I realise that I have been neglecting the blog in the last couple of weeks and one of the reasons for that was a visit from two of my nieces. Anna is 13 and lives in France and Isabel has just turned 12 and lives in Italy. As you can imagine I don’t get to see them very often and so this year I decided to book us into a cake making course as a birthday present. They both love baking, I wasn’t just thrusting it upon them!
I hatched the plan early this year, probably not long after Christmas and it only happened last weekend! Trying to get a free weekend that suited both families was the first hurdle, especially when they are in different countries. The other issue was finding a course that was suitable, easy to get to and reasonably priced. Both Anna and Isabel are not novices in baking so I wanted to make sure that they would learn something rather than just icing cakes and chucking sprinkles on them! After much trawling of the interwebulator I found Eat and Mess. It had many things in its favour: it is just up the road in Crystal Palace, the course were interesting and varied and the prices were reasonable, result. Kate was really helpful when I emailed about booking and it ended up with just the three of us doing a cupcake making and decorating course. I also had a last minute date change (Anna had to go to Germany to stay with her penfriend) and Kate was very accommodating and we found another date without much hassle.
The day arrived and the girls were very excited. We put the finishing touches to a malteser cake that morning (Anna had made the chocolate cake the day before so we iced it and decorated it with maltesers)
Then it was off to an American-style diner for lunch (burgers, of course!) before arriving at the class at 2pm. We found out that we would be making three types of cupcakes (rocky road, lemon meringue and red velvet) and three types of icings/toppings too so a packed three hours ahead of us. It was lots of fun, full of baking content and know-how and the girls really enjoyed it (so did I!). Kate was very good at explaining things to them and they got to make butter icing, cream cheese icing, a meringue, core out the lemon cupcakes and fill them with lemon curd and much more. Their side of the table was always a bit more messy than mine!!
We ended up with 15 cupcakes each and had a great afternoon learning and laughing. I would highly recommend Kate and Eat and Mess if you have children interested in baking, but she also does lots of other courses so it’s worth checking out the website (there’s a Christmas gifts baking course coming up soon!
Luckily we had invited friends over for afternoon tea to help us with our hoard of cakes.
But even still we were never far away from cupcake for the rest of the weekend. Anna even brought some home in her suitcase to share with her parents and brother. All in all a great weekend, as well as cakes we also went to Brixton, Camden, Oxford St., saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and visited the poppies at the Tower (amazing). Lovely to see Anna and Isabel and Isabel’s mum (Vicky had a day in London shopping for material), what a treat. And I learned a few things myself!