October 16, 2015

Bake off with Debenhams + Kenwood

A few weeks back I was lucky to be invited to #BakewithDebs, an evening of baking with Debenhams in partnership with Kenwood and Debenhams homeware designer, Ashley Thomas. The event was held at the fun-tastic Jenius Social, a cookery school in Islington that also hosts events such as supper clubs and private dining events.

On arrival, we all got to choose (and keep!) a beautiful apron designed by Ashley and tucked into some delicious food whilst socialising with my foodie buddies Etta and Charlie.

We were split up into smaller groups and I shared a bench with Etta and Sophie. Andrew and Aika were going to be taking us through our bake off. We made the cookie dough first; raspberry and white chocolate, and oaty granola and raisin.

We get to test out the Kenwood hand held mixer and stand mixer. I am in love with the yellow hand mixer since it's in my favourite colour!! I found it far too heavy to use though and after a couple of minutes, I had dead arms. The stand mixer was easier to use since it does all the hard work for you, but it is best suited to making larger quantities. It didn't mix smaller amounts as well as the hand held mixer.

Etta and I posing!

Aika then showed us how to roll the cookie dough into perfect sausage shapes using clingfilm. The dough is chilled before it's cut into perfect disc shapes and then baked.

Next, we move on to tempering chocolate and making our honeycomb. Making the honeycomb was my favourite part, it's literally just melting sugar and golden syrup and once it comes together and turns into a golden-brown (no stirring allowed, just swirl the pan), in goes the bicarbonate of soda and watching it bubble ferociously. Spread onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and smash into pieces once it has cooled down. Yum!

I wasn't quite sure what tempering chocolate was and initially, it just looked like melting chocolate in a double boiler... But there's far more to it and I was here to learn! The difference of just melting chocolate and pouring into molds means the chocolate looses it's shine, and when the heat of your fingers touch the chocolate, it will melt and not hold its shape. However, when chocolate is tempered, the chocolate's becomes glossy again and does not melt easily. Chocolate that we buy in the shops have been tempered.

To temper chocolate, melt 2/3 of the chocolate using the double boiler method (a bowl over boiling water) which will bring the temperature of the chocolate to around 45 degrees (C). Take the bowl off the heat, add the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate to cool the chocolate down faster, and in a motion of lifting and scraping the bowl, keep repeating until the chocolate cools to around 31 degrees (C). A thermometer is essential and once the right temperature is reached, it can be spread out or poured into molds.

And lastly, we make the butter icing and we're ready to decorate our ready made cupcakes and cakes! There's a competition for the best cupcake design and in Great British bake off style, we have only 15 minutes...

The cupcakes that are put forward for judging are all beautiful, but it's Zen who is crowned for her creative chocolate fan on the cupcake, well done Zen!

The winning cupcake.

And to top the fun and sugar-filled evening, we get to take home a massive box of cake and also a hand mixer! How generous is that?


Thank you so much to Debenhams and Kenwood for putting on such an amazing event.   


Photos taken by myself or from Debenhams.




4 comments

  1. Love the aprons! Cupcakes are so cute too x

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    1. Yes they are all so cute! I think we were oohing and ahhing over them for a while haha x

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  2. Oh I love these types of events so much fun and looks like you had a great time! Pretty photos!

    www.onesliceoflemon.com

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    Replies
    1. It really was fun! Yes blogging events that involve food are always good! haha

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