Friday, September 28, 2007

Christmas Cupcakes - Classes at Shermay's Cooking School

I'll be teaching Christmas Cupcakes, a demo class, at Shermay's Cooking School on 17 November 2007 (Saturday) and 18 November 2007 (Sunday) - the November schedule has all the details. The school has also recently opened bookings for the month of December (check out the December schedule here) - Christmas Cupcakes will be held on 1 December 2007 (Saturday), 2 December 2007 (Sunday), 15 December 2007 (Saturday), and 16 December 2007 (Sunday). For all inquiries, please call the school at +65 6479 8442 or email

As I'd mentioned earlier, thanks to this and Decorated Christmas Cookies, I've been breathing, sleeping and baking Christmas for the better part of this year! To say I'm really psyched about this series of festive classes would be an understatement.

The 4 cupcake recipes in luxurious holiday flavours are:

White Chocolate, Macadamia, Sundried Cranberry & Vanilla Blondie
The secret to the richness of these Madagascar Bourbon vanilla-perfumed buttery yellow beauties is Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate melted and folded right into the batter. And to bring it completely over the edge, it's seriously studded with goodies like toasted macadamias, sundried cranberries, and yet more morsels of white chocolate. Blondie batters, being so rich, are perfectly suited to being presented as the blissful two-bite wonder known as a cupcake. This one's a treat for lovers of chunks and add-ins.

Sticky Medjool Date & Guinness Stout Gingerbread with Crystallised Ginger
The smouldering, dark spiciness of this sticky gingerbread owes its heady depth to a generous slug of stout. The addition of Medjool dates makes these cupcakes moreishly moist whilst tempering their bittersweet nature. Meanwhile, tiny bits of crystallised ginger lend spicy zip.

Spiced Chocolate & Sour Cream
Sour cream makes for the most divinely tender cake crumb. This elegant chocolate cupcake batter is flavoured with Valrhona's peerless cocoa, underscored by a touch of pure coffee extract and Christmassy with the warmth of cinnamon.

Pumpkin with Pecans& Rum-Soaked Raisins
Possessing all the festive allure of pumpkin pie, but much faster to put together. Pumpkin puree ensures a soft and delicious cupcake. The pecans add welcome crunch and the raisins - plumped in a boozy bath of dark Jamaican rum - a lovely, succulent fruitiness.

I do think these cupcakes have enough personality to stand alone. But somehow, a naked cupcake is simply not very in keeping with the spirit of things - another time of the year perhaps. This time of the year, those sweet domes are just crying out for a thick blanket of white frosting, like so many snowcaps. To that end, 2 very versatile and useful toppings - a Classic Royal Icing (this snow white icing has many marvellous applications, as will be demonstrated at class), and a Rich Cream Cheese & Sour Cream Frosting (which, while not snow white - it's more ivory - is utterly delicious and very accommodating of different flavouring variations).

In terms of embellishment, I'm a big believer in keeping to the usual suspects - snowmen, Christmas trees, stars, holly, you get the idea - because I feel Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas if it weren't more about tradition and less about innovation. That said, trad emphatically does not have to mean boring. (And of course, it goes without saying that the various decorative techniques covered during the class can be practically applied to fashion edible ornaments as minimalist and modern as you please.)

The holiday cast of handmade fondant toppers includes


snowmen, igloos and Santa hats.

I adore the look of holly.

So holly - be it in the form of leaves, berries or wreaths - makes a star appearance.

I don't think anything heralds the advent of the winter solstice quite as beautifully.

And because cupcakes would make a wonderful gift and addition to the holiday table, I couldn't help but add a beribboned present (even better, a pile of presents),

and a voluptuous red bow or two.

Amongst the aforementioned multiple applications of royal icing, chic decorations with the delicate appearance of lace. Snowflakes,

Christmas trees, stars...anything you can draw, really, you can render as a royal icing design.

Of course, you may not be in the mood for the fiddly stuff - and frankly, between brining the turkey and the eleventh hour shopping scramble, few are. In which case, opt instead for one of the various easy-yet-effective decorative ideas. No fuss, no muss. These ideas prove that the super simple can also be very stylish.

Tall swirls of frosting can stand in for trees.

