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My Great British Cake Making Day at Hobbs House Cookery School The Hobbs House Cookery School is on the spacious first floor of the beautiful building which houses the Bakery and Butchery below. Our classroom for the day had high ceilings, tall sash windows overlooking the historic heart of Sodbury, original plasterwork and dark stripped floors. Four HUGE worktables (one for each pair of students), awaited us together with racks of all essential tools and impressive Kitchenaid mixers. “Great British Cakes” was our theme and after welcoming hot drinks and Hobbs House pastries our expert Patisserie chef Sasha Jenner (pictured in chef’s whites below) found out about our level of experience and took us through the plan for our day. We were going to make FIVE different cakes including Eccles Cakes, Almond tartlets, Battenburg (that very tricky one, looks like a chequeboard covered in marzipan) and iced fondant fancies and have time for lunch and a High Tea together (“What, really, in 6 hours?”) Well, some 6 hours later, as you can see from the pictures, not only did we make every cake, our friendly group had fun as well! Sasha is so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about cakemaking that the day seemed to whiz by in a positive flurry (cloud?) of icing sugar, butter, eggs and flour. Pre-course I did wonder if we would be mixing cakes the traditional way (lots of creaming and adding eggs slowly) —well not at all, with our trusty Kitchenaids we were all-in-one cooks. We learnt the signs of under-mixed cakes and over-handled pastry and the importance of weighing and measuring to achieve the best results. Lunch was a delicious roasted parsnip and apple soup with some freshly baked St Martin’s Sourdough loaf (very tasty and light in texture). In the afternoon we iced the fondant fancies (4 delicate pastel shades, I only saw one cake fall in the icing) and tackled the Battenburg. Well there’s an old saying ’the proof of the pudding is in the eating’, i guess that applies to cake too—my highlight after a most enjoyable day was sitting down to a High Tea, with a selection of our beautiful-looking cakes and fresh sandwiches too. The cakes tasted amazing, my favourites were the Eccles and the Almond tartlets (Mr B agreed when I brought home my huge box of samples). I will be keeping my Cookery School recipe folder safe so I can replicate them at a later date. Not only that, now I’ve got my HH baking spurs I will be making a big celebration cake this month for one of my sisters. Did you know that British High Teas and baking are becoming very popular abroad? One of our fellow students was Fiona, who had come from Bern in Switzerland where she has her own catering business doing just that! If I could award a prize it would go to Jess who was standing in as the Classroom Assistant. Not only were our ingredients always waiting and ready weighed, Jess was never less than cheerful no matter how big the mountain of washing up all eight of us produced. Or how much fondant icing we had stuck to the tables. Thank you to Hobbs House Cookery School for inviting me for the day and to Sasha and fellow students for making it so enjoyable. Angie

L-R: A cookery school with a view, cakes, my Battenburg High Tea & GBC April 2014 Class

Angie

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Classicbritishcakeshobbs house cookeryschoolfeatureapril2014  

Boundary magazine review of Classic British Cakes Day at Hobbs House Cookery School in April

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