This week I got the chance to do something incredible.
You see, I love cooking and baking it’s a bit of a passion. However I make so many mistakes, and I have so much to learn.
When the lovely people from AO.com invited me to a baking master class at John Whaite’s kitchen I was so excited. Of course any excuse for a chance to learn from a professional is extraordinary. But to get opportunity to learn to bake a cappuccino gingerbread swiss roll from a Bake Off winner. That was something I could not miss. If I am honest I was a tad giddy.
John Whaite’s kitchen is out in the Lancashire countryside, the perfect setting for rustic but cool cooking academy. Yet has easy access from the motorway. I was met with a home-made glass mug of mulled wine and the chance to chat with some lovely bloggers and the team from AO.com, as John as his lovely team busied in the background whilst chatting away to us, the atmosphere was so welcoming.
The session started with John demonstrating how to make a genoise sponge.
I was now regretting my decision to work at the front. I had never baked I Swiss roll before. However John made everybody feel so at ease, and me feeling my nerves were totally unnecessary. Taking on a new challenge with such a patient and humorous instructor was a great experience.
We worked in bite-size chunks John demonstrating the preparation, baking and creating. Enabling us to pick up the recipe at a comfortable pace, and take in the important aspects of the recipe to get it just right. Its funny, being a teacher the one thing I always observe is instruction skills and patience levels, and John had it all going on here. He was able to deliver the subject, but keep the flow of the lesson so no time was wasted yet we all felt comfortable to ask for help if needed.
Whilst our sponges were baking and cooling we were able to enjoy a delicious bowl of soup, as John demonstrated how to temper chocolate. Its incredible, the things you pick up from sessions like these. Such as, how to use the kitchen Aid to get the best from a recipe. It’s not all about mixing on high, but using the settings the get the air flow just right. And when heating, temperature is key. Sugar has to be heated to certain temperatures to get it to do certain things!
If you are a lifelong cook these things may be obvious, but to someone who is still learning and getting things wrong; they are like light bulb moments.
After the best cheeseboard ever, we packed up our creations and a copy of John’s new book and headed home.
If you love learning new cooking skills I would highly recommend John Whaite’s Kitchen.
It is such a cool yet chilled environment. And confession moment, I ate gingerbread latte swiss roll for breakfast the next morning as I leafed through Johns cook book. There are loads of recipes I want to try.In fact I have a list.
Thank you so much to all involved, for a wonderful evening. A fab evening with wonderful company and great food. What more can you ask for? x