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Workshop proves there's always so much to do about chocolate... (9 photos)

The artistry of decorating with chocolate

Once you learn how to decorate with chocolate, you'll never forget...

Gladys Fieldhouse has had a long career in cake-decorating and the sugar arts, but it’s been decades since she studied “decorating in chocolate,” as she told a Tec-We-Gwill Women’s Institute workshop on Tuesday night.

All the same, she led the participants through every aspect – from making cones out of parchment paper strong enough to hold melted chocolate, to explaining  how to make chocolate filigree decorations, and chocolate cups large enough to hold a good dollop of home-made chocolate mousse. She even provided the mousse recipe.

Fieldhouse took her first course in cake-decorating at Burnamthorpe Collegiate back in the 1970s. Since then, she has taken numerous other courses, studying everything from ‘oriental string work’ to sculpting in fondant, to hone her art.

She joined the Canadian Society of Sugar Artistry in 1983, and for 15 years taught classes through the Etobicoke Parks & Recreation department.

Decorated cakes – for weddings, birthdays and other special events – are her specialty, and she has sent her creations as far as the East Coast. “I’ve met a lot of people that way,” Fieldhouse said.

Nine women came out for the 'Much to Do About Chocolate' workshop, held at the Tec-We-Gwill WI Hall in Newton Robinson.

They brought their cookie sheets, parchment paper and cake decorating utensils. Fieldhouse provided the chocolate, plastic molds used to make chocolate cups, filigree designs, mini-cupcakes, and plenty of examples and samples.

Pretzels became the trunks of chocolate trees; sprinkles were used to add a touch of autumn. Cupcakes were decorated with fondant roses and chocolate filigree.

It was an evening filled with helpful tips and advice, laughter, and chocolate – and even frustrating mistakes were delicious.

The budding chocolate artists had an opportunity to create, taste and take their “work” home, to share.

The Tec-We-Gwill Women’s Institute, in addition to its regular meetings on the fourth Monday of every month, have a busy autumn planned.

On Oct. 22, as part of their outreach, the WI presents Dan Needles, author, playwright and actor, in Farmer Thinking, 7:30 p.m. at the Tec-We-Gwill WI Hall in Newton Robinson. Tickets are $15; $10 for Tec-We-Gwill WI members, available from Bonnie, 905-458-4555 or Diana, 79=05-435-6427.

On Oct. 28 and Nov. 25, the Women’s Institute welcomes special guest speaker Mitra Malekzadeh, who will talk about her life in war-torn Iran, her arranged marriage and subsequent emigration to Canada, and finally, her search for her kidnapped son, taken back to Iran. She will tell her story over two meetings. The Reaching Ontario Sharing Education (ROSE) program takes place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on each of the two days, at the Newton Robinson Hall, and is open to the public.

The group will also be hosting the second Newton Robinson Talent Show, a showcase of remarkable local talent, on Nov. 9 at the Hall, 7 p.m.

For more information on the Tec-we-Gwill Women’s Institute, contact [email protected] or call Diana, 705-435-6427.

Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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