When you spend quite a lot of time teaching, as I do, it’s a real treat to be a student occasionally. Yesterday I went on a fascinating painting course, I thoroughly enjoyed the class and the teacher was very knowledgeable. However sometimes during the day, I did feel as if I was back ‘at school’ and would get into trouble for not doing quite what was required! As a creative and imaginative person I always tend to think outside the box, not follow the prescribed route or rules and if someone says something is not possible I like to find a way! So in contrast, when I teach I try to actively encourage those that are willing to be brave and take more risks, to be more adventurous. It’s quite usual for no two decorated cakes or cookies to be the same at one of my classes!
Obviously certain cake decorating classes lend themselves more to an experimental approach than others, but probably my favourite is our paste patterning class. In this class I teach my students, over the course of a day, a selection of techniques, which they can then use however they wish – with expert guidance on hand, of course.
Here’s a selection of cupcakes and cookies that I created on one of our paste patterning days:
We always love getting feedback about our workshops and classes and when our students are prepared to write about their experiences too we are thrilled – so a huge thank you to Lesley for the following, I hope you find her insight interesting – hopefully it will persuade you to join us too.
“I was given a voucher for Lindy’s cake courses from my husband for Christmas – what a fabulous idea. I was so excited! I have been baking all my life but have NEVER been on a course, so I knew there were plenty of ideas and tips of the trade that I needed to learn, especially as I had only really upped my game as a hobby to fondant icing from buttercream since last year. It was rather nerve-racking, not knowing what to expect, or even what to pack in my bag, so I arrived mega early, but Jane knocked on my car window and beckoned me in for a cup of tea – so very friendly.
There were only 6 people on the course – coming all the way from Oxford, Watford and a couple of local ladies, and they all seemed really experienced and were talking about all sorts of products I had not heard of; I had so many more questions than everyone else, but neither Lindy or Jane minded me creeping up to the front and asking advice every 5 minutes! Nothing seemed too much trouble, or too silly to ask, so I really did feel very comfortable, even when I realised at the beginning that I had mis-read the instructions and only brought a larger cake with no cupcakes or biscuits (very silly)!! The content of the course is so interesting. All the paste patterning techniques look so difficult. The art of marbling, lines, checks and mille feuille are really quite simple when Lindy shows you how, and it was perfectly taught, little-step by little-step so I was able to remember everything all the way through.
Time flew by and lunch was upon us so quickly, and I was so keen to get my ‘stripes’ finished I had to be pried from my seat to join the queue. The food was actually quite different to the sandwich platter I was expecting - out came hot quiche, new potatoes and salad, with fruit for dessert – it was all very delicious! This half-hour break gave us all extra time to sit with Lindy and Jane to chat about the morning and ask any extra questions, of which I still had MANY!
The range of products on the website is enormous, and I could not resist spending a fortune on extra cutters, spacers and even Lindy’s book (signed by Lindy on the day), and it was well worth it and am so pleased. This is probably the best cake decorating book I have read as it doesn’t miss anything out. It gives you ALL the different types of icing, with an explanation; it lists what you need for each technique, has lots of images, and great instructions – it is going to be extremely well used. The family already have biscuits and cupcakes coming out of their ears as I am really enjoying putting all the paste patterning techniques into practise – it was truly inspiring! I will definitely come back for another course – thank you very much Lindy!” Lesley Mitchell
Our next paste patterning class is on Friday 10th October 2014, near Ludlow, Shropshire
Whether you like being experimental or you prefer to recreate what you’ve been shown, do come and join us we’d love to welcome you
Happy baking and decorating
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