What goes into planning a class at Cookery School?

A good example of this exercise is our Ultimate Baking class which we called ‘The Ultimate’ because we consider it to be just that with so many different techniques and flavours to enjoy.

Putting a class together is tricky as it involves much thought and choice making but is even trickier when overwhelmed by the wonderful treats within the British bakery repertoire. We approached it by asking ourselves what foods we would like to eat on a typically British High tea and what worthwhile techniques we would be acquiring.  Our ultimate decision was driven by what we all enjoy eating.   At the same time the class must be fun whilst ensuring that  delicious food is created.  A generously high staffing ratio helps ensure that necessary techniques are taught and learnt.  This was our final menu:

  • A range of sandwiches from egg mayonnaise, cucumber, smoked salmon and crab all on a wide variety of delicious homemade breads. This includes the learning of three different breads and finger rolls and of your own homemade mayonnaise as well as some tricks.  One of these is to salt and dry your very thinly sliced cucumbers to avoid soggy bread.
  • Sweet and a savoury scones are a must as there is an art to making them as light as air. These are a prerequisite to any tea – afternoon or high.
  • Homemade jam has to be learnt as nothing beats ours which is quick and easy to make and can use up superfluous or older fruit.
  • Lemon curd tartlets where both pastry and lemon curd making are involved needs to be experienced to understand how forgiving a very buttery short crust is and how little preparation goes into the making of lemon curd
  • Seedy cake had to be introduced as one of the most delicious but little known cakes in the British cake repertoire
  • Devonshire cream cake (the lightest of sponges filled with whipped cream and topped with an Original Beans ganache) – is again a British tea must
  • Mini sausage rolls made – ‘’mini’’ (as there is so much else to eat) are made with homemade puff pastry and Sheepdrove farm organic chicken sausages. Whilst puff pastry is fun to make, we use pre made Cookery School puff pastry as time is not on our side in this busy class. However, if pushed, we would demonstrate how we make our own at some time in this very full session
  • Mini scotch eggs are so British and these are delicious but again ‘’mini’’ because the rest of the tea is so substantial

All this is served with a glass of Chapel Down fizz and Tregothan teas from Cornwall as we love exploring new ingredients and showing what wonderful ones can be easily sourced in the UK.