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What I’ve learnt by Tracey-Ann Edwards

Clairellacakes was started by Claire Anderson.  Claire studied Art & Design at college and specialised in illustration & product design, working her way up to director level in technical recruitment.

Claire is a multi gold award winning artist at Cake International and has recently opened her own Cake School.

What did Tracey learn from the course?

  1. Tips on making different consistencies of royal icing
  2. How to make your own piping bag
  3. How to pipe contour lines with confidence
  4. Flooding cookies with royal icing
  5. Making edible decorations
  6. How to mix your own airbrush colours
  7. Airbrushing cookies with stencils, shading & airbrushing decorations
  8. A cookie recipe to keep
  9. Also to remember to actually breathe!  Especially when you are a piping an edge line around a large reindeer 🙂

Tracey-Ann Edwards visited Clairella Cakes new classroom this year for a cookie class, Cake Life Online chatted to Tracey-Ann about her experience at the class.

Each year I like to learn a new skill and as a present to myself.  I love to go to classes and do cake tutorial courses. After doing some workshops over the past couple of years for modelling and floral work, I was embarrassed to say that I had never picked up a piping bag to master Royal Icing. The thought of it terrified me, so when I saw that Claire was doing a Christmas Cookie Class, which was very local to me, I thought I would enquire. From the first Facebook message to her, I knew she was the one I wanted to face my fear with! She was so friendly and put my mind at ease straight away and knowing how quickly her classes get booked, I bit the bullet and reserved my place straightaway.

I arrived at Clairella new cake school in Great Wakering, Essex, I immediately felt relaxed; it was such a lovely calm atmosphere with all her beautiful cakes on display and being so close to Christmas she had all the twinkle lights and decorations around, it was just so gorgeous.

 We started by learning about different royal icing consistencies for line work and flooding  Claire had already prepared the cookies for us to start working on the day before, but we had the recipe for these in our worksheets, which were provided for us to take home.

There were already some accomplished “royal icers” in the class but I didn’t feel out of my depth at all.  Claire covered everything from how to make a parchment piping bag, techniques on how to hold and work with the bags, through to tips on how to produce clean lines as well as tricks of the trade when you make a mistake. Claire was very hands on and explained every step clearly and thoroughly and answered all our questions including which size tip we were using for each part and how to use a scribe to tease the icing to the lines. We then had an airbrushing lesson on how to mix paints, also how to work with stencils, different modelling and flower pastes for various parts of the design. I learnt so many different techniques during the course.

We stopped for a lovely lunch which was provided for us and opened a bottle of Prosecco to wet the “new cake schools” head, it was the first class that had been hosted in her new premises, which made the day that much more special for me.

We were provided with all the tools to produce our adorable Christmas cookies;  we literally just turned up and got to work. I’ll admit I was a little bit scared and overwhelmed, as I was a complete novice, I walked in there not knowing a thing about royal icing but I now have the confidence to produce decorated cookies and offer these to my paying clients, so this little investment for me will pay for itself in no time. I now have a new passion for royal icing all thanks to Claire.

I would definitely recommend this course it was perfect not only to learn a new skill, but also to get you into the Christmas spirit too, my cookies have taken pride of place on my tree!