This isn't a recipe today, but I HAD to share with you my day out yesterday with none other than the very lovely Holly Bell.
I had a truly amazing day yesterday (29th). Two reasons; it was my mum's 74th birthday and we had a family meal out, but before that I attended a course on cupcake decorating with Holly Bell (one of the finalists from the Great British Bake Off).
The theme of the day was creatures & flowers. We were welcomed by the very smily (and very genuinely warm & friendly) Holly at Bridge 67 Cookery School in Smeaton Westerby, Leics. We enjoyed a bite of breakfast over coffee, tea and juice, where we introduced ourselves and were presented with our itinerary and the most comprehensive & detailed set of instructions you could hope for.
Our day in the kitchen then began with a demonstration of Holly's recipe to make the cupcakes. Then it was our turn to make ours. 12 cupcakes made & cooling later and it was on to making the fondant decorations.
Following a demonstration and with the aid of the wonderfully detailed set of instructions, we first cut some butterflies, flowers & leaves, formed them & left the to dry. (Forgot to photograph these, sorry!)
Next came the cutest little snails. I was surprised that mine did actually look like snails and not just strange slugs, but they really did! *happy dance*
We moved on to ladybirds & rose buds, followed by tortoises and plant pots. By now we were all flying with confidence under Holly's expert guidance.
A break for lunch brought us beautifully crafted & presented sandwiches, crisps and home made biscuits to die for! There was even a glass of wine for those who wanted it!
Back into the kitchen afterwards we made buttercream that was as smooth and light you could float away as if on a cloud.
Now the assembly began! The buttercream was tinted as green as grass in the sunniest of meadows and our we 'planted' our roses and sat our ladybirds down in the sun beside them.
We rolled fondant & impressed a wood grain effect ready to place our snails; complete with a leaf or two to munch on.
Green fondant became grass on which our tortoise sat beside a pretty little plant pot of blooms.
A white full moon background became home to our owls; resting on a branch being all wise and seeing.
While others made ducks, I made robins and sat them on the sea of a swirly blue bird bath.
Holly taught us to pipe 'roses', 'swirls' and 'high hat' with buttercream on which we 'landed' our butterflies before we painted, glitzed and embellished them to shine & sparkle.
We were given lovely gold cake boxes into which we brought our creations home to share with our loved ones.
Mine came with us to the restaurant (complete with my cake stand) as a centrepiece for mum's birthday. Mum loved them & they also received admiring glances and complimentary remarks from the waiters & waitresses too.
We sadly had to leave Holly and the cookery school at 5:15pm, but not before we were each given a bag of her wonderful homemade biscuits to enjoy later with a cup of tea.
Armed with the wonderful memory of a fantastic day with a fabulous teacher in the company if some truly talented and lovely ladies, not to mention incredibly detailed notes for our future creations, we hugged and sadly said our farewells. Not goodbye but see you again in the future!
Holly, I wish you the best of everything I would hope for myself. You have a wonderful personality, a kind nature & a skill in presentation & teaching that many would envy! May your future take you to the moon & back. Your butterfly wings have grown; let them unfurl and you will fly!
Love, hugs and thanks xxx