Friday, July 24, 2015

Cupcakes and Cocktails - Epicurean Hotel

I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post. Apparently I've been really busy through the month of July...

I found out the Epicurean was hosting another Cupcakes and Cocktails class with Chef Beth from Cloud 9 Confections. This time, the theme was summer flavors:

chocolate cake, graham cracker crust, spiked marshmallow filling, milk chocolate buttercream

orange vodka cake, swirled orange and vanilla cream buttercream

Strawberrry Daiquiri
strawberry daquiri cake, rum buttercream

I noticed there weren't any red velvet flavor mixes this time around, but I didn't let that deter me. I was really curious about the taste of the strawberry daiquiri cupcake. I've tried a s'mores cupcake variation before and while the Creamsicle is a classic summer time flavor, the daiquiri is a personal summer time favorite.

Menu for Cupcakes and Cocktails Summer Edition
Chef Beth demonstrated the s'mores cupcake for us and this time she actually used the oven! During the demo, we had a great time laughing about the Kitchenaid mixer speeds as well as personal habits, like licking the bowl after putting the cupcake batter in the tins. We also had a good discussion regarding substitutions of egg whites for whole eggs. I was proud of myself for being able to enlighten Chef Beth, a much more experienced chef than me (I wouldn't even consider myself a chef, haha). I have to say, I was very happy to be in a class with someone who was so open to input and information. I truly felt respected.

Okay, off my soap box and on to the cocktails!

Chocolate Martini paired with the S'mores cupcake

Strawberry Daiquiri paired with the Strawberry Daiquiri cupcake

Dreamsicle paired with the Creamsicle cupcake
I have to say, this time around the cocktails were more than on point. They were all delicious. During the first class, I felt that the last cocktail wasn't up to snuff, especially with the egg whites in the drink. However, this time around the cocktails were amazing! Each cocktail would go perfectly alone or with the cupcake it was paired with. Each cupcake also tasted very close to the cocktail it was being paired with. Overall, the cocktail bar was raised during this class. At the end of the class, I approached Chef Beth with some ideas about future cocktail cupcakes, like a cosmopolitan cupcake, a tequila sunrise cupcake, or even a midouri sour cupcake! We'll see what her next class includes, let's hope its one of my suggestions!

From top to bottom, Creamsicle, Strawberry Daiquiri, and S'mores
Overall, this class really impressed me. Not only did the class seem less formal, but I felt that Chef Beth also had more fun. The audience was more participatory, which helped lighten the environment of the class.

I highly recommend these classes to anyone in the Tampa Bay area. They are a great monthly activity for a girl's night out or even a date night.

Info on Cloud 9 Confections:
Made to Order Bakery
Telephone: 813.833.8002
Web: Cloud 9 Confections
Visit Cloud 9 Confections on Facebook.
Follow Chef Beth on Instagram @bethlukens