Summertime, And the livin' is easy
I often feel extremely fortunate to be doing what I do. Quite aside from having lucked out and finding the perfect reason to obsess as much about dessert as I already do, I find many aspects of the flurry of preparations leading up to a class such as this thoroughly enjoyable. One of my favourite aspects has to be the delicious dilemma I find myself in when trying to shortlist which recipes might fit the bill - so many recipes, so little time, especially bearing in mind that each session is about 3 hours long. Which is where the bonus recipes come in handy, by letting me sneak in an extra recipe or two or three that I may not have time to show-and-tell, but are so easy and so useful to know I feel compelled to include them. Often, these are chosen based on their ability to give "mileage" to the main recipes being demonstrated, allowing a minor tweak here and there to give a brand new spin to the dessert in question. I like to think of it in wardrobe terms - you don't always need a new frock to feel like you're wearing a new frock, sometimes all a girl needs is a new pair of killer heels (or insert whatever else is your accessory fetish) to feel like she's breathed life into her capsule collection of beloved old staples.
If I could possibly sum up the mood of this particular line-up in one word (ok, more like a string of words...remember, I can't even keep myself to a set recipe count!), it would be retro, nostalgic, and comforting. The bulk of preparation prior to class itself (ie. when I actually have to be physically present at the school) takes place within the confines of my own kitchen, where I've been - you've guessed it - listening to Gershwin jazz standards while I bake as of late!
The Lemon Grove Cupcakes can be topped by a Rose Water Glaze - quite aside from the affinity the flavours have for each other, I'll confess that I was quite simply taken by the new rose water from Nielsen-Massey and wanted to include a recipe using it.
The classic coconut layer cake gets an exotic island cocktail spin thanks to a pineapple filling flavoured with lime, dark rum and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla bean...
Presto, a Piña Colada Cake!
Done as cupcakes, I couldn't resist sticking in a paper brolly - I hope I'm not the only person around here with a weakness for naff cocktails!