Your source for Temecula, CA and Southwest Riverside County lifestyle, events, & area information
When it comes to choosing a location and event for a birthday party, brownie, Mom’s club, or homeschool outing, there is no better place to learn, have fun, and engage with your children than AJ’s Baking Company in Temecula, California.
Owned by Andrea Maue, 2012 Food Network Cupcake Wars winner, baker, chef, caterer, and business woman, AJs offers baking classes, cooking classes, and more monthly, orchestrated through their growing Facebook Fan page. “Our baking classes teach kids how to be clean and safe in the kitchen, as well as how baking can be fun.” Said Maue.
Baking classes are taught at Temecula’s Kitchen Station, a rental kitchen set up for small businesses in need of industrial kitchen ovens. While Maue has been successful here, she is rapidly outgrowing the space. “We are on the hunt for space of our own, looking forward to a place AJs Baking Company can call home.” Maue said.
For a nervous party planner handing over the reins might be a challenge, but with Michele Stice on the case –party planner and fun-times coordinator extraordinaire for AJs Baking Company, the little details are handled. For this party, we handed over the number of girls, ages, and number of grown-ups who would be in attendance. Also, birthday girl’s favorite colors were taken into question — in our case, purple and blue.
To counteract all of the sugar, crudites were offered that included icy waters, a raw veggie melange served up with dips, as well as a meat and cheese platter, alongside Andrea Maue’s signature candied pecans. “I put in a little zip, with some cayenne pepper.” Maue said.
And the zip with crumbled blue cheese was enough to have every grown up in attendance sit up and take note. The pecans, as well as signature butter creme frosting are available for sale at Murrieta’s Farmstead Market.
First steps to baking, is kitchen cleanliness and safety. Closed-toed shoes, hand washing, rags in sanitized water for quick spillage mop-ups (of which there were many), and most of all, how to have fun!
Yes. You’re going to touch the eggs. Each kid who was brave enough learned how to properly separate eggs. The look of satisfaction on their faces when properly cracked, yolks to one, whites to the other. With minimal shell damage, all handled in stride by master baker, Andrea Maue.
A science experiment in the making, kids watched in awe as the mixer spun, and liquid whites whipped to solids before their eyes. Light, fluffy meringue to be folded into the light, airy cupcake batter which won Andrea Maue cupcake wars on the Food Network in 2012.
Now, what is the difference between folding and stirring? The birthday girl got a hands-on lesson with proper technique in this professional kitchen setting.
Each learned the utensil of choice was the ice cream scoop, for perfect amount of cupcake batter to muffin cups.
While the cupcakes did their work in TKS’s convection ovens, the little bakers in AJs Baking Company’s birthday party switched over to decorating their aprons, chef’s hats, or tote bags with the array of stamps, paints, and ingenuity to make each one completely unique. A perfect take home craft for this birthday baking party.
Much to the baker’s in training’s surprise, they got to watch the episode of cupcake wars where chef and baker Andrea Maue won the 2012 Food Network Show. Modestly, Maue spoke of her time on the Food Network show, “It was amazing, the helpers we had, these culinary arts students who were there to help us. I wanted to take each one of them home with me, they were so helpful!” Of the show, and winning, Maue just smiles. “It was an amazing day with my sister-in-law (Corie Maue). Something I’ll never forget.”
Switching from crafting the perfect kitchen wear to frosting 101, Andrea Maue dished up the perfect butter cream frosting, for which she has become so renowned. “This is one of our items that will soon be sold at Murrieta’s Farmstead Market.” Michele Stice said.
Now that the crafty part of the party was done, it was all about the frosting, and the unique and beautiful edible gems that each girl could top their cupcake’s with. “It looks like real pearls!” One tiny-baker said.
Kids get hands on chances to load up their own frosting bags, learning tricks of the trade, like how to keep frosting from dripping everywhere, to how to keep the pastry bag neat prior to the decorating process. Mothers took note, paying attention, and learning right along with their kids.
The different frosting tips were explained, but it was the handwriting tip that got the most attention. Chef Andrea frosted one for the birthday girl…
And fun-times Michele Stice poked frosting in her face. Because this birthday girl all but begged for it. And we thought we wouldn’t see this until her wedding day.
What does that amazing cupcake taste like? This first bite “WOW” says it all.
With a face full of sugar, all guests sampled and enjoyed their creations…as well as were able to wrap up a cupcake or two to take home for their siblings. Creativity was encouraged as the kids got free rein to go wild with their cupcakes.
Cupcakes were sent home in individual containers, to be enjoyed later.
And even grandparents had a hand in making one or two for themselves.
At last, time for presents and thanks to all who came for the creative, fun, engaging baking birthday party at A.J.s Baking Company.
Chef Andrea and the birthday girl became fast friends, and we’re looking forward to learning many more baking and cooking lessons in years to come.
For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/ajsbakingco
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 951-490-7997
Like Temecula Grapevine on Facebook — and Follow us on Twitter for information updates: