Swirled Cotton Candy and Fluffy Rainbow Clouds – Floating Around in Cupcake Heaven at Le Dolci

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Okay, so I’m a day late with the Vanilla Cupcake Day love, but I promise that this post is worth the extra 24 hour wait!  I don’t know if anyone keeps up with all the special and specific “food days” that come and go every year, but I was gobsmacked when I found out that all 365 days of the year celebrate a different kind of dish and confection!  It was the quite the head scratcher when I started seeing tweets on my Twitter feed about Donut Day, S’mores Day, and a host of other random food days.  I wondered, “how in the world do people know these things?!  And is every day a food day of some sort?” 

Enter my lovely, longtime friend Katrina @ The Demure Muse.  During the summer, she gave me this amazing, super fun book that’s dedicated to – you guessed it – 365 days of food!  Equipped with recipes for every day of the year, the book also includes a “calendar” that’s split up my month and tells you what each and every day is celebrating.  She knows I love food, she knows I love books, she knows I love to bake and putter in the kitchen – she knows me well. 

Yesterday, November 10th, was Vanilla Cupcake Day.  Oh, the humble vanilla cupcake.  So simple yet so delicious and deliciously complex!  Even though I love fudgy chocolate desserts like chocolate frosted cake, brownies, and Black Forest cake, I have to say that between vanilla cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes, vanilla edges out and takes the cake for me.  I love the flavour of vanilla frosting on top of a rich, fluffy golden vanilla cupcake.  I love my vanilla cupcakes fluffy as opposed to dense and cake crumbly, and I especially love vanilla frosted cupcakes adorned with tons of sprinkles!  My weakness is rainbow sprinkles, but I love chocolate sprinkles, crystal/coarse sugar, and anything bright, punchy, and colourful.  

If I had choose what type of vanilla combinations I enjoyed the most, I’d say vanilla cake with vanilla frosting, vanilla cake with lemon frosting, and vanilla cake with thick chocolate frosting.  I know it might sound weird, but I don’t enjoy the combination the other way around with vanilla frosting on chocolate cake quite as much.  It has to be the chocolate on top with the vanilla on the bottom if we’re talking about simple vanilla combos.  When you’re a cupcake lover, you can be very particular!

Vanilla cupcakes and lickably delicious vanilla buttercream frosting in a rainbow of colours are our specialities at Le Dolci and I’m so happy I get to post these photos because they were all done by yours truly!  We had an order of 2 dozen frosted cupcakes to do and my only limitation was to make the cupcakes pretty and fun.  Oh hell, no problem.  I got to choose the colours, the colour scheme, and the overall look.  Oh, this was going to be FUN! 

I was dying to use the gorgeous shade of lemon yellow frosting I had mixed up and I wanted the colour scheme to be airy, fluffy, and cute.  Yellow and blue go quite nice together, but I wanted more than two colours and thought, “Ooo, I’ll do some pink!  Pink, yellow, and aqua sky blue will make quasi rainbows!”  So there I was with my head up in the cupcake clouds of cupcake la-la land when I thought, “hmm, if I want this to look reeeally cute and fluffy, I’ll swirl the pink and blue together to make them look like cotton candy!”  I was so excited about the colour scheme I had to write it down before doing it for fear I would mess it up.  And after frosting them, I got to add some sparkle and glam by dusting edible glitter all over them!

These are the first regular-sized cupcakes I’ve ever frosted and decorated in my life (I’ve done minis before, remember these guys?) and it was SO.MUCH.FUN.  I used the star decorating tip to frost these and used three separate piping bags so I wouldn’t muddy or mix up the colours.  I used one piping bag to do the blue and the blue-and-pink cotton candy swirl, one piping bag to do the pink, and the third piping bag to do the yellow.  I’m right-handed, so I twist and keep the bag taut with my left hand while I squeeze and guide the piping with my right hand in a clockwise direction. 

With cupcake frosting, it’s actually not the piping that’s difficult.  The pain in the butt is actually filling the piping bag!  Whether you’re doing it for minis or regular-sized cupcakes, the filling of the piping bag is a tad on the messy and clumsy side, what with having to roll down the top, keeping the bag open, getting all the frosting in there without smearing it all over the place, and trying to get the frosting as close to the bottom of the bag as possible to prevent wasted frosting smeared up at the top.    After that though, it’s smooth sailing!

