I was invited to take part in the #CurrysintheKitchen event at The Cookery School in Glasgow. All us lucky bloggers were given plenty of food and water for the day, plus we made and ate four different baked delights over the course of five hours. I was amazed at how much we packed in to the time.
We also got to take these hand mixers away with us, as well as our aprons and a goodie bag from Kenwood. What a day!
Now that you know exactly what I got out of it, I have one further admission. Kenwood are giving one last prize to the blogger who offers up the best baking tip in their blog post: a Kenwood mixer. So, as though all the baking and freebies weren’t enough, I do have yet another incentive to write this post. But it’s not all about me (just mostly). It’s also about a shout out to Curry’s, who have written their own blog about the event, and also to The Cookery School, who made it such a huge success. Every member of staff at The Cookery School was helpful, friendly and efficient, and almost miraculously cheerful for a Sunday morning. Nothing was too much trouble for them, and I would recommend them to anyone who’d like to learn some kitchen magic. The facilities are spacious (big enough to cram all those bloggers in, anyway!), clean and comfortable. Plus, the outside of the building is awesome, who doesn’t want to learn to cook in a corset factory?
Double plus: from the front room, you can see one of Glasgow’s TARDIS population. If that won’t bring you baking luck, I don’t know what will.
Finally, how could I fail to thank Joe Blogs, the blogger network who brought us all together? From the initial invite to the final goodbyes as we all left bearing our new hand mixers, Shaun and Gemma were superstars. The day was exceptionally well organised (which appeals to me, I do love some good organisation), but managed to avoid that dreaded feeling of ‘organised fun’. We were in safe hands all round.
On to the pictures. Starting at 1130, we made fruit scones, cupcakes, Victoria sponge and chocolate chip muffins. Here are some shots of my team in action. Some snaps are from my baking buddy R at BeautyH2T (that’s her looking either happy or terrified about making scones), and some are from Joe Blogs.
These pics feature our scone making attempts, including me praying to the dough gods, which wasn’t a step we were officially taught. They lead me on nicely to my first baking tip of the post (don’t worry, there are only two…).
When you’re making scones, you want to rub all the butter into the flour until it’s well distributed, with no lumps. Everyone knows that. What everyone *doesn’t* know is that there’s an easy way to tell if you have any lumps left or not. Simply shake or tap (or shoogle) your mixing bowl gently against the work surface. All the lumps will rise to the top, so you can work them into the flour.
This also works for soil, if you’re a gardener. In fact, that’s where I learned the tip, from sowing seeds with my dad. Thanks dad!
Here you can see us working on the sponge mixes. That Victoria sponge was a triumph, I’m telling you.
Once those were out of the oven and cooled, we decorated our cupcakes. There were dozens of coloured sprinkles, sweeties galore, whipped cream and buttercream, melted chocolate and cream to make ganache… It was decoration heaven. We were also shown how to make piping bags out of greaseproof paper, which was my favourite thing I learned all day.
My second baking tip arose from this new skill. I made a paper piping bag, but before I piped the buttercream on to my cupcakes, I thought I’d try something a bit fancy. It totally worked, and I had mega cake pride, which you can now share.
To achieve ruffled icing without a nozzle, take your paper or plastic piping bag and cut a small hole in the tip – this is where your icing will come out. Don’t make it too wide. Now, use your scissors to cut a slit through the middle of the hole and a little way up the sides of the bag. When you pipe the icing, it will come out in a flat ribbon shape, that you can make into a ruffled edge.
So pretty! I couldn’t bring myself to apply too many decorations, despite the vast array available. I’m kind of a purist that way. They were filled with white chocolate, though, so the decadence was all on the inside.
We all brought Tupperware, cake tins and assorted other vehicles to take our baking home with us – my final stash was so pretty:
And yes, that’s a partially-eaten scone at the bottom. Not something one would normally consider ‘pretty’, but it’s amazing what an Instagram filter will do for you.
Thank you again to Curry’s, Kenwood, The Cookery School and Joe Blogs for a true Sunday Funday. Check out the #CurrysintheKitchen hashtag to see everyone else’s photos and messages.