I love baking, but somehow my efforts are never Pinterest worthy. There was that upside down cake that ended up on the bottom of the oven, the pancakes that somehow ended up penis shaped or even the Joy Free Bitch Cake* that was more of a political statement than a baking masterpiece. But I love baking, I enjoy it for the stress release and as a way to show your friends how much you love them. I just wish I could make something pretty.
Enter Anges De Sucre stage left.
I have been following Anges De Sucre on Instagram for a while now, there is nothing like drooling over a three storied maximalist cake to make you happy on your lunch break. But I always thought that level of mastery was unreachable for a casual baker like me…until I saw that Anges De Sucre had started doing cake decorating classes. This was my chance to transform myself into a bad-ass cake dribbling ninja.
So the drunk part.. well by now you lovely readers should know that I am ever so slightly a light weight. Coffee I can drink endlessly, alcohol I turn into a philosophising evangelist who loves everyone and can’t stand up without assistance. I knew things were going to go very well with the cake decorating, the very precise cake decorating, when I arrived at the Kensington bakery and there was a bottle of prosecco waiting for me.
I was going to play it totally cool and just sip away all night. But then when confronted by a naked cake that I was expected to ice without totally ruining it….well let’s just say that dutch courage was needed. And yes I do realise quite how pathetic it is to need courage to ice a cake, but when you have spent the better part of the year stalking the perfect creations on Instagram this is a high stakes scenario.
Interesting fact for you, when Anges De Sucre asks you to dirty-ice a cake after you down a glass of prosecco you brain will interpret this in some NSFW ways. Turns out this just means filling the cracks in the cake with a kick-ass butter cream icing – yeah it was a different kind of dirty to where my brain went. After dirty icing we covered the two layered chocolaty beast in butter cream and then scraped off most of our hard work to get that half naked look that is so on fleek right now. And also to get the sharp right angle on the top icing so I could dribble chocolate off it later. Then my work of art was put in the fridge for five minutes to harden the fuck up. This cake was going to turn into the Ghetto-Riche Salted Caramel Chocolate cake it needed to be a hard core bad-ass (actually just a bit chilly to make a decorating easier, but…you know what I meant right?).
After genteelly sipping on more prosecco (its Christmas, overindulgence it totally allowed) it was time to spray-paint pretty much everything gold. Ok so I was supposed to just spray paint the Oreos, Rolos, Maltesers and Macarons that were going to decorate the cake gold, but since when have I ever been that coordinated when tipsy? Let’s just say that by the time I was done with the edible gold spray paint the entire Anges De Sucre shop (where the class takes place) was covered in gold. Literally. The POS machine was looking mighty festive by the time I was done with it.
Now for the chocolate. Turns out this awesome chocolate dribble effect is deceptively simple, and all you need for it is a clear heart, calm mind and a tablespoon. After putting 9 tablespoons of melted chocolate in the middle of the cake it was all pushed out from the centre using the back of the spoon, until like a single girl at a Christmas wedding it was within 1mm of the edge. Then take a moment to steady your nerves (aka, more Prosecco) because you are about to face more pressure than ever before, its time to dribble. Using the back of the spoon you gently create ripples in the chocolate, forcing a smidge over the edge at a time. Little by little you work your way around the cake, stopping in the middle to swear a lot and have a massive freak out when you think your dribbles are too thick, until the entire cake is evenly dribbled.
Then the pressure is really on, before the chocolate hardens you have to do ALL THE DECORATING. With supervision and constant reassurance I started placing my doughnuts and golden treats on the cake; at one point I actually clapped my hands together like a nutter because I was so happy with how it was looking. Decorating the Ghetto-Riche raised some unexpected id/ego/super-ego questions, as I had to make the split second decision whether to put that extra salted-caramel macaron on the cake or in my month. Let’s just say the cake suffered for the whim of the id.
After two hours of prosecco, panicking, Christmas banter and cake-doubts my masterpiece was complete. I was totally in love with the finished product, to the extent that I yelled at a man who jostled me on the tube home because I was so protective of it. Thanks to Anges De Sucre for a brilliant night out, for teaching me to become a cake decorating ninja and for not yelling at me when I covered your shop in edible gold paint. Oh and also thanks to Anges De Sucre for making me the most popular girl in the office…the cake was demolished in under five minutes.
*Ok so this was a cake that I made for work, we had been given a talk from a sugar-free expert about how to transform our lives by giving up sugar. I took issue with this and made a three layer cake full of ALL THE SUGAR AND THE FAT and called it the Joy Free Bitch Cake…it was eaten by 9:05am.