A couple of weekends ago I was lucky enough to be invited to go to Glasgow for a blogger bake off in association with Currys and Kenwood. There were around 30 bloggers of all different kinds from parent bloggers, to lifestyle, fashion and beauty, and even a few food bloggers for good measure! The event was held at The Cookery School in central Glasgow who run all sorts of different cookery courses, when they aren’t playing host to a gaggle (what is the collective noun?) of bloggers on a Sunday.
After a coffee and a chat with some of my fellow bloggers we headed through to the kitchen for the first of the day’s demonstrations from chef Danny McArdle. Now I have to admit I was hoping to stretch my baking skills a bit but the event was definitely aimed more towards the non-bakers amongst us. We were shown how to make scones, victoria sponge and cupcakes and chocolate chip muffins, none of which are particularly challenging for someone who bakes regularly. It was also a bit tricky to see the demonstrations given the number of bloggers squeezed into the main kitchen (and everyone trying to get decent blog-worthy photographs didn’t help!).
Having said that I did learn a few new tricks; for example using 00 flour (it’s milled twice don’t you know?) for scones makes them much lighter, and you can flavour sponge cakes by adding some well-beaten jam or marmalade. I definitely enjoyed eating one of the scones we had made and I had fun decorating my cupcakes too – I was particularly pleased with my chocolate piping skills.
Due to the number of bloggers we were working in groups of three. Although this meant I didn’t get chance to do all the baking myself I did make sure I got a go on one of the beautiful Kenwood Patisser mixers! (Both the mixers were given away to two of the bloggers at the end of the day – unfortunately I didn’t win one but the lovely people at Currys and Kenwood did provide us all with an equally lovely kMix hand mixer to take home with us, along with lots of other goodies too, including my very own #currysinthekitchen apron).
We used the mixer to make the batter for the cupcakes and you could totally tell the difference between that and the one we made by hand for the Victoria sponge. The one made in the mixer was so much lighter! I would absolutely love one of these big stand mixers but we’ve got a lot of saving up to do first…not for the mixer but so we can buy a new house with a big enough kitchen to fit one in! I would definitely recommend using a mixer or hand mixer when making cake batter though – especially for the creaming together butter and sugar stage. Unless you’ve got guns like Stallone then I just don’t think you can get it light and fluffy when you’re doing it by hand, and that’s what you need if you want a light and fluffy sponge cake.
It was lovely to meet so many other Scottish bloggers and I have to say a big thanks to Joe Blogs blogger network for organising the event and inviting me along. It was fantastic to have an event like this in Scotland as so many of the things I’m invited to are in London and not always very easy to get to! And even though Barry had to look after Toby for the day while I went off gallivanting again, I more than made up for it with the amount of cake I brought home!