Sarah has always done a wide variety of decorating courses, from sugar flowers to royal icing, to modelling. See here for the results of many of the classes I have taken with here over the years. More recently, she has started teaching people to bake, from the basics, cake-wise, to cookies and cake pops. This class is one of her more recent inventions, and I was gutted when I missed its first outing a few months ago.
Bright and early (well, mid-morning), with lunch bag clasped in hand (which I forgot at the end and had to go back for), I bounced up to Sarah’s front door ready for a long day of making yummy treats. I had actually forgotten how long it was due to be, and didn’t dare tell hubby during the day – oops!
Sarah and Maddie (a fellow Cupcake Oven Course addict, and Sarah’s help for the day – can’t remember her job title, sorry Maddie, but she did a fab job of keeping us topped up with hot drinks and washing up the detritus of our making) had a packed day planned, and the 4 of us attending the course set to work after going through everything we were going to cover.
I have actually forgotten the order we did everything in, but it was meticulously planned (although we did end running late as we were having so much fun, but no-one minded that – except my hubby!). We made sweet pastry, which was one of the main reasons I wanted to do the course, as my pastry-making generally leaves a lot to be desired, crème pâtissière as a base for Chantilly cream, meringue kisses and chopped up sponge cake covered in apricot jam and marzipan (ready for fondant fancies).
The pastry looked fine when we popped it into the fridge to rest and chill. I didn’t burn the crème pâtissière and got the measurements right for the sponge. Woo-hoo!
We had great fun choosing flavours and colours for the meringue kisses. The flavours came in many choices, and are lovely non-oily flavourings made by Foodie Flavours. I have come across them before, but hadn’t realised that their flavour range was so wide. You only need a small amount and they provide the most wonderful, natural flavours. And they didn’t ask me to say that, as they don’t know me or the fact I am posting about them (yet!). I went for Christmas Pudding, which smelt wonderful, although the jury is still out on whether it is a flavour that works with meringues, or not…
A quick lunch was followed by making the choux pastry (first time I have attempted it since I was a teenager), finishing the Chantilly cream (oh wow! Mmmmmmmmmmm!), making the filling for the tarts we had made the pastry for, and covering the fondant fancies in Squires Kitchen lemon or strawberry fondant. The last was incredibly messy, but very yummy.
I had a great day, met some lovely people (most of whom I had met before at Sarah’s) and went home with boxes and boxes full of yummy goodness. I have an enormous bag of Chantilly cream in the freezer, and the remains of the huge number of meringue kisses I made, but the rest has been gobbled up.
I think I did a reasonable job of everything. Hubby liked it all, especially the tarts and the choux pastries (he said they were lovely and light!). I will definitely be more confident about trying pastry myself again, and Hubby has already requested frangipane tarts, including in a larger size!!
Thanks Sarah! Look forward to seeing you soon 🙂