        

I’m so excited to experiment with other piping tips and other styles of piping frosting.  And with the holidays coming up, I’m positive there will be many more chances to have more decorating and piping fun with lots of fab colours.  I call these my happy, sunshiney, cotton candy, up in the clouds, My Little Pony-esque vanilla frosted cupcakes with sparkly fairy pixie dust! 😀

*****

Le Dolci is a private studio located at 75 Portland St., just east of Bathurst near King St. West.  The studio hosts cupcake decorating classes and handles catering for both corporate and personal events.  For more information on classes, schedules, rates, and more, visit their official website here and their Facebook page here.

The Cupcake Life – My First Day As the Newest Icing Sugar Queen at Le Dolci Cupcake & Design Studio!

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Bags of icing sugar.  Tubs of buttercream frosting.  Cooling racks with fresh, golden brown vanilla cupcakes.  Aprons, mixing bowls, measuring spoons, spatulas, and a mixer that rivals the Energizer Bunny!  I was surrounded by all of these tools, goodies, and everything in between on my first day interning at Le Dolci today and I had such a fun, wonderful time with Lisa and the other ladies learning about the business and getting my mixing and baking on!  For those who saw my happy announcement on my facebook page, you knew about my soon-to-be adventures in flour and frosting bliss, but for those of you who didn’t see the news,  yours truly has joined the Le Dolci team as the newest Icing Sugar queen in their cupcake, baking, and design studio!

Hailing from the UK, Le Dolci is Lisa’s cupcake and baking empire which now resides in the heart of downtown Toronto.  Located on Portland Street between King Street West and Wellington Ave., Le Dolci is a cupcake studio that specializes in teaching, catering, and creating a fun atmosphere to build relationships and baked goods!  Le Dolci hosts and organizes cupcake decorating and baking classes and parties, catering for corporate and personal events, and fun Iron Cupcake challenges for businesses who want to treat their employees to a day of team-building and fun!  Have you always dreamed about getting your girlfriends together for a day of cupcakes, frosting, and decorating with oodles of supplies and yummy goodies at your disposable?  Le Dolci is at your service.  Thinking about ordering cupcakes for a reception?  Done.  Yearning for a creative outlet to learn or perfect a baking or decoraing skill?  Also done!  The studio is so versatile because aside from cupcakes, Lisa and the girls host classes for baking cake pops, macarons, cookie decorating, and so much more.

My first day was so much fun.  With some of my favourite music playing in the studio, I helped Lisa, Miya, and Lisa’s mum with the basics today, making tubs of vanilla buttercream frosting in pretty pastel colours (a tub of white, bubblegum pink, pale yellow, and mint green) and oodles of freshly baked vanilla cupcakes for orders and events!  

Even though I do cupcake and cookie baking myself, this was such a different experience because for one thing, I was using a stand mixer (I use a hand held electric one at home because we just don’t have the counter space in our kitchen for one) and for another, we were making cupcakes and frostings in VERY large quantities.  Thanks to my foodie reading material, I’m well aware that baking in large quantities calls for a different way of measuring out ingredients, using mass “weight” measurements as opposed to cup measurements.  Even though I knew about this very important nugget of baking knowledge, today was the first time I actually had to utilize it and I know I probably sound like a nerd when I say this, but measuring out ingredients is so incredibly relaxing and therapeutic.

I have cake pop making in the near future and lots of experimenting, designing, and baking!  I’ve learned so much on the first day already and I can’t wait to help out in bringing some ideas the others are bouncing around to life, as well as creating some of my own.  It’s going to be a lot of fun posting more photos of everything we’re doing at the studio as we go along, so I’m definitely going to be adding to these posts!     

It’s hard to put into words how much being here means to me right now.  Scrapbooking, food, photographing food, cupcakes, baking, designing pretty things…they all make me so happy.  I’ve never felt good without a creative outlet.  To be soul-baringly honest, my life has felt so empty during times without art in it in some shape or form.  I struggled for years against my parents’ idea of what constituted a lucrative career versus my own aspirations and true loves, and I’ve worked really hard for my happiness.  Sometimes fate works out in peculiar ways and I am so grateful that things worked out and that I’m here, even if it may not forever.  Everything about my time at Le Dolci screams “ME!!” and it’s exciting because it’s just the beginning.

*****

Le Dolci is a private studio located at 75 Portland St., just east of Bathurst near King St. West.  The studio hosts cupcake decorating classes and handles catering for both corporate and personal events.  For more information on classes, schedules, rates, and more, visit their official website here and their Facebook page here.

Special thanks to my friend Sophie for the inspiration for the post title!