Saturday, 1 October 2011

Five days, five cakes

This week I did the PME Sugarpaste five day course at Cakes4Fun. As ever, our instructors were great: Liz, a walking manual of cake making tips who has most of Blackadder committed to memory; and Lisa, who graduated from Cordon Bleu with an even higher grade than a well known cake designer. I won't name names, but I'll drop in a clue. Please call me on a premium rate number to see if you guessed correctly.

On Monday we made a cake with broderie anglaise, which reminds me of high tea with my great aunts and their beautiful hand-embroidered tablecloths. Petra and I have enjoyed eating it.
We also made a handbag cake and a Barbie cake.

Barbie cakes are a bit of a love/hate thing, generally on a sliding scale commensurate with your age. Lucy commented that Barbie looked a bit tarty. She should have seen her when she had her arms in the air getting her boobs smeared with Trex. 

Thursday was a circus cake, my favourite design of the week, and we finished the course with a three tier cake.

This was the third and final week of my PME Professional Diploma and I am eagerly awaiting my certificate in the post. I hope it's made of pastillage and decorated in royal icing.

There's been a lot of discussion in the classes about the order in which the three weeks should be done. I don’t think it really matters as each week covers different techniques but I would suggest starting with Sugar Paste, then Royal Icing, then Sugar Flowers.

I celebrated graduation with a trip to Peggy Porschen, a well known cake designer who did really well at Cordon Bleu, but...  I had a cup of tea, a salted caramel cupcake and a gawp at the beautiful wedding cakes.
I also popped into the Buckingham Palace gift shop and bought my mum this delightful Christmas bauble. The Queen paints them herself with real gold, which explains why they are so expensive. 
I can wholeheartedly recommend the courses at Cakes4Fun. All ingredients and equipment are provided so there's no need to lug half your kitchen with you; the class sizes are small at no more than eight; the tutors are very knowledgeable and friendly; it’s fun and I’ve eaten my own body weight in cake this week. 

Lastly, the weather: it has been red hot all week. Today is the first day of October and it was 28 degrees Celsius. If God is reading (he's bound to be), please can we have summer during summertime next year? 
Highbury Fields. Scorchio!

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