November 7, 2007

Patty cake, patty cake, bakers man

Since I spend so much time eating cupcakes, I figured I should also learn out to make them, outside of a box mix that is. The opportunity presented itself in the form of a private cupcake baking and decorating class offered via L.A. Foodies+! and taught by pastry chef/owner of Gormandise Desserts, Clemence Gossett.

We started the class with a chocolate cupcake recipe and while that was baking we moved on to a vanilla bean recipe. When they were both in the oven, we learned how to make a chocolate ganache and unbelievable meringue buttercream frosting. We filled both the chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with the ganache and learned how to apply the buttercream like a pro.

Tips that I learned:
  • If your cake recipe comes out too dry, add an extra egg yolk next time for added moisture
  • You don't have to mix a batter to death, in fact it's OK to have some lumps
  • It actually matters when you add certain ingredients
  • Keep all ingredients at room temperature
  • When adding flour and milk, begin and end with the flour
  • Also place a cookie sheet/pan underneath your cupcake trays so that the bottom of the cupcake's don't burn

Chocolate Cake Recipe (I'm usually a vanilla person but this was really good):
  • Bring to simmer 1lb butter and 2 cups water. Cool and add 1 cup cold water and 1 cup cocoa powder
  • In a large bowl, whisk together 3 1/2 cups flour, 3 3/4 cups sugar, 2 tsps baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Pour butter mixture onto dry ingredients and mix until smooth with a wooden spoon. Whisk in 4 eggs and 1 egg yolk. Add 1 cup sour cream.
  • Bake at 350 until knife comes out clean.
Here's one of my decorated chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting:

Oh and I almost died laughing when Clemence asked the class, "Anyone ever bake a baked Alaska?" I almost responded, "No, but has anyone ever baked Tollhouse cookies?"

More photos from Abby


  1. That was definitely a fun class and Clemence was awesome. She's a real good teacher and offered lots of great info plus her cupcakes were definitely tasty!

  2. Nice to see you in the kitchen, doing your duty, Tara! Ha! Completely kidding. I think cooking classes, even if you already know how to do basic stuff, are fascinating. Now I just need to get the Culinary Institute of America to give me night classes on all the interesting things in the culinary arts.

    When Tara Met Cake! :)

  3. Yummy! I'm going to try it.

  4. YUMMMMMMMM...that sounds like a delicious lesson!

  5. Oh man those look delicious. I love cupcakes.

  6. I was on this evening and saw that your cupcake group has exploded. As stated before, I do not join because I want to lose weight. That said, I haven't lost a pound since we last discussed your group, so maybe I should just go ahead and join!


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