Friday, November 18, 2011
Angry Birds. I know not what they are all about. But there I was taking an Angry Bird Cupcake class by invitation from Cake Connection. After a pleasant email from Shyamala and Nancy, the co-owners of Cake Connection, six other food bloggers and I came together for a long morning to afternoon session of sculpting 6 angry sugar paste figurines. We had so much fun, a little bit of pain and most definitely laughs. Nancy was the perfect instructor....extremely patient, kind, generous and forthcoming and Shyamala was very welcoming.
This is what the Cake Connection looks like as you enter. I have come here several times to get my sugar paste supplies. Cool, cozy and inviting.
Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover, Veron of Quay Po Cooks, Jocelyn of Petite Nyonya, Ivy of My Story, Chris of Pure Glutton and Tomoko of Caramel Factory were there......my fellow bloggers.
In the workshop.... the tools of the trade and the materials like fondant, cupcakes and buttercream were all set out for us..
There were notes and super colourful playdough.....yummm...also known as fondant and sugar paste.
We were more than ready. Nancy started by explaining clearly and logically the difference between fondant aka sugar paste and gum paste aka modelling paste. Fondant is soft and used for covering cakes and/or making 2D shapes, it may also be used for simple flowers while gum paste is the more pliable and therefore wonderful for sculpting fine sugar art work like intricate flowers, 3D figures and other delicate pieces. It's an ingredient that is added called CMC powder ( a man-made gum) or gum tragacanth (natural) that makes the diffrence in the paste's pliability and elasticity and to how hard it sets. Both CMC and Gum Tragacanth are available at the Cake Connection. Nancy also gave us invaluable tips which is what a good and worthwhile class is all about. Tips that you can never learn from a book but only from the experienced.
Tips on how to knead colours into fondant more quickly and evenly. Tricks on how to make small amounts of fondant more workable, how to work clean and neat, how to make edible glue, how to secure your figurines, how to get an evenly flat and not floppy fondant covered cupcake, how to make lifting minuscule cutouts easy, how to colour fondant a really deep red or black, which brands are better for this or that.......and all the whys and why nots...She also let us in on the secrets on making fondant taste like strawberry bubble gum. Oh My YUM...Invaluable lessons learnt. So I came home armed not only with six angry looking birds in my pink box but with mental ammunition for my next sugar paste project. Now that's an excellent class no? Yes.
The angry birds ~ that I made....mmhm ~ so fun ~ so tiring ~ my eyes crossed a few times when I rolled out their tiny pupils and cut out their fierce eyebrows ~ the beaks were somewhat tricky. And must they have feathers and tails too!? These may look like child's play but believe me they are not. We heard Sonia heave a big, fat sigh .....now that made us laugh.....not angry ~
Do they growl or twitter ? Don't be angry little black bird ~ I made you ~
It wasn't easy rolling out a perfect round (perfection is the keyword in sugar paste class I find)....and Nancy said "Not too much pressure." The eyes are 'simply' 3 tiny circles of fondant, one larger than the other, each pressed flat and all glued one on top of the other. Easy? No.
He reminds me a little bit of the Simpson's don't you think?
Oohh la la here they come ~ the angry birds ~ owwww ~
The 3D figurines were secured with spaghetti poked into the cupcake and the angry bird figure poked over the end sticking up. Yes it secured them alright. The easiest part was making the nest.
When pigs fly ~
God ...those nostrils gave me problems. One had to be bigger than the other....and I like the way all the dark 'inside' parts of the noses and ears merged and looked like they were one. Very clever Nancy.
Could they be partners in crime? These very angry birds ~
Hey Mr. Red Bird !.....your beak drove me crazy ~ duh
Finally ~ Sweet success ~ Tweet ~ No wonder figurine-d cupcakes are so expensive! ~ We spent almost 5 hours decorating...just decorating (not baking) six cupcakes! Never more shall I wonder why.
Thank you to Nancy and Shyamala from Cake Connection. T'was wonderful :)
The Cake Connection also makes beautiful wedding cakes to order, conducts various levels and varieties of sugar paste/fondant and baking classes for adults and children in addition to having an abundant supply of ready made sugar paste flowers, an array of sugar craft tools, food colours in regular and fluorescent shades, gold, silver and pearl edible dust, ready made fondant both white and coloured and so much more and finally, of course, experienced, warm and friendly instructors. You would do well to give them a visit for your supplies and consider taking classes too. I have taken their World of Roses class and it was worth every sen :) True.
Sonia has shared Nancy's yummy chocolate cupcake recipe from the class. Hop over to Sonia's if you would like the recipe. It was YUM and chocolatey and moist.
Perhaps you can guess how I ate the cupcake. I lifted the fondant pieces including the blue base carefully, preserving everything whole and in perfect order. I placed it on a flat plate....then ate the cupcake while looking at the angry birds being angry at me. I know.....I'm weird.