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This virtual class is an excellent way to unwind and enhance one’s pastry decorating skills

Icing on the [cup]cake

After the session, participants will be able to pipe flowers that look like they have been just picked from the garden

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought out the innovative, enterprising, and creative nature of Filipinos. For instance, there is the dawn of what we call the plantitos and plantitas, those who are into urban gardening. Likewise, various food trends have emerged from the sushi bake phenomenon to gratifying pastries like the ube and cheese pandesal, cinnamon roll, garlic bread, chocolate chip cookies, and red velvet crinkles.

People are learning new skills as a way to cope with depression, anxiety, and also the failing economy. Efforts to flatten the curve have us cooped up at home, so many have turned to hobbies such as baking. While this method of cooking may be a fun and enjoyable outlet for some, it has also become a viable additional source of income amid the health crisis for home bakers.

Online classes have become part of the new normal, so it did not come as a surprise when M Bakery has again started to offer icing classes just as they did last year. Initiated by TELUS International Philippines to help its team members continue to learn and develop skills despite the current remote work setup, the leading provider of customer experience (CX) and digital IT solutions partnered with New York City bakeshop for an icing workshop.

“With our icing classes, we are helping people learn the art of designing cupcakes that will prove a useful skill if you’re a baker or homepreneur looking into catering, gender reveals, or even theme parties,” says Stewart Ong, managing partner of Phil Jacobe Ventures Inc., M Bakery’s franchisee in the Philippines.

One of the lessons taught in the online class is how to make icing rose petals

Aside from improving the visual appeal of a confection, the icing contributes to the flavor and richness. It adds interest and provides a smooth surface for decorating on. Furthermore, frosting improves the qualities of a pastry by forming a protective coating around it, sealing in moisture and flavors and allowing it to be eaten over a couple of days.

Decorating the rich, buttery, old-fashioned cake with light crumb was a delight. Eating it was the icing on the cake.

Practical application was the highlight of the icing session. Participants were given six cupcakes, equally divided into two variants, the signature M Bakery vanilla and chocolate flavor. The class featured inscription making, piped flower designing, as well as cupcake filling, using buttercream. Decorating the rich, buttery, old-fashioned cake with light crumb was a delight. Eating it was the icing on the cake.

“With the remote setting of work, especially at the beginning of the quarantine, we ensure that we constantly communicate with our team members and continue interest-based programs through various webinars that equip them with skills that cater to their personal passions and interests,” explains Pia Gajasan, corporate communications manager for TELUS International Philippines.

Piping petals into cupcakes is no cakewalk

Beyond its educational aspect, the icing lesson was the CX company’s way to emphasize that its team members are empowered to pursue their personal interests and passions like culinary arts, fashion design, foreign languages or complete diploma programs or short courses with various partner educational institutions through the TELUS International University. Employees can hone their skill sets while enjoying the company of like-minded individuals through special interest groups.

“The need for work-life integration is much needed as professionals try to manage and balance their home responsibilities, personal needs, and professional obligations. We continue to develop programs for our team members to help them cope with the current situation, feel a sense of safety and security at work, and allow them to continue achieving the goals they set out for themselves,” says Carlos Giammattei, the brand, marketing and culture director for TELUS International Philippines.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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