OK, I cheat. The above royal icing tree is not exactly the fastest one to do. But its sophisticated look belies the sheer simplicity of the technique - anyone who owns a leaf tip, can squeeze a piping bag repeatedly (and has a moment to spare), can whip up this number.

In case anyone's missing the fruitcake, here's the faux fruitcake - bejewelled with gleaming pieces of fruit and nut, and swaddled in baking parchment.

Snowballs are another easy choice.

As is a dusting of icing sugar.
Quite a handful will already be covered in class. On top of the above, the recipe pack also includes 4 bonus cupcake recipes (Espresso & Candied Orange; Chocolate & Marmalade; Tea-Infused Gingerbread; and Spiced Honey). I won't be demonstrating these during class (for all their deliciousness, they are a breeze to make), so will put up a post in the near future with more details on these extra recipes.


Blogger Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Wow, this morning I was cursing the fact that we are putting on heavy jackets, bringing out the down comforter and I can see my breath.

But then I saw your wonderful pictures.

I am actually a little excited to make cookies and spread holiday cheer. Thanks.

11:37 pm, September 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So inspirational! You are such a talent. I'll be there for the class! I think the November classes are already full. I'm glad I got in.

12:36 am, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Anita said...

Dear J,
Every time you post you manage to top yourself! I am getting such warm fuzzy holiday feelings just from looking at all your darling creations...your students are lucky indeed to have you teaching them!

P.S. It almost looks like you are spelling out your name in one of the cupcake photos...:)

1:09 am, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very pretty :)

2:04 am, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

breathtaking as usual. Looking at this spread of cupcakes have me craving cooler weather.

2:15 am, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Anne said...

Gorgeous. I only wish you lived in Los Angeles so I could benefit from your teachings!

2:56 am, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Hilda said...

Wonderful as always! I wondered, since I'm not crazy about fondant, is there any reason I couldn't make these decorations with marzipan instead?

3:07 am, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Chef Mom said...

I've never been in the holiday spirit so early in the season. You have absolutely inspired me...and gained a loyal reader at the same time!

3:13 am, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn you - those are SO adorable! I still find it hilarious that you're decorating cookies and cupcakes for Christmas already! Those tree cupcakes are beyond gorgeous!

5:07 am, September 28, 2007  
Blogger thepassionatecook said...

these look absolutely amazing, each and every one of them. my personal favourite, though, has to be the "drowning santa" ;-) how ever did you think of that?

5:48 am, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just want to say your post and pictures of your wonderful creations always make me smile :)


9:01 am, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Katherine said...

looking forward to attending your classes!

10:22 am, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi J,
Just wanted to say your imagination is incredible and your creativity boundless. I thought you had exhausted every possible angle in your gorgeous cookie post, but here you are to show us that possibilities are literally endless, limited only by one's capacity to dream beautiful dreams. This is all so very inspirational!

11:39 am, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Apex Zombie said...

Wow. Inspiring. Amazing. Wow.

5:31 pm, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG. I'll say it again. OMG. *speechless*

8:28 pm, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Bev and Ollie "O" said...

They are all so utterly fabulous! I love the swirly frosting tree the best!

You are so clever if you can teach people to make these! wow! x

11:06 pm, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Venus ~ Vi said...

Speechless......these are amazing creations (my favourite is the snowman, so adorable)!I wish I live in Singapore so that I can take you class!!!!!

1:21 am, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Michelle said...

My GOD, woman! You're incredible!!

7:29 am, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Cathy said...

Wow - everything is beautiful Jocelyn! I'm green with envy of all those able to attend your classes. You wouldn't consider relocating to the DC area would you? Or maybe just taking your show on the road? Oh well, I can dream can't I? ;)

9:37 am, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Sheryl said...

your cakes look too good to eat! do u make cupcakes for sale??

10:31 am, September 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I lived closer so that I could join your class! Such pretty things!


2:00 pm, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Manggy said...

Beautiful! I don't think a large royal icing tree is edible to anyone but the smallest, most active childrent though!

11:15 pm, September 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gorgeous... Amazing... I don't think I will master the skill even if I attend your class!

1:25 am, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely amazing art pieces! As I scrolled down this page, I was repeating many "ooohs" and "aaaahs". It would be heartbreaking to eat such beautiful cupcakes! One day I hope that you're able to share us your recipes. Just simply wonderful! I love your penguins and snowmen in particular.

4:13 am, September 30, 2007  
Blogger food makes me happy said...

oh my god these are so cute!

1:16 pm, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


When are you going to come to Toronto and teach some classes?!!! I hope you have cookbook plans because I can't think of anyone more ready and deserving for one!

7:14 pm, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear j, please do post an update if you will be doing repeat rounds of your waitlisted cupcake (level 1& level 2) and macaron classes - i'm sure i speak for many when i say i'm dying to attend!

8:38 pm, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think they're all adorable....but you're a Singaporean?? How are snowmans, holly and the Winter Solstice traditional for an Asian?!!

12:12 am, October 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Joycelyn - I must confess that I'm not someone who really looks forward to Christmas but your gorgeous creations have converted me - everything looks so beautiful and festive!

Take care and enjoy the classes, I'm still hoping we can meet up somehow ;)

3:23 am, October 01, 2007  
Blogger Foodie Tales said...

Stuning pics! If it is possible, I am sure they taste better than they look. Eleanor

7:45 am, October 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh goodness, how do you get those details down to their finest?? Everything looks so incredible and real. That's why I keep commenting that you have the steadiest pair of hands! I'm so looking forward to your macarons class this weekend! Yippee!

12:32 pm, October 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

seriously, you are OUT OF THIS WORLD! these cakes are INSANE! i can't believe anyone would dare to eat such beautiful looking creations! i am totally in awe of your amazing skills

6:54 pm, October 01, 2007  
Blogger Kajal@aapplemint said...

wow this stuff looks too good to be true. So pretty and gorgeous ! definately makes me look fwd to Christmas :D

10:27 pm, October 01, 2007  
Blogger Merav said...

abosolutely beautiful! these cakes are stunning, a true talent!

1:40 am, October 02, 2007  
Blogger islandgirl4ever2 said...

Beatiful beyond words... Where is this Cooking School? Is it in the Paris region?) If so, I'm signing up!!!--- Leesa

2:02 pm, October 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where is shermay's cooking school?

check out delicious chocolate and snacks updates

5:33 pm, October 04, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am dsigging that gingerbread cupcake. Love the idea of crystalized ginger, dates, and stout.

11:26 pm, October 04, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jocelyn, you are amazing! One almost needs a guided tour on this blog! WOW!


2:10 pm, October 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at your Macarons & Biscotti class today. I really learned a lot and enjoyed it! You gave very clear explanations and are a patient teacher.

I'll also be there for Decorated Cookies and Christmas Cupcakes. Thanks for teaching all these classes. It has taught me to enjoy the benefit of my family and friends!

2:14 am, October 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I was at your class yesterday - wonderful experience. I must admit, when I first saw you walk in (it was the first time I attended one of your classes), I was a bit skeptical because of your appearance (so slim and delicate looking!). But then you started teaching and I completely changed my impression - for a small lady, you sure can project your voice ! (which is great, especially for those of us sitting way at the back) But besides speaking clearly and being so generous with details and explanations, you were so incredibly patient with every single question asked. And like so many others, I can't help but be inspired with how neat and meticulous your baking and preparation process is

8:53 am, October 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!!! I'm amazed by your @#?!#$@ (can't find a term for it) talent!!! MY GOD, to know that you taught yourself how to make all these beauties simply BLEW my mind!!!!

Could you please!!!!! teach me how to make the penguins on your cupcake??? it's just that my friend's bday is coming up and i wanna make those penguins for her as she adores all things PENGUINS!!!! *i think she'll pass out when she sees the cute lil' penguins you created! :)*

i'm in australia atm ,so i couldn't attend your classes...:( all the singaporeans are soo utterly blessed to have the oppurtunity for you to be their cooking teacher!!

Pls reply if you are able to do so!! Thanks....

my email:

6:05 pm, October 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto! You're a great teacher. I learned a lot from the class. Looking forward to attending more!

3:06 am, October 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm here to chime in to the chorus of praise for your classes! now i understand why there's a waitlist and they are so popular (i waited from may to attend the macaron&biscotti class just held over the wkend.) but very well worth the wait!!!

10:21 am, October 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

such a beautiful christmas bounty. love the pictures !

12:59 pm, October 09, 2007  
Blogger Parisbreakfasts said...

