In between running, I’ve been on a bit of a baking mission recently. It’s also no secret that I bake pretty rustic looking cakes as I’m not so hot at decorating. So when Betty Crocker got in touch to ask if I wanted to attend a cake decorating class, I was pretty excited. Click here to read about the Victoria Sponge I made a few weeks before the class.
The event was hosted at the Central Street Cookery School and unfortunately we started late as London Transport was doing the London Transport thing and not getting people there on time. A brief history lesson on Betty Crocker and it was time to get baking, guided by our hostess, Louise.
The venue was lovely and friendly, although it was slightly on the small side for so many people. I worked with Cathy and Kip (who is most definitely not a lady) and we immediately comandeered the Kenwood mixer for our use. Why mix manually and exert energy when you can get a machine to do it? Exactly.
I don’t tend to use mixes much at home as I often bake and always have the ingredients. I get how they are convenient though for people who don’t often bake and perhaps don’t want to buy sugar, flour, baking powder etc and I will say that the results do taste nice. Louise guided us through making a marbled loaf, cupcakes and cookie brownies, all of which were delicious. The methods are foolproof and after a bit, we just (politely) ignored Louise and ploughed on through as it was pretty difficult to get wrong. She definitely came up with some lovely recipes, swirling the red velvet mix with the vanilla sponge mix was a lovely smelling and delicious looking idea!
All the baking took quite a while and unfortunately I ended up having to miss most of the decorating lesson which was the bit I’d been really looking forward to. I did however stick around long enough to learn that 1) Louise trained under Jane Asher and is REALLY good at decorating cakes, 2) Plungers are really fiddly to use and 3) Edible glue tastes really revolting when you taste it without icing with Kip declaring he was glad he wasn’t female. Read into that what you will. Despite this, I did manage to produce a passable sprig of holly, hooray! Top tip – don’t press too hard with the plunger.
It was at this point I had to leave as we were running late, but I had fun on the way home seeing the photos of what everyone had created. And here is the proof that some of what I learned has sunk in – thanks Louise!
The icing used in these cakes is the new Betty Crocker Vanilla Icing with Rainbow Sprinkles which is available in most major supermarkets and was discovered in my goody bag. At £2.85, this is a pretty good cheat option for cakes and desserts and I believe that Tesco even have an offer of 2 for £4 running at the moment.
Thanks Betty Crocker, Central Street Cookery School, Louise and Reprise Media for inviting me along!