I took a cake decorating class at our local community college. Nineteen people started the class and ten finished it. People gave differing reasons for being there; some wanted to earn money making cakes. The instructor is a professional baker who specializes in wedding cakes. Myself, I was looking for a social outlet, creativity, and fun.
Some of my former coworkers would probably find the concept of me, Rocquie, taking a cake decorating class confounding. You see, I have always shunned those supermarket birthday cakes everyone at the office loves. You know the ones, the garish, brightly colored concoctions made completely of sugar, and artificial flavorings and colors that taste horrible. And let me not get started on the grease factor. (I have cleaned the break room after those birthday parties--it takes much soap and hot water to clean that
I have always wanted to say that.
Now I have the tools and skills to pipe. I can pipe out those beautiful deviled eggs, that basket weave of mashed potatoes on the shepherd's pie, the twice baked potatoes, and most importantly and what I really wanted to learn, is decorating beautiful Christmas cookies.
For my final project, I made an old fashioned pound cake (posted here) and piped rosettes with gingerbread flavored Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. No artificial anything.
Gingerbread Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
4 ounces liquid pasteurized egg whites
10 ounces dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. molasses
12 ounces soft unsalted butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Whisk together the sugar and egg whites. Add pinch of salt.
Heat, whisking constantly, with mixing bowl over simmering water until mixture reaches 160 degrees or until all of the brown sugar has dissolved.
Place the mixing bowl on mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat on high for 10 minutes.
Switch to paddle attachment, add the butter, and mix on low speed until thick.
Add vanilla and spices; continue to beat on low speed until combined.