Cakes & Bakes
Cake and Bake Show Preview Evening at the Peggy Porschen Academy
Last night I went to the Peggy Porschen Academy and watched a selection of amazing demonstrations from some of the sweet toothed stars who will be attending the upcoming Cake and Bake show. If you have read my recent Peggy Porschen post, then you won’t be surprised to know that I was more than a little bit excited about going along.
And I’m still buzzing this morning, although that might be because I ate one to many of Paul A Young’s sea salted pure chocolate truffles (made by me with the expert tuition of Paul). They were divine.
Here are my top tips from the evening along with who I met and what I made.
Firstly, the lovely Peggy Porschen showed us how to make marzipan roses which turned an ordinary cupcake into something quite amazing.
Peggy’s Top Tips
- Marzipan is great to use for these roses as it is strong enough to hold its shape. You can use sugarpaste but it needs to be mixed with a little bit of flowerpaste to make it strong enough
- Having two tone petals (petals in two similar tones) gives the rose some definition and makes it look a bit more realistic
- Peggy recommends foil cupcake cases as they hold their shape better and keep the cupcake fresher for longer
- Piping cream cheese frosting on top of the cupcake (as seen in the pictures) is an easy and stylish way to add a topping
Next up was Edd Kimber, series 1 winner of the Great British Bake Off, showing us how to make macarons.
I found this really interesting having just been to another macaron class just recently. Edd uses the Italian meringue method which is to add hot sugar syrup to the the egg whites.
This he says is a much more robust batter and harder to over mix. There was no gentle folding of the meringue into the nuts and icing sugar, Edd’s macaronage was a hard beating with a wooden spoon! Got to say, they looked amazing!
Edd’s Top Tips
- Best to flavour the filling rather than the shells as flavouring the shells makes it much harder to get good macarons. However you can add powder flavour in the form of cocoa powder, cinnamon and other spices without too much problem. One of Edd’s favorites is fennel seeds
- Try using half ground hazelnuts and half ground almonds for unique take on a traditional macaron
- When mixing the batter you are looking for it to fall from the spoon in a ribbon and for this ribbon to lie on the top of the batter. After 30 seconds the ribbon should mostly have gone by you should be able to see where the ribbon was
- Look for a recipe with an equal amount of almonds and icing sugar
- For a nice touch add a dusting of cocoa powder over the top of the macaron shells before they go in the oven
- For a sea salted caramel macaron, pipe a circle of chocolate ganache on top of a shell (flat side up) and then put salted caramel in the middle. Add top shell and dust with gold powder to make then look very expensive
- Only fill piping bag half full and keep it tight at all times. Tighten up after every row
- Use a freezer bag clip to clamp the end of the piping bag just before the tip so there is no leakage as you are filling it
- Edd uses the Wilton 12 nozzle for piping macarons
- Can pipe shapes other than a circle but harder to pair up. Oblongs look fab as do rings
Then Natasha Collins who is the cake artist behind Nevie-Pie Cakes showed us how to paint onto fondant.
There were lots of giggles as we set to work on our own British corgi. I was quite pleased with mine! Natasha’s cakes are stunning. I loved this bird one.
Natasha’s Top Tips
- Once you have stuck your fondant onto biscuit/cake its best to leave it over night before painting as it is dryer and harder
- Good quality paint brushes are key
- Use water to soften and mix the colours, and have a kitchen roll handy to dab excess moisture off your brush each time you paint
- If you have gone wrong, it’s easy to wipe off and do that bit again
He was mesmerizing to watch. Still not sure how confident I would be pouring out a tub of melted chocolate on my work surface at home. I’d be worried about a random rice krispie finding its way in!
Paul’s Top TIps
- Quality of chocolate is key. You can’t make a cheap chocolate taste good no matter what you do
- When making ganache, you can add any liquid to make ganache as long as it is 2 parts chocolate to 1 part liquid. Paul often adds water so that the chocolate flavour is more intense. You can add champagne, fruit juice (pineapple is very good apparently)
- Roll truffles with finger tips only, then dunk in cocoa powder to cover them. Leave for a min or two then cover truffle in melted tempered chocolate and dunk again in cocoa powder
- Make sure that when you cover the truffle in tempered chocolate that it is completely covered as this means no air can get in and they last longer
- Double covered truffles last 1 week out of the fridge, 2 weeks in the fridge and can be frozen
The Cake and Bake Show is being held on the 22nd/23rd September 2012 at Earls Court. I’m going on the Sunday! Is anybody else going?
Big thanks to Edd, Natasha, Paul and especially Peggy (for hosting). I really enjoyed your demonstrations. Thanks also to Nudge PR. I received a small goodie bag for attending.
Tagged Cake and Bake Show, chocolates, cupcakes, Edd Kimber, macarons, marzipan roses, Natasha Collins, Nevie-Pie Cakes, Paul A Young, Peggy Porschen, Peggy Porschen Academy, sea salt chocolate truffles, tempering chocolate, top tips