The Cupcake Connection, Vol.009 – New Places, Spaces & Faces Featuring Prairie Girl Bakery, Cupcakes Leaside & Le Dolci!

1 Comment

Prairie Girl Bakery in Toronto on King Street East.

Welcome to Part II of this spring’s first Cupcake Connection where we’re talking new places, spaces, and faces!  *NEWS FLASH*: Prairie Girl Bakery is expanding – again!  That’s right folks, the cupcake queen of Toronto’s downtown core with its two existing locations, is opening its 3rd location further up north in YORKVILLE!  Set to open at the end of the month, Prairie Girl will be opening its doors and wafting out the sweet scents of golden buttermilk and dark cocoa cupcakes while rubbing elbows with Louis Vuitton, COACH, Burberry,  and others at BLOOR STREET WEST & AVENUE ROAD!  Can you tell I’m ecstatic?!  Prairie Girl Bakery.  With a 3rd location.  In Yorkville.  You guys know what this means.

I can stuff my face with cupcakes while shopping my heart out at MAC and Sephora and Williams Sonoma and Whole Foods and…and…*catches breath*

BREATHE, DEB.

Prairie Girl Bakery cupcakes, Black Forest and Cherry Cheesecake cupcakes and Treats of the Week

Black Forest on Dark Cocoa and Cherry Cheesecake on Golden Buttermilk. Both on Prairie Girl Bakery’s Treats of the Week menu!

Prairie Girl Bakery mini cupcakes in Chocolate Peppermint and Cookies and Cream

Prairie Girl Bakery mini cupcake heaven – Chocolate Peppermint and Cookies and Cream.

This is so exciting!!  I got the news from Amy at Prairie Girl (thank you, Amy!) and almost started doing the Elaine dance from Seinfeld.  It’s just so perfect.  It’s within the heart of Yorkville, one of the best places to window shop and stroll in the summer, it’s walking distance from Queen’s Park (hello, perfect cupcake picnic area!), and close to so many of my favourite shopping, strolling, and eating destinations (I’m looking at you Annex, Kensington Market, Fresh, and Mela!).  I can’t wait to visit their new location and of course, I’ll report back with photos of the shop and of whichever delightful frosted confection I decide to sink my sweet teeth into on that particular day.  Keep your eyes on the cupcake for more details to come!

While Prairie Girl is set to open their new, 3rd location in the city, one cupcake shop has set up shop for the very first time in Toronto, this time on the east end in Leaside at 85 Laird Drive.  If you haven’t already, give a warm welcome to Cupcakes by Heather & Lori!  Known as The Cupcake Girls on their W network television show, Heather and Lori hail from Vancouver with 6 cupcake shops under their belt in BC alone!  I haven’t paid a visit to the shop yet but I’ve definitely given their site (www.cupcakesonline.com) more than one look-see and there are so many flavours I want to try: Lava Flow (raspberry chocolate with cream cheese frosting and raspberry dollop); Blue Hawaii (blue vanilla frosting and coconut); Raspberry Beret (raspberry filled lemon cake with lemon frosting and raspberry dollop); and Pecan Brownie (pecan brownie cake with caramel and chocolate chips inside and dolloped with cream cheese frosting).

Cupcakes Online. Leaside. website

Cupcakes Leaside and their adorable website!

I’m really looking forward to paying them my first visit not just because it’s a cupcake shop that looks adorable and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside but because Leaside is an area that I haven’t really explored yet.  With the exception of going to Rahier and Patisserie La Cigogne on Macaron Day, the area is practically unchartered territory for me so there will be so much to see and do when I do end up going.

And since we’re on the topic of brand spankin’ new, our dear Le Dolci has introduced a slew of new classes to their already fab selection!  New to their cupcake class line-up: Cupcake Bouquets!  This class is meant to unleash every ounce of creativity in you as you create edible works of art.  Completely floral-themed, the cupcake bouquet class with have you creating cupcake bouquets for centrepieces, sweet tables, gifts and more as you learn how to pipe floral patterns with buttercream.  If you were to take this class and Le Dolci’s Advanced Piping Techniques class where you practice piping roses, pansies, and daffodils, you’d be a whiz at piping flowers and basically creating cupcake floral arrangements!  The first Cupcake Bouquet Making and Arrangement class is set for May 12 from 12pm-2pm and is priced at $80 +HST/person. 

