by Disney Magic Diva
Did I mention I have a sweet-tooth? Desserts are my downfall, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a dessert I won’t try. Especially if chocolate is involved. And because of my fondness for dessert, I enjoy baking. While I’d never be a candidate for MasterChef, I am perfectly capable of keeping our family (well, mostly me) satisfied with sweets. So, when I saw Amorette’s Patisserie was offering cake-decorating classes, I was excited to give it a try! The problem was the class was designed to be done with a friend, and although my husband is a prince when it comes to agreeing to my crazy ideas, he wasn’t especially excited about spending his precious Disney time at a cake-decorating class.
Like all things with Disney, dreams eventually do come true, and we finally had a trip planned which afforded an opportunity to enroll in the class. And my partner in crime…er…chocolate …would be my granddaughter, Grace! It seemed like an enchanting opportunity for the two of us to share a Disney experience. And cake of course. Don’t forget the cake.
If you haven’t been to Disney Springs to visit Amorette’s Patisserie, you probably aren’t alone. I’ve long admired the gorgeous pastries I see on the Disney Parks Blog and social media sites, and I’ve ventured by the shop and drooled as we rushed on to the next activity, but I had never had the chance to actually set foot in the bakery and really indulge in all the scrumptious delights.
The class is limited to just 7 teams, for a total of 14 people. It’s $149 per team and takes place from 9:00-10:30 am on select mornings (currently it’s so popular it’s offered five times a week!) Another point worth noting is that the character-inspired cake you will be decorating varies depending on the day. On Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday it’s the classic Mickey (which we did) and on Monday and Wednesday you’ll decorate an artist’s current seasonal Mickey (think Halloween, etc.)
We arrived a little early on the day of our class, and the bakery was still closed. We waited outside, along with a few other promising cake-decorators, and about 5 minutes before the class was to begin a chef came outside to check us in for the event. I was pleased to see the class was attended by all ages (Grace wasn’t the only tween) and a couple of the teams had men as well. Cake, after all, is non-discriminatory.
Once everyone was checked in, we were escorted into the bakery through the back entrance and offered our choice of beverages. Yep…this is cake-decorating at its best…with mimosas and Bellinis in hand! (There was also a choice of coffees, teas, and juices.) And I should note the beverages were complimentary and unlimited, so don’t be shy.
When we had received our drinks, we were directed to the front of the bakery. The tables which normally function as the customer dining area were set up with all the supplies we needed for our class. Each team chose a table for themselves and was encouraged to put on the aprons provided. We also wrote our names on a large cardstock name tent, so the pastry artists would know us, and on a smaller tent which stayed with our cake when it was whisked back to the kitchen and freezer periodically during our class.
The class began with a brief introduction of our two pastry artists, then bit about the history and vision of Amorette’s Patisserie. They also touched on what it is like to be a pastry artist for Disney and all the unique and challenging opportunities which arise. They mentioned developing the food items for Pandora last year and that they are currently working on some of the dishes which we will see in Galaxy’s Edge when it opens next year. (EEK!) It was extremely interesting to hear a “behind the scenes” viewpoint, and they were willing to answer any and all questions that they could.
We then got to the task at hand – learning what we would be doing to decorate our Mickey cake! The pastry artists explained each of the layers (I think there were 14?!) that are part of the cake, and how they create it step by step. They showed us the molds they use to get the perfect shape, (they don’t sell them, but suggested we check Amazon) and even revealed that Disney Imagineers were called in to create the perfect ear-shaped candy mold so it contoured precisely to the curvature of the dome (that one probably isn’t on Amazon.)
As we all sat there utterly impressed and intimidated, I had the feeling we were all thinking the same thing: “How on Earth am I gonna do THAT!?” The pastry artists were incredibly patient and encouraging, and to be honest made the process pretty much infallible for us amateurs. In addition to these awesome experts, there were also several other bakers who made sure we had all the icing, gloves, wipes, brushes, spatulas, and drinks – don’t forget the drinks – we needed at the exact moment we needed it. Given all that professional help, it was amazingly easy to create magical results.
As participants, we had all the fun of completing the “WOW” steps of the cake. All the actual baking and tedious prep work was done for us: we were able to just enjoy the fun. We learned that the glossy red finish is glaçage (a French word for “frosting”) and is also known as “mirror glaze.” “Mirror” is an appropriate description, because it is so shiny you could see your reflection! The glaçage is a liquid, and so to achieve the picture-perfect coating, you simply need to pour it over the top of the cake! Three coats of glaçage are required to get a true Mickey red, and between each coat the cake needed to be chilled. So, each team would pour their private pitcher of glaçage on their cake, then the pastry artists would gather the cakes and glaçage from each of us and transport it back to the kitchen to chill.
While our cakes were in the freezer each time, we worked on painting Mickey’s ears and buttons and learned about fondant, gelatin, and the importance of working at precise temperatures while working with candy. Whether you’re a novice baker or an aspiring professional, this class offers great tidbits of information and the chefs were very open and willing to share ideas and insight.
When our cakes were finally finished, they were placed in the display case of the bakery. (Grace was especially thrilled to see our cake on display!). We were then given the opportunity to shop in the bakery before they opened the doors to the public. If you have other plans in Disney Springs, Amorette’s is happy to keep your cake for you until you are ready to head home.
Once you’re ready to leave Disney Springs, your cake is placed in a beautiful, circular box which is specially designed to split open in the back. This way you can easily get your cake in and out of the box. If you’re traveling back to a resort, the cake will survive the bus ride and fit inside your resort room refrigerator. If you’re traveling home by car, the chefs suggested the cake would be fine for about an hour trip, but if longer you may want to secure a cooler and dry ice. If you are headed to the airport, you probably want to find some friends and share your cake immediately because Mickey and TSA just don’t get along very well. Silly TSA.
In addition to our cake, we were sent home with a goodie bag! Although the contents of the bag change from time to time, our bag included a box of macarons and a box of gigantic homemade chocolate chip cookies. Trust me…they were delicious!
Our cake-decorating experience at Amorette’s was a highlight of our trip, and one I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a fun morning outside of the parks. It was informative, relaxed, inspirational, fun, and delicious!
Are you ready to plan a trip to Walt Disney World Resort? Be sure to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel for a FREE quote! She can help with travel, hotel, tickets, FastPasses, dining, and even cake-decorating class. Now, let’s eat!
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