Thursday, May 20, 2010

Falling in Love….With Cupcakes

cupcakes

During the planning of Sunshine’s wedding last year I fell in love too…with cupcakes. This is a picture from the photographer’s blog where she so graciously did a post about the wedding and reception held at the zoo. We served miniature cupcakes in the groom’s choice of flavors instead of groom’s cake. It was a resounding hit with the guests. I decided then and there that I wanted to explore the world of cupcakes when time allowed.

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In March, Sunshine whose before-marriage culinary expertise was limited to pouring Raisin Bran, expressed interest in taking a cake decorating class. We found a cupcake and cake bite class that fit our schedule at the Viking Cooking School. Firstborn and I had previously taken a sushi class there, so I knew from experience that the classes are top notch.

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There are sixteen Viking Cooking Schools scattered from Alaska to Mississippi home of the Viking Range Corporation. I love the variety of classes scheduled—camps for kids and teens, date night gourmet meals, and girls' night out menus. They offer both demonstration and hands-on classes. You can read more about them or find out if there is one near you here.

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The kitchen is a cook’s dream, and, of course, filled with Viking appliances whose headquarters are in Greenwood, Mississippi. The instructor was personable, knowledgeable, and willing to answer any question.

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The class was from 9:30-2:30 and, at lunch time, a fabulous salad was served at a table right in the kitchen. We met another mother/ daughter team from Nashville and Memphis. The daughter was a passionate cookie maker and told me about one of her favorite blogs the decorated cookie.

decorated

One interesting thing I learned in class is that most fondant tastes like rubber—pretty, but tasteless. Another drawback is that it can be hard to find and expensive. Meaghan Mountford the author of the decorated cookie had a recipe for homemade fondant that promised to be tasty, easy, and made with readily available ingredients. (It’s marshmallows!)

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I had a question about adding gum paste to make the fondant stiffer to hold up for making flowers. I emailed Meaghan and quick as a flash she responded with the answer. You can find the recipe here. I made pink, green and blue!

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The cooking class was a success! We had a great time, learned lots, and got to come home with some of our creations. In short, I’ve fallen in love with cupcakes! Come back next week for Foodie Friday and I’ll show you some special cupcakes I have since whipped up at home using the homemade fondant!

I am joining Michael Lee West our ever-gracious hostess for Foodie Friday. Click on her button on my sidebar and you’ll be transported to a world of good food and beautiful photographs! I am also linking to Lori at All That Splatters for her Saturday Blog Showcase here. Stop by and visit both places--you'll come away hungry!

32 comments:

  1. What a wonderful experience to share with your daughter. Can't wait to see more of your cupcakes!

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  2. Susan, This is a wonderful post. I recently made cupcakes with fondant daisies (store bought) and they came out so cute! But I would have loved the fondant to be more tasty. I went to the sight you linked and read the recipe. Easy peasy!
    Your cupcakes are so adorable! No wonder you had such a great day at your class!
    I'll be looking forward to next weeks post.
    Yvonne

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  3. How fun! Who doesn't love cupcakes -- your's look beautiful. Thanks for your sweet visit to my E-I-E-I-O tablescape!

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  4. Oh your cupcakes are just awesome and I bet just scrumptious too!! Thanks for sharing this great post today!

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  5. I can't stand fondant. I have had it many times, last time at a fancy wedding, and mostly everyone pulled it off the cake! Give me a good icing anytime!
    Since you say the class
    is good, I will take it the next time they offer it here. I was always hesitant .
    Sounds like a great day, and your cupcakes look good!
    Oh and for the flowers, you can roll out any tootsie roll type candy and cut..
    Have a great weekend!

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  6. This is neat, Susan! Sounds like a great class, and I'm interested to hear about fondant. It just never tastes like much to me. It has the flavor of a piece of cardboard, but if you say the one you recommended is good, then I might have to reconsider and try it! Thanks for sharing...

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  7. Susan, cupcakes are probably the single most requested item when I do dessert parties these days! They are really popular and SO good!
    xoxo Pattie

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  8. These are GREAT! Thanks so much for my shout outs!! It's not too often I get to see such results from posting things on my blog, but when I see successes, it keeps me going. (And an ego boost to hear I'm being "discussed" in classes, hee hee.)

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  9. Oh how fun, Susan! We have a cooking school downtown too with Viking appliances and it's great. BTW, how far are you from us? You should join our MS Southern Belles get together on June 5th.....Christine

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  10. Susan!
    I would love to take a cooking class!
    I bet meeting such interesting people was as much fun as the cooking !
    Pass me the cupcake with the most frosting please!
    xoxo~Kathy @
    Sweet Up-North Mornings...

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  11. I use marshmallow fondant too. It is so easy to work with and tastes good. I'd love for you to link these (or anything else) up to my Messy Monday or Transform Tuesday linky parties. So fun!!

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  12. Yum!! I need 1 or 2 of those about now - have not had lunch yet. :) Sounds like you ladies had a good time at the cooking class. When my niece got married, the groom's cake had fondant on it (great looking cake), but no one would eat the fondant. Thanks for sharing the link to the wedding photos - I really enjoyed seeing them.

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  13. What fun to take a cooking class. Your cupcakes look lovely. I have never had tasty fondant, but I will have to check that out.

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  14. This really looks like fun, I love cupcakes and can't wait to see what you post next week!

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  15. Beautiful cupcakes! I am taking cake decorating classes now. The next session is fondant and gum paste. How fun you got to do this with your daughter.

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  16. What a wonderful class that must have been! Thanks for posting the link - I'm going to check it out right now.

    :)
    ButterYum

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  17. Sounds like a fun class and store bought fondant is dreadful! There is nothing worse than a beautiful cake that tastes awful because of the fondant. I have my sister's recipe that uses marshmallows too. Your cupcakes look so cute! Joni

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  18. Oh awesome! I love the cupcakes and it looks like such fun! Thanks for visitng today!

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  19. Susan, I just loved this post. I, of course, couldn't resist the temptation to see that gorgeous wedding and the cupcakes that were the starting point of your post today. The photos of the Viking kitchen are fantastic and I'm so glad you were able to enjoy the day with your "bride." I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  20. How fun! Your cupcakes look amazing. What a great kitchen to work in:)

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  21. Hi Susan,

    That would have been such a fun thing for you and your daughter to do together.
    What a fabulous kitchen and I look forward to seeing what you whip up.

    Happy weekend
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  22. I've taken a couple of classes from the Viking Cooking School and I agree whole-heartedly with you!! They are definitely top-notch! And your cupcakes are the perfect example of that - they're gorgeous!

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  23. yay and yum!!

    those salads look sooooo delicious! need i comment how fab those cupcakes look? *wink*

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  24. There are two schools I probably should have attended. One is cooking school. The other is charm school. Do they even have that any more? My skills are sadly lacking in the department of knowing when to keep my mouth shut. (I like to say it's menopause. But I think that's stretching it a bit!)
    Brenda

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  25. What fun! GREAT photos of beautiful you & your equally beautiful DD!!

    The class looks like it was delightful & your cupcakes are just too cute for words. Have you seen the book "Hello Cupcake"? Great inspiration & I hear they have a new one out just recently.

    You would ♥ the website CakeCentral.com I hung out there for quite a while, getting tons of ideas for cakes, cookies & cupcakes, too. Check it out!

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  26. Last August I took a class at Viking with two other blog gals and posted it on my blog. OMG! It was the most fun. We took the Fresh Market to table class. Can't wait to take another one this year. Learned so much. Thanks for the heads up on the fondant because I usually stay away from it because it usually tastes like thick paste to me.
    Joyce

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  27. I had no idea the Viking Range Corp had a cooking school. What fun! The cupcakes are lovely. Sunshine looks like her name!
    Pam

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  28. Hello, I just "met" you on another blog and, since I'm also a G.R.I.T, I thought I'd stop by. Those cupcakes look delicious. I made cupcakes often and have a whole collection of pretty papers to put them in. It's not as bad as collecting Lladros!! I used to direct a cooking school and teach classes in Charleston, S.C.. My teaching kitchen did not look like the one you cooked in.

    Please, stop by for a glass of sweet tea and a visit.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  29. Hi Susan !
    You are so funny - "my tractor is in the shop"
    LOL !
    I adore cupcakes ! I have never heard of the Viking cooking classes. I have taken all the Wilton cake classes and my cakes and frosting is delish...not so pretty but, yummy :o)
    Hugs ~ Kammy

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  30. Did you make those cupcakes that are in the box? They are soooo pretty! I've copied the Marshmallow Fondant recipe. Can't wait to try it. What a fun thing for you and your daughter to do together. laurie

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