Disclaimer: cooking classes are not my thing. I do perfectly well with Professor Television and Professor Google. The world is at my fingertips, thanks to my classmates at Chowhound and Yahoo! Answers. Best of all, the cost of my culinary education is the equivalent of my cable and Internet bill. Welcome to the digital age!
Yet I decided to step out of my life of screen-jumping to attend a cupcake class at ButterLane.
For the uniformed (which included myself pre-cupcake class): ButterLane is a cupcake shop with outlets in the East Village and Park Slope. Their cupcakes are super light and fluffy with a crisp top, fresh frosting and crazy flavors.
They offer how-to classes, one of which I attended with a group of fellow food bloggers run by my friend Mallory from Total Noms.
I have to admit that I had a good time. The class was separated into three groups: chocolate, vanilla and banana. You grab and apron and choose your favorite. No frills: metal benches, no chairs — you stand and you will like it!
I settled into the banana table, and met my banana-loving baking partners and everything we would possibly need to make…cupcakes.
A pleasant girl named Olivia instructed the class in a very matter-of-fact way. There was no doubt that she has a special love for her craft. Growing up she “never played with play dough, just brioche dough.” I could only assume that I was in good hands. She gave us clear instructions with interesting tips and tricks if her trade. And after our “manly splashes” of vanilla and careful mixing, we were elbow deep in her world.
Before I knew it, we had made 6 different flavors of frosting and were perfecting ButterLane’s “tap ‘n turn” technique for frosting cupcakes.
By this time, we were all several glasses of wine in (oh, did I forget to mention the complimentary wine? Shame on me!), so let’s just say we were very friendly and silly. We were given two cupcakes of each flavor (plus two extra of our choice) and mixed and matched our frostings.
After just two hours, we had collectively baked and frosted a grand total of 144 cupcakes, and while I am still far from a professional, I am definitely much more informed.
So was it worth it?
They give you tips and tricks that I probably could have found on the Internet. But sometimes relishing the convenience of the new “digital age” gets old, and some good ol’ fashioned community building is necessary. I had a fabulous time, I met some really great people, and I got to take home 8 pretty amazing cupcakes.
Special thanks to Olivia and everyone at ButterLane and CourseHourse!
More info on the class here.