Chef offers tips for a sweeter Easter

Atlantic Cape Community College chef educator Annemarie Chelius, left, demonstrates cupcake-decorating techniques for Easter on Saturday at the Ocean City Public Library as Stephanie Comisky and Cecilia Unrath, both of Ocean City, applaud her work.

From ice cream cones to bunnies to baskets, chef Annmarie Chelius, owner of ClassyChef LLC and chef educator at Atlantic Cape Community College, taught the members of the public how to top cupcakes with Easter designs Saturday during a free demonstration at the Ocean City Public Library.

In the winter, Chelius hosts monthly demonstrations at the bustling community hub. In the summer, the demonstrations pick up to once a week.

"When I pick a theme, I look at the month and try to attach it to holiday," Chelius said. For example, November is national vegan month, so she would like to make "tempeh, lettuce and tomato" as a spin on the classic BLT.

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This month, Chelius tackled Easter. She demonstrated how to adorn cupcakes with a buttercream chick, an Easter basket, an ice cream cone rabbit and a bird's nest. She also showed how to make and color homemade buttercream frosting.

"It brings a variety to our programming, and it brings new people in that might not have come to see what we have to offer," said Karen Mahar, program outreach coordinator for the library. "It keeps us in the forefront of what libraries have to offer. We've become the hub of the city and community."

The chick was made with a pastry bag, the basket with cotton candy, jelly beans and sour straw candy, the rabbit with an ice cream cone and mini Twix for ears, and the bird's nest with chocolate pretzels.

"I'll be showing them some simple ways they can perk up some cupcakes, and the presentation is going to focus on things that the everyday person can do," Chelius said before the event. "I use things that the attendees can go and purchase and make on their own."

The chef said she only buys ingredients from ShopRite to ensure attendees have a place where they know they can find every item they need.

Typically, Chelius said, the demonstrations attract 20 to 25 attendees every month, and more in the summer. Women from Philadelphia and even flight attendants who've arranged their schedule also attend, Chelius said.

"The ladies really become friends with each other," Chelius said. "We all know each other now."

Although Chelius did not demonstrate how to make the cake portion of the cupcake, she does have a YouTube channel on which a multitude of recipes are available. They're found by searching "Annmarie Chelius."

"These cupcakes are sickening sweet, but it is Easter," she laughed.

Next month, Chelius will offer a "Fun with Flax" demonstration May 3. Classes are 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m. All demonstrations are held in the Senior Kitchen. To register, call Mahar at 609-399-2434, ext. 5238.

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