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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Cupcake Class Fail

Let me tell you a little story, about a little girl.

This little girl (really not so little considering she is about to turn 29) loves cupcakes.

She loves to make them, eat them, decorate them, eat them some more.

One day the little girl saw an offer on Groupon - Cupcake Decorating Class.

"HOORAY!" the little girl thought, "now I can finally learn how to decorate cupcakes so they don't look like a 5 year old frosted them". And so, she bought the deal.

Fast forward two months and the big day was finally here! The little girl was excited and a little nervous (and probably a little hung over since it was early on a Saturday morning).

She knew that they wouldn't be baking any cupcakes, they would only be focusing on the decoration. She was hoping they would learn about and make different types of frostings and piping methods. She got to the class and immediately noticed all the people there. There were three tables and 12-15 people at each table. "Oh well," she thought, "the more the merrier."

And then they started decorating. The first thing they learned about was how to make sugar paste decorations. Basically, it's like playing with play-doh all over again. Sugar paste decorations were not on the top of the little girls wish list of learning to decorate, but it was fun and interesting enough.

The sugar paste portion of the class was starting to bore the little girl. She kept looking around at all of the items on the table and wanted to move on (she saw frosting and sprinkles and candy!). Finally they moved on to the frosting portion of the class. "YIPPEE!" the little girl thought.

First they learned about Fondant Icing. Basically a pouring icing that is great for flat topped cupcakes. When dried the icing gives the cupcakes a very flat and smooth appearance. But the frosting was already made for them, so all the little girl had to do was pour it on top of the pre-made cupcakes. Boorrrrinnggg.

Next they moved on to the Cream Cheese Frosting. "This is it," the little girl said to herself, "I'm really going to start learning something!" But then the instructor said they would be using the cream cheese frosting to make a "rustic, home baked" type of cupcake - i.e. like the ones the little girl already made at home. The little girl was getting frustrated, and was beginning to think she wouldn't learn anything at this class. She only had two cupcakes left in her pile and there wasn't even a piping bag in site.

Finally - they brought out the piping bags!

They learned two types of piping techniques. One was a ribbon-like pile on top of the cupcake and the second was a flat, rose designed layer. But there was only one piping bag per table. And the little girl was the LAST person at her table to use the piping bag.  Total time it took to pipe her two remaining cupcakes? Two minutes tops.


And to make things even worse, the piping buttercream was flavored with blueberry and tinted blue. Blueberry frosting?? WTF.

After the buttercream was on the cupcakes there were lots of other decorations to play with. There were plates full of edible glitter (which was actually pretty cool to use, but got everywhere). And the rest of the decorations you could have bought yourself at Sainsbury's...nothing the little girl hadn't seen before.

There was still a half hour left in the class time but since the little girl was all done decorating her cupcakes and was pretty bored/frustrated with the class she boxed up her cakes, thanked the instructor ("thanks for nothing" was what she really wanted to say) and went on her way.  She thought back to the initial deal on Groupon - the class cost her a "very special low price" of 24GBP, when the class is usually 60GBP. SIXTY POUNDS for that class???

At least her cupcakes looked pretty, even if she didn't learn anything at least she walked away with 6 yummy cupcakes. The End.

No, not really The End.

When the little girl got home she couldn't wait to show her husband her creations. She opened the box, and immediately tears came to her eyes. Apparently British frosting melts when its a balmy 65* outside (which is considered to be "boiling hot" to many of the little girls British friends). The annoying fondant icing leaked all over the box of cupcakes and the weird blueberry frosting smashed in to the cream cheese icing, tainting it with its fake blueberry taste.

"Oh well," the little girl said to her husband, "At least we can eat the frosting...and the cake...just take off the sugar paste decorations because they taste nasty...and don't eat the fondant icing topped ones because they taste nasty...and don't eat..." you can imagine the rest of the conversation.

So, what lessons did the little girl learn today?

She learned that she could have made better cupcakes at home - and all she really needs in order to make pretty cupcakes is a 1M icing tip which you can buy for about $2.00 at pretty much any kitchen shop in the world.

And she learned to doubt the quality of offers on Groupon. That wasn't the only time she has been disappointed in a Groupon purchase.  Cupcake class fail.

The End.

(for real this time)


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