Spirited Baking

October 24, 2010


Decorated Homecoming Cupcakes

Whew, our job is done. Fifty-eight cupcakes and two layer cakes, check. Really green buttercream frosting, yes. Halloween sprinkles and crushed Oreos, why not? But not only did we manage to bake and decorate all these desserts, we made them with style. If you happened to come by the kitchen this past week, it’s likely you may have seen some lions, pirates, camouflaged hunters, Pokémon characters, and students in tacky ensembles either emptying the dishwasher or whisking away in a corner. Any other week, I would be suspicious. This week, however, the said apparel was completely acceptable.

Unlike past classes where we made cakes, this week we were assigned to make the frosting and ganache. In case you’re not familiar with what ganache is, I will happily explain. It is simply melted chocolate (chocolate chips are easier) blended with heavy cream. Ahh…. Just beautiful. Fortunately, I got the chance to fill the cupcakes with ganache. There happens to be a technique to filling and frosting cupcakes, whether with ganache, frosting, whipped cream, glaze, etc. Here are some tips:

First, you’ll need a pastry bag and any assorted pastry tip. Depending on which one you use, the shape and size of the ganache/frosting will differ. We used regular circular tips and star tips, which can turn out particularly nicely. Second, fold down the sides of the pastry bag about halfway and begin filling with a spatula. You do not want to pack an excess of filling at once because the bag might break. Once your bag is filled, unfold the sides and from the outside, use your hands to push down the ganache/frosting. Next, twist the bag until tight and hold with one hand. Lift the pastry bag so it is straight up and down. You might want to practice icing on a separate surface. If you feel ready, grip the bag with two hands, one holding the twist and the other squeezing. Quickly and steadily frost the cupcake beginning around the edges and end in the center with your preferred flourish. Confidence is vital. If you saw a cupcake whose green frosting had a swerve near the center, it’s mine. I guess the flourish I saw so clearly in my mind didn’t make sense to my hands.

As soon as we finished frosting and sprinkling the cupcakes, we opened the fridge doors to load them in. To our shock and disappointment, several sandwiches, dressings, cans of pop, and other miscellaneous items sat on the shelves and in the drawers. For Ms. Ruble and our class, especially Seltzer Sayre, this was the last straw. Yet again, we were forced to transfer more items back to the fridge in the closet. Even our pantry shelves have been taken over by Woodlawn PTA and faculty members. Desperate measures were called to action by Ms. Ruble. Seltzer Sayre took the initiative by writing a sincere and strict warning to all potential trespassers. After sticking the sign through the fridge door handles, we all nodded in approval.

I hope everyone had a spectacular time at Homecoming, and for the few who actually did, enjoyed our desserts. I must say, I was considerably surprised to see that so many cupcakes survived the night. An entire cake laid uneaten. Whoever thought they were too cool to eat a cupcake or didn’t want to because they are unaware of our baking talents, I have one thing to say: More for us. For the record, I had an excellent piece of red velvet cake with ganache filling and cream cheese frosting at the dance. Later that night, while I was waiting an hour for my dad to pick me up (it’s a long, crazy story), I hung out with Ms. Ashley, Ms. Royce, and Mr. Andy (an enormous thanks to them!!) while we ate cupcakes and a veggie tray. No regrets.

~ Serena Sundae


Ganache Time



2 Responses to “Spirited Baking”

  1. Sophia said

    Love the picture!! Captures the true essence of who we really are! -Sophia Pizzera

  2. sayre said

    It was the last straw–and the sign is missing now! How sad!

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