I had a really unique and exciting experience at a local antiques and home store this past weekend- a cake decorating class from the Executive Pastry Chef of the Standard Hotel, Frederick Aquino! Smith & Chang General Goods, an awesome little shop right down the block in Hamilton Park, Jersey City, held a fun and informative class all about cake, frosting, icing, piping and smoothing… just in time for a sweet Valentine’s Day treat!
Chef Aquino was a great teacher, and gave us lots of tips on how to make amazing frostings and cakes. But as you may know from my previous exploits with cake making, I make a TERRIBLE decorator. That’s why I was so excited to take this class, and learn the tricks of the trade from a real expert. I’d say I’ve made some improvements!
We learned the basics of adding icing between layers of cake (about a half cup between each layer for a 9″ cake), crumb-coating (applying a thin layer of icing to the outside of the stacked layers so the sides are smooth), and my favorite part, piping. I still have yet to learn how to get the icing in the bag without getting it all over myself, but I’m excited to keep trying
What do you think of my cake? HAHA, just kidding. This one was Chef Aquino’s. Mine is the little guy up at the top- my little treat for my little valentine
Chef Aquino was generous enough to give us his recipe for European Buttercream Frosting. This is some seriously awesome stuff! If you’re hesitant about using raw egg whites, Chef Aquino says you can use pasteurized egg whites instead. However, since you are heating the egg whites over the double boiler, I don’t think there is too much to worry about. Just make sure you are using fresh eggs, and you should be a-okay.
- 1 cup egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 6 sticks butter, cut into pats
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
- Over a double boiler, heat egg whites, sugar and salt, whisking constantly until sugar is dissolved.
- Transfer to a stand mixer and whip on high for about five minutes until the mixture forms stiff peaks and is cooled. Turn speed to medium and slowly add in butter. Add powdered sugar and vanilla last, and beat one more time to get everything incorporated.
I attended the workshop with my future sister-in-law, Amelia. Maybe she can help decorate my wedding cake this October… What do you think, Miel???
This was such a fun event, and many thanks to both Smith and Chang and Chef Aquino for hosting!