Sunday, 9 August 2015
Baking Class at Wilmslow Cookery School
Last weekend I was invited to Wilmslow Cookery School by Joe's Bloggers in partnership with Curry's and Kenwood, to experience the school's Introduction to Baking class. I consider myself to be a fairly experienced baker, but that wasn't going to stop me enjoying a few hours of baking fun!
We got to use Kenwood kMix Stand Mixers for our baking, which was exciting for me as I've never used one before. I have a mixer at home, and although it does the job, it's not quite the same caliber as Kenwood's mixers. As well as coming in a variety of pretty colours, they have a powerful 500W motor and a 5 litre bowl, and now you can also get a glass bowl, so you can see the food much better as it mixes. Plus they look pretty swish!
I teamed up with Kristina from Mode of Style and we called ourselves Team K - for Kat, Kristina and Kenwood of course!
We started by making some mini meringues. Sarah, the instructor showed us how to complete each step before we went back to our stations and gave it a go ourselves.
An unusual technique that I had not heard of before was to warm up the sugar in the oven at 65C before adding it to the whipped egg whites. This works in a similar way to making Italian meringue in that it cooks the egg white so your meringue will be a lot more stable and also not raw before baking. Perfect for piping directly onto a cake or tart and then blow torching, or if you want to sneak some of the mixture!
After applying some food colouring to the inside of our piping bag, we filled it with the meringue and did our best to pipe out some pretty shapes! They went into the oven for an hour to bake.
Meanwhile we moved onto the next bake, the chocolate tart. We made a chocolate pastry using the Kenwood stand mixer and then brought it together with our hands.
Kristina rolled out the mixture between two layers of cling film. I love this technique for rolling out pastry as it means you don't have to add any extra flour to the dough, plus it keeps your work surface clean!
After lining the tin as neatly as we could, the pastry then went into the fridge to chill.
Next we moved onto our third and final bake, a Swiss Roll. The instructor had a glass bowl on her Kenwood stand mixer and it looked awesome! It was so cool watching the mixture rise and rise. I want!
We followed suit and soon we had Swiss Roll sponges fresh from the oven. They don't take very long to bake, around 10-15 minutes.
Once the sponge was cool we spread a mixture of whipped cream and creme patisserie that the instructor had made earlier over it. Everyone else filled their rolls with strawberries, but I went for raspberries because I'm weird and I don't like strawberries (yes people like me exist!)
And then we rolled! Not the neatest Swiss Roll I've ever rolled, but hey ho. I liked the raspberries sticking out and the sponge was beautifully light.
To decorate the top of the roll I piped some more of the cream mixture along the top and then placed raspberries and some of the meringues we made earlier in a neat line. I was really impressed with the final effect!
Back to the chocolate tart. After blind baking the pastry we made the filling using cream, sugar, chocolate and egg yolks. We took turns carefully pouring the sauce into our pastry cases whilst they were still on the oven rack, which avoids any spills as the sauce fills the case right to the brim.
After a bit longer in the oven, the chocolate tarts were finally ready. I tried a little bit when it was still hot, but I definitely preferred this bake served cold when I got home with some cream to balance out the richness of the chocolate.
At the end of the day, not only did we get to leave with our delicious creations, but everyone also got a Kenwood kMix Hand Mixer each! I was so thrilled as I have wanted a hand mixer for a while, and to get a Kenwood one was fantastic. It was a great day and I really enjoyed it. It was a bit strange taking instructions on things I usually bake at home, but I think if you're someone who doesn't bake very often this class would be a fantastic way to boost your confidence.