Friday, December 25, 2015

Cupcakes and Cocktails - Epicurean Hotel

Christmas was always another holiday that wasn't consistently celebrated when I lived in Orlando. Of course, when I was younger we celebrated every year, giving gifts and having lots of family over. When I was in high school though it seemed that the level of celebration started dwindling every year. Once my brother and I were in university, it became more of a vacation for our family to get together rather than actually celebrating Christmas. Unlike Thanksgiving, I do love all the wonderful Christmas flavors. Eggnog, hot cocoa, gingerbread, and all the other wonderful Christmas and holiday flavors were always my favorite part (you know, besides the gifts). I couldn't wait to see what Chef Beth had in store for the December Cupcakes and Cocktails class.

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes:
hot chocolate cake, peppermint bark, peppermint buttercream

The most exciting part of the December class had to be the hands on component. We got to make our very own peppermint bark! 

Peppermint Bark station

Melting the semi-sweet chocolate
Melting the white chocolate

The final product!
The making of the peppermint bark was so much easier than I expected. I had tried making my own a few times and it was quite the ordeal. I never perfected the double boiler technique, but with the tips from Chef Beth, I think I can do it at home now! After the hands on portion, we sat back at our seats to watch Chef Beth demonstrate the hot cocoa cupcakes with peppermint frosting.

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes with Peppermint Frosting 

 Even though the cupcakes didn't have alcohol in them, they were amazing. Peppermint is by far one of my favorite holiday treats and being able to not only make my own but to make a cupcake version was a delight. The cocktails during the class were a delight too. They had white chocolate martinis and spicy milagro hot chocolate. It was a wonderful night to kick off the holiday season, even if the weather here in Tampa makes it feel like summer!

This was by far one of my favorite classes, with the hands on component and the addition of white chocolate and peppermint bark...there was no way I wouldn't love this class! I look forward to celebrating my birthday month with Chef Beth, I can't wait to see what she has in store for us in the new year!

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