It was no sooner than the finale of the Great British Bake Off aired on TV that the lovely guys at Joe Blogs Network teamed up with Currys and Glasgow’s own Cookery School to create a baking bonanza for us bloggers. With many of us feeling inspired and ready to get cracking in the kitchen, the timing could not have been better! Titled the Great Blogger Bake Off (natch!), the event brought together many of my favourite local babes along with a few new faces too and promised to help us channel our inner domestic goddesses by giving us a chance to bake a plethora of sweet treats in the bright, fun Cookery School environment (with the pro’s on hand…just in case…).
I decided that it would only be right to dress in theme – well, wouldn’t you? My outfit inspiration of the day was the ever fabulous Custard Cream: the awesome NIkki McWilliams had just sent me my own biscuit bow for my hair and I paired it with a custard-hued dress from Ralph Lauren. I can never resist a little glitter though, and flat shoes helped me stay comfy during a long, productive day in the kitchen!
After arriving in the Cookery School and donning our custom aprons, there was no time to dilly-dally as we had FOUR bakes to get to work on! Chef Danny showed us the ropes – we would be starting off with scones, followed by cupcakes, Victoria sponge and chocolate-chip muffins. Yum! Would I enjoy baking all these goodies as much as I would enjoy eating them? There was only one way to find out….
Putting together a baking team was simple – and with Lori, Lisa Marie and Michelle by my side, #TeamSparkle was soon born! Where were these ladies years ago when I took Home Economics and got paired up with that kid that was always absent?! Anyway! We got right to work on our first bake – the humble scone (blogger’s tip for bluffers: to dust your countertop evenly, toss that flour down with a little pizzaz, girl!). I knew I was in good company when my team-mates and I agreed to skip the raisins (‘deid flies’) explained in the recipe and make our jumbo-sized buttery scones sans fruit. With recipe rebellion AND good taste in accessories in common, we were off to a flying start!
Before long it was time to slather our finished scones in cream and jam and enjoy them with a cuppa. Heaven.
Next up, we put together the batter for our cupcakes and Victoria sponge and popped them in their cases, ready for the oven (blogger’s tip for bluffers: make sure your ingredients are the same temperature so the batter comes together smoothly – we want cakes after all, not scrambled eggs!). Lisa Marie, looking like a sassy Glaswegian Rizzo from Grease, even matched her gingham paper case to her top!
With Twitter and Instagram being practically set alight with tips, photos and quotes from the day, was it any surprise that we managed to get #CurrysInTheKitchen trending that afternoon?! After a spot of lunch, we put together our final bake of the day – chocolate-chip muffins – and set about decorating our cupcakes (blogger’s tip for bluffers: let your cake cool down before you attempt decorating! The ‘melted welly’ look is NOT appetising!) with more sugar sprinkles, food colouring and chocolate than you could shake a spoon at.
At that point, I brought out our secret weapon – my stash of edible glitter! They don’t call us Team Sparkle for nothing…
We also filled our Victoria Sponges, oozing with cream and jam, and cooed over the Kenwood Patissiere mixers that we got to play with (two lucky ladies even got to take them home!). High from sugar and the unmistakable scent of fresh sponges, it was just about time to box up our creations and take them away. And if our boyfriends/ husbands/ flatmates/ cats were well-behaved, we even had enough to share!
We came, we learned, we baked. And all while having a wicked time with the Joe Blogs team and the Cookery School staff (who were super kind and patient throughout the day). Our sponsors, Kenwood at Currys even made sure we could keep practising our new baking prowess at home by gifting each of us with a shiny new kMIX hand mixer. I’m thinking of giving macarons a go once I’m in my new kitchen…
I will leave you with my final blogger’s tip for bluffers: always try to bake with like-minded babes. You’ll have fun, learn from each other and never run out of hands!
What is your favourite baked treat? Have you ever swooned over kitchenware? And did your Home Economics partner turn up for class?
Licking the spoon,
Miss West End Girl x