me or my boys.
Credit - Chicago Metallic

Pausing for a light refreshment break midway, we went back downstairs to eat delicious finger sandwiches, a macaron and chat over a cold drink - some had alcoholic bubbles, others premium juice or sodas. As soon as the timers dinged, it was back to work in the kitchen. I was expecting a cupcake ...*sob*

Even in the large ovens the cupcakes trays were turned halfway.

Our Chef (a Pom) gave us a demonstration of various cupcake decorating techniques...including the Queen's p o o ! The room erupted in girl'ish giggles and I sure my lads would have loved me to try that one.
Can you guess which one ?

While 'our' cupcakes cooled we started decorating some Chef's team had prepared earlier. We had a lot of fun with our Chef. He was very creative and helpful.

Guess who did the washing up...NOT ME !

The downside was that the class (17) was larger than what was advertised (14). Chef was extremely entertaining and very funny. He knew it was a large class and apologized for it being quite tight on space. The space just was not really suited to 17 enthusiastic decorators when it came time to decorating, (the mixing was shared so that wasn't too squishy). Everyone was happy enough, jovial and we politely took turns. Thankfully, we had a little extra time to finish off our gourmet creations.

I would love to try another class. Overall, I would recommend this to my friends, it was really a lot of fun and yum. It was better to have a friend along , though we had 3 singles in our group.

Mine may not have been as glamourous as some talented ladies in our group - but I will be working on it.

(my friend's)

My boys' birthday was the week before and I only had to add a chocolate Lego mini-figure for outstanding acclaim.
PS - Hubby cooked these in our new oven , first time it was even used .They were not mountainous because I reckon he had the temp low ...unknowingly.

(Note - the download cord to my other camera is missing - we are in the midst of moving - so I only have my iPad pics)