FOUR hours passed by in a flash when I was decorating cupcakes.
It is probably down to the fact it is great fun, but it might also be because it is also highly addictive and incredibly therapeutic.
There is also a strong possibility the time flew by because I was so over-excited at having found a legitimate hobby that involves cake – one of my great passions!
I went along to a cupcake decorating class as part of our new Up for the Challenge feature, where our reporters are put to the test in a variety of different activities and sports.
The classes are held at East Worthing Community Centre, in Pages Lane, and the one I took is called Fabulous Flowers, although there are others in wedding and novelty cupcake decoration, too.
It is run by Zoe Ventress, who runs Sugamamas Cupcakes.
The 29-year-old, from Durrington, said: “I started Sugamamas in September, 2010, as a business.
“Before that, I was just making cupcakes as a hobby, but friends and colleagues kept telling me I should sell them, so I decided to set up Sugamamas.
“People kept asking me how I did a certain technique and what they needed to use or buy, so I decided I would try to offer classes, as I love cupcakes and I love meeting new people.
“I also make cakes and cupcakes to order, but as I work full-time I have very limited space.”
As soon as I arrived at the class, I was introduced to the other six people taking part, all of whom, like me, had never decorated cakes before.
This was not a problem for Zoe, as she so expertly explained every step of the process – from selecting which sugar paste to use to create the perfect flower, to which piping bag nozzle works best to create a grass effect.
Before we got going, I felt quite nervous as I am not one of life’s great artists and feared I would not be able to even come close to creating something as beautiful as the cakes Zoe brought in to show us.
But my fears were quickly allayed as Zoe gave us plenty of top tips and handy techniques to try.
We started by learning how to make a basic flower, done by using a cutter.
We then moved on to doing fancier things, like using a ball tool to curl the flowers’ petals and layering several flowers on top of each other to create depth.
Throughout the day we also learned how to make roses and lilies, as well as leaves and the stalks and stamens for the centre of our blooms.
My pièce de résistance was a cupcake that prompted my husband to question whether it had actually been made by me, as I was claiming.
It featured a pathway, grass and toadstools, and he assures me it tasted delicious, too.
Not only was the class a great way to spend a day, I have never been so popular in the office since I returned with my box of hand-crafted goodies!
Zoe said: “I want people to be able to come for the day to relax, unwind and do something different.
“I want them to learn new skills so they can feel confident in making cakes for family, as there is something very satisfying about giving someone you love a cake you made and decorated all by yourself, and, even better, the compliments you receive.”
*The Fabulous Flowers class costs £90, which includes all necessary materials as well as refreshments.
For more information about all of the classes run by Sugamamas, or to book them, call Zoe on 07580 205267, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.sugamamascupcakes.co.uk