A while back (it's taken me ages to post this!) I was invited to help decorate some cupcakes and go for afternoon tea in Cheltenham with AO.com. So I jumped on a train and headed down there with no real idea of what exactly the cupcake decorating portion of the day would involve. After getting off the train I took a taxi to a remote studio down a winding lane, and this is what I found...
Paul Hollywood's face being constructed out of cupcakes! I was so impressed at how the face had been put together and the level of detail that had been achieved by using cupcakes. The piece of food art was being created by Food is Art by Prudence. Prudence and her company make life size models of people out of chocolate and cheese, as well as various portraits like the above out of different food items like fruit, chocolate and cheese.
Prudence showed us how she wanted us to decorate the cupcakes with both buttercream and AO.com green coloured fondant.
Along with Sus from Rough Measures and Amy from AO.com, I got stuck into decorating the cupcakes with some chocolate buttercream. I've decorated a lot of cupcakes in my time, so this was fun and easy for me. I whizzed through it and decorated a whole bunch of them. Prudence said I was hired! (If only the commute wasn't 3 hours!!)
I then moved onto fondant, which I am much less confident with. I decided to do my name in fondant on top of the cupcakes and I was really pleased with how it turned out, now to get it into the portrait...
Woohoo my name made it into the portrait!
Watch the full video of the construction of the portrait, including the final result above. You can also see more photos over on AO's blog by clicking here.
We headed to the absolutely gorgeous Ellenborough Park afterwards for afternoon tea. We got so lucky as it was an absolutely beautiful day. It is such a stunning venue and I can imagine it being perfect for weddings, a romantic getaway or a girls weekend. They have hotel and spa facilities there too.
We got the champagne afternoon tea and it was so damn good! The champagne (I wish I knew the brand) was really delicious, and this is coming from someone who is not a huge fan of champagne/sparkling wine. I had the ham and mustard and salmon sandwiches as a couple of the girls were vegetarian so I took care of the meat ones.
There were then four different types of scones, all served warm with jam and clotted cream. I'm not sure which scones I had, but I thoroughly enjoyed them!
Finally we moved onto the cakes. There was a delightful carrot cake, a swiss roll with a very clever pattern on the outside, a mini chocolate tart that was very delicious, and a beautifully bright purple macaron. I was very full but very happy by the end!
I went home with a copy of Paul Hollywood's new book - Pies & Puds. I read it on the train home and I'm definitely going to give some of the recipes a go. It was such a fun day and I feel very lucky to have been a part of this unique project. Let me know what you think of the cupcake portrait in the comments!