December 09, 2016

The Woodspeen Cookery School

Today has been creative, festive and even involved prosecco - three of my favourite things.

The December festive checklist is well under way with wreath making checked off and hanging proudly on the front door.  Next up - to satisfy our inner elf, Mum and I arrived fashionably early to a mid week festive drip cake decorating workshop at The Woodspeen Cookery School.

Where we met Anna from The Kennet Cake Company - she's the awesome crazy cake lady I always rave about.

The workshop kicked off with some expert advice on creating even layers, using vanilla syrup to keep the cake moist,  plus assembling it all back together - using trusty cocktail stick markers and then finally how to prep our cakes crumb-free for the buttercream icing!

Speaking of which I learnt an invaluable lesson about speed, time and...

patience when making buttercream today!

Here I am nailing the patience part.

Anna demonstrated how to perfectly section the layers of your cake - with plenty of useful star-baker tips.

Which we then nervously executed...

With care and precision.

Followed by a demonstration of buttercream and trimming techniques

After this our cakes needed cooling time.

A quick but delicate exercise of placing them in the fridge began and in true bake-off style we peered into the fridge oohing-and-ahhing at the progress so far.

A little refuelling session happened...

Before the hands-on figure modelling portion of the workshop started. Festive snowflakes first - this involved rolling the icing very thin and using plunger cutters.

The warm up.  Reindeers were up next - starting with the body.

The head slowly came to life

With the addition of a giant red nose, foxy looking ears, eyes and antlers

And not to leave him completely legless...

Concentration levels were high but the prosecco arrived and everyone relaxed a little about any abnormal looking reindeers

The final addition - a festive scarf!

We left the herd to dry and Anna showed us how to effortless 'drip' our Belgium chocolate ganache

A little messy, but not bad for a first-go!

Very proud of our final show stoppers - star baker worthy all round perhaps?

The course was super intimate with only four of us which meant Anna was super hands-on and able to give us plenty of extra attention and tips to personalise our creations. I got some helpful tips on ombre two-tone buttercream techniques which I've been dying to ask.

The Woodspeen Cookery School is a stunning location and the addition of Anna from The Kennet Cake Company to the portfolio really rounds off the menu of workshops available.  The 'Festive Drip Cake' course was £75 per person and included refreshments, nibbles and bucket loads of useful insider tips and tricks. Keep your eyes peeled for her next set of courses at The Woodspeen and get yourself booked in!

Oh, and you can grab some bloody lovely food afterwards across the road...if you've not overdosed on buttercream of course.