Last week I was very kindly invited by Debenhams and Kenwood to attend a baking event with a difference. As well as trying out some of the lovely new Kenwood gadgets (such pretty colours - more on that later!) we'd be concentrating on a few skills - making cookies, flavouring and colouring frostings, delving into the world of chocolate tempering and more! I love to bake and cook and especially love picking up new skills so I was very pleased to be able to attend.
The event was held at Jenius Social, a great little venue just around the corner from Holloway Road tube. It's a great space, with lots of dining space as well as a good sized kitchen. I arrived (fresh from a visit to the zoo - it was one of those very busy, fun London days!) and was greeted with a glass of prosseco, a beautiful Ashley Thomas apron to don for the evening (and take home, too!) and plates piled high with antipasti.
This was an excellent start!
The mix of bloggers in attendance was great - there were a few familiar faces, a few people who I'd read before but never met, and some new blood also. I teamed up with the lovely Charlie of Charlie, Distracted and Mike of The Bearded Bakery for the tasks as I knew even if my creations were disastrous I'd have a great time, they are both such fun!
This is the only shot I got of the cookie making proceedings - seconds later I was stirring and mixing up a storm and far too occupied to snap! We made white chocolate and raspberry cookies and granola oat ones too - delish.
Learning about chocolate tempering was fascinating - it is such a precise art, with thermometers, stirring, ratios. I really want to get a food thermometer to use at home, loved making our own chocolates!
Some of the bloggers used moulds....
...while others went for the 'make a giant slab' method (I was in the latter camp - once this was cooled we drizzled white chocolate across it). Another team made honeycomb, which was so yummy (and very popular with Matthew when I brought him some goodies home).
Here you see Charlie art directing Mike. Mike is whipping up some butter icing, using one of the fab Kenwood hand mixers. We were very kindly gifted with one of these each to take home, which was brilliant - I got the cheerful sunshine yellow version pictured near the start of the post, which is just crying out to do some home baking with me soon! This is the same one in almond.
Once the icing was made, coloured and flavoured, and stashed in bags we all absented the kitchen so the team could set up for the next phase of the proceedings - the competition!
We were each given some premade sponges and cupcakes to decorate with our icing and creations, as well as berries, sprinkles and glitter. We then had to choose our best effort to enter in a Great British Bake Off style challenge at the end of the evening. Eek.
Ready for battle.
Charlie contemplating, with a glass of prosseco.
Always the best way to contemplate.
My entry for the showdown. I didn't win, but I don't think it's too shabby either - when it comes to decorating cakes I'm definitely a learner!
Charlie adorned hers with the judges' names!
The cake in the lower right hand corner won (well done!). I think they all look pretty good.
They also tasted brilliant.
My final photo makes me laugh - Charlie decided that for her unjudged sponge cake, she'd just decorate it with everything. Perfect.
Big thanks to Debenhams and Kenwood for inviting me and gifting me a hand mixer to play with at home - it was a fantastic evening!