What FUN Joycelyn!
I just posted on a macaron class at Lenotre..I'd love to know if you have any thoughts to add, since you're an expert :)

4:38 pm, October 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi - Just found you today and had to say what gorgeous cakes and biscuits. From the snowmen right down to the birthday cake cookie favours at the bottom of the page.

6:29 pm, October 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make the most gorgeous things I've ever seen! How long have you been baking for?

11:13 am, October 12, 2007  
Blogger Mahek said...

how i wish i could be able to attend those classes , i have been facinated by cupcakes of late but in india there are no such classes available , you should come to india to teach us.

12:33 pm, October 16, 2007  
Blogger Margaux Salcedo said...

your cupcakes are GORGEOUS! wish you could come to manila!

3:45 am, October 17, 2007  
Blogger sweet-tooth said...

wow! the cupcakes look awesome :D

7:26 pm, October 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I nearly drooled all over my keyboard - these are amazing!

1:25 am, October 25, 2007  
Blogger Valentina said...

Joycelyn, I have finally managed to start visiting the English language blog world again. And coming here is so WONDERFUL. How fantastic to see your work. beautifully inspiring.

10:57 pm, October 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I LOVE the penguins! Joycelyn, you continue to amaze...can you ship?!

10:12 am, October 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Joycelyn,

I have been reading your blog for some time now, am truly enticed by your cupcake creations. May I ask if you would kindly agree to making some pretty cupcake for my 21st birthday. It is in May 2008. Really hope to receive a reply from you. Thank you!


2:34 pm, October 29, 2007  
Blogger Chubbypanda said...

OMG. Those are too cute to eat. I really love the penguins.

2:50 am, October 30, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi J,

I've never really thought of cup cakes much. But looking at these delightful pictures of your cup cakes have changed my mind! I'm now inspired and would like to try making your dates & gingerbread cup cakes and decorate it in your delightful holly leaves with the letters JOY on it. I live in HK and will not be able to attend your cooking classes. Could you send me your recipe for the cup cake and icing please?

I have a open day christmas party coming up - your cup cakes would be a wonderful table setting!

8:41 am, November 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm in love with your blog and all the things you do.....and all this Xmas cupcakes and cookies...I just wish it was Xmas all year round!!

It is a shame I live in Italy and I cannot go to your classes. Is there any chance you can e-mail me a recipe or a suggestion at least for the decoration part?? i would love that.
Do you by chance do any class close to Italy or better just say Europe I can travel anywhere to learn.

Thanks for your inspiration.

Here is my mail:

5:32 pm, November 15, 2007  
Blogger gayle said...

I just came across your blog. These are GORGEOUS!!! Wow!
I am officially a dedicated reader. :)

3:26 pm, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi, im a home baking enthusiast and your level of skill is something i definitely aspire to!

hope you dont mind i've a couple of qns bout the beautiful cupcakes and christmassy cookies pictured in this and the previous post..
1.for the swirls of frosting with the star on top, may i ask what sort of frosting is it? it doesnt quite look like royal icing nor whipped cream.....

2. in your previous post you made a stunning christmas tree. may i ask if you used royal icing to "glue" the cookies together? thanks!

10:01 pm, November 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not know how to even bake a basic cupcake, so can I still attend ur Dec lesson at Shermay's? Or do u conduct hands on cupcake baking and decoration class?

Hope to hear from u soon.


1:54 am, November 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...everything you do is gorgeous!

10:23 pm, November 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly enjoed your weblog and especially name, Kuidaore!!! I think there are many kuidaore place in Singapore and as for me, people there are eating all day long but they were slim!!! Look forward to your update!!!

1:45 pm, November 30, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for this! For those of us who lack the skill - or time, but love cupcakes, do you have any recommendations on where to buy them in Singapore? Thanks much! -mei

9:47 pm, December 15, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi, you can try

They make lovely cupcakes! But i personally love their gingerbread cookies even more! hehheh

4:03 am, December 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could do such amazing cakes!!! You're fabulous!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I'm sure that you'll marvelously decorate your home! Hope to see photos!

7:45 pm, December 18, 2007  
Blogger Fairyskull In Cucina con Me said...

Wonderful !!!

4:34 am, December 04, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks so much for the wonderful ideas! i had tons of fun making penguin cupcakes

11:30 am, December 15, 2008  

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