Flowers and cupcakes at Le Dolci on Dundas Street West in Toronto.

:Le Dolci cupcake studio storefront on Dundas Street West in downtown Toronto.

And so concludes the first Cupcake Connection of the spring and summer seasons.  I can’t wait to see what the next several months bring!

Advertisements

New Year, New Cupcake Projects at Le Dolci – Fun With Colourful Fondant Cupcake Toppers!

Leave a comment

A new year means new cupcake projects at Icing Sugar Tower, Le Dolci studio!  The last time I shared my sugary adventures was back in November and December when I was cake popping my way to Christmas with sprinkles and melted chocolate during the holidays.  It was such a fun class to be a part of and it definitely ranked as one of my favourite Le Dolci memories and experiences. 

After a bit of Christmas time off, the Le Dolci crew started 2012 with a bang with cupcake orders, private parties, and corporate cupcake catering.  Add to that a whole slew of macaron, cupcake, and cake decorating classes scheduled well into March and you have yourself one very busy studio!  Upcoming classes include new kid on the block, Mini Fondant Cake Decorating; all-time favourites Marvelous Macarons and Designer Cupcakes; and sweet and seasonal Valentine’s cupcakes and cake pops.  With a growing team, a sparkly new online store, and more and more cupcake baking going on in the Dolci oven every week, the new year is looking bright!  And bright was certainly the name of the game when I made these happy-go-lucky fondant cupcake toppers!

Toppers on cupcakes! Created by Miya

Not only do we jazz up cupcakes with pretty, colourful swirled frosting but we also design beautiful fondant cupcake toppers!  Cute, sophisticated, bright, subdued, romantic, feminine – whatever the mood or look, fondant cupcake toppers set the cupcake decorating bar high with an endless array of colours, styles, shapes, tools, and techniques to work with.  Icing sugar queens, Lisa and Miya, along with Cat (queen bee of Sugar Baking.com) have created fondant cupcake toppers for past Le Dolci classes including Vintage, Designer, and Christmas and this time around, I designed the ones for a special 4-dozen order.  The theme?  Children and kid-friendly!  Well, colour me excited!  I set up my mini work station, grabbed a placemat along with tools, jars of fondant icing colouring, tooth picks, and fondant, and a smattering of children’s themed and kid-friendly cutters: duckies, turtles, trains, rabbits, stars, flowers, and butterflies among others.

I’ll give a more in-depth and thorough tutorial later on in the future, but non-3D fondant toppers are basically created by rolling out fondant icing to the desired thickness, plunging different shaped cutters into the rolled fondant, and letting the fondant air-dry and harden on its own.  Toppers like the ones I made start with a base (maybe a circle, a scalloped circle, a square, or a flower if you so wish) and the rest is completely up to you depending on theme you’re working with or the assortment of cutters you have or want to use.  3D toppers aren’t out of the question though!  Even if you don’t have the time (or, let’s face it, the patience) to construct a dozen 3D trains, you can inject a little 3Dness into the mix by layering and making simpler 3D shapes like bows.  I wasn’t going for a 3D look with these.  Nope, my mission was to design super bright, happy, cheerful, colourful toppers!  

If you don’t have pre-coloured fondant, you can acheive the colours you want by using fondant icing colouring (Wilton has a rainbow of colours that you get at baking and craft shops).  Remember the fondant martini olives I made back in September?  The process of colouring fondant is exactly the same; hurray for toothpicks!  I worked with a primary colour palette of pink, yellow, and blue with secondary shades of purple and green thrown in along with some white to balance out all the colour.  I had myself some fun and the results are down below.  Not bad for a day’s work 😉

*****

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.