Cake Baking Workshop – Challenge No 38

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So as I have mentioned previously My 50@50 challenges are also a chance to spend quality time with people who are important in my life; and they don’t get much more important than Kate, my daughter.  Aging has benefits as well as drawbacks and one of the greatest things is watching your children grow, flourish and become wonderful adults which I am lucky enough to to have done.  However, they have also turned out cheeky and so both Kate and Matt decided to keep their challenges as a surprise for me ( which secretly I loved)

Kate and I both enjoy baking and watching cooking programmes and even though she now lives in Londin we still message each other throughout entire episodes of the Great British Bake Off.  I introduced her to Delia Smith and Mary Berry and she in turn introduced me to Lorraine Pascale and online recipe searches.  She is a much more adventurous baker so I was thrilled when she said my challenge was to go on a cake baking workshop together.

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The day started well with a great breakfast ( although Kate’s porridge…see above..looked suspiciously like a pudding) in Canterbury before we headed out to the Canterbury Baking School.  We were lucky enough to have booked in half term so as it turned out we were the only people on the course.  If I say that our day with Vicky was quirky and chaotic, it is in no way a criticism and in fact it enhanced the enjoymeant of the days baking.  We chose what to bake, there were no fixed recipes ( which I found scary and totally out of my comfort zone as I religiously weigh and follow recipes) we laughed, baked and I learnt new skills.  

We made a pear frangipani (pre-cooked photo below) with a pastry base which was brilliant as I had never caramelised pears before or made a frangipani, and certainly had not made my own pastry for a very long time.  It was great and the end result was wonderful, especially the fruit aspect and could happily be used as either a pudding or an afternoon cake.

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We also made what I dubbed a ‘St Clements’ cake ( from the old nursery rhyme) as the main flavours were clementines and lemons…see photo below.  This was a flour free cake, using instead semolina and almonds.  Whilst the taste was great ( improved greatly by drizzling lemon juice with sugar over the top) I guess this is the risk you take with winging it when baking because the density was not quite right…too heavy and dry.  I would try a no flour cake again though as I really enjoyed the unusual texture…and adding poppy seeds ( which I turned my nose up at) was inspired…but I think a recipe for me to follow will be called for next time.

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We had fun chatting about Paul Hollywood ( this school mainly has bread making courses), overcoming a slight mishap I might have had with some pastry (no one told me it was a loose bottom pan!!!!!!!), me then reminiscing about cookery lessons at school with my friend Michaela and generally learning and baking together.  

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At the end we got to try Vicky, our tutors bakes, together with some of her Kamut bread (which was totally amazing) and figure out how on earth we were going to get four cakes home…without tins…knowing we were off to the Rum Bar in Canterbury first.

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I really can’t remember laughing so much ( although not always when and why we were supposed to be …..my daughter is truly incorrigible) in a long time and I had such an enjoyable day with Kate.  I am thrilled to have passed on a love of baking to her in the same way my beloved Mum has passed it on to me and to be able to share time in a kitchen like this was a real joy.  I will certainly be moving outside my comfort zone next time I decide to bake and am pleased that the grateful recipients of our bountiful offering seemed rather pleased too.  Thanks Kate ❤️

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