And so it was on a Monday evening, a group of ladies gathered at Newton Grange for an evening of cupcake decorating fun. Sprinkled with a touch of magic dust from the Yorkshire Cake Fairy we were invited to put down our daily tasks and enjoy something different and wonderfully practical.
Sue taught us how to make some fabulous decorations, colouring and rolling fondant and shaping it in to flowers, leaves and butterflies.
And we sat down at our workstations and began making and designing our own decorations. Rolling and colouring and kneading. Cutting and pressing and setting out to dry. The manufacture of these wonderfully intricate decorations was a labour of love, but the most absorbing, all consuming activity I have taken part in for a long time.
Peeled away from our tables - leaving the butterflies to dry -
we returned to the kitchen to watch and listen to demo - phase two. "This could be messy", I thought, as I saw the icing involved. The filling of icing bags with nozzles and oodles of butter cream to make traditional swirled icing (working from the outside in) and a pretty rose design (working from the inside out...and not forgetting to use a different nozzle...).
And from there the fun really began - spraying the cakes to make them glisten and shimmer, decorating with silver beads, chopping marshmellows, we watched and learnt something of how to make toppings and decorating the lovely little vanilla sponge cakes.
With a dozen cakes awaiting our personal attention we indulged in rolling up our sleeves and icing the cakes, however we chose. And three quarters of an hour later, how incredible it was to see how many different variations we had between us. One hundred little cakes in one hundred designs and colour combinations, it was incredible. With lots of banter and enjoyment, and admiration for one another's creative goodies, we were happy and at ease after an evening finding our own creativity.
In distinctive Yorkshire tone, I heard, "It beats doing the ironing!" I couldn't have agreed more. Sitting down to learn a new skill was relaxing, uplifting and really good fun.
A huge thank you to Sue, the Yorkshire Cake Fairy, for sharing her magic dust with us all. We hope you'll be back again soon. And I'll be taking a trip to Home & Kitchen to choose a few cake decorating essentials to practise in the meantime.