Reading about baking and people discovering the joys of making their own cakes, and looking at television shows such as the Great British Bakeoff and Masterchef have made me think of learning how to bake. And every time I look at beautifully decorated cakes at shops, I always want to learn this skill.
So having decided to learn baking next was to find a place where I could learn it. A quick search on the internet and I discover that all baking classes around London are expensive, and offer only one day class. Slightly disheartened with my search, I went to the nearby cake shop for some cake and coffee. Little did I know that good news awaited for me here. The cake shop had recently started a baking class. I enquired and found that it would be a week long course at a price that other places were charging for just one day. So cheap, lucky me! I enrolled myself on the spot.
Next week I was at the cake shop for my first class of the week. While entering the shop, I scanned through the glass window at all different shape and size of cakes. I made my way inside the shop’s kitchen with my apron on and my notebook in my hand. The aroma of freshly baked cakes filled the kitchen. I was in trance.
Soon after the introductions and exchange of pleasantries, I was given two shape cutters with some fondant icing to make hearts and stars. I took about half hour to finish the entire icing. All excited that now I will get something new to work on, I presented it to the chef who in return gave me more icing fondant in a different colour to make more hearts and stars. End of day 1, four hours spent and I learn nothing but to cut shapes out of icing fondant which looked like plain flour dough with added colour.
Very frustrated I consoled myself that they might be checking my dedication and all other sorts of ideas, and pushed myself for day 2.
Day 2 became all about icing the cake using butter cream. What?? I mean I have come to learn baking and I don’t even know B of baking by almost half the course. I was frustrated to the core. It was like directly jumping from chapter one to the last one. I was upset.
Ok, now next day I was asked to come early in the morning. With no excitement left inside me now, I dragged myself to the shop. As I put my apron on, I was surprised to know that I would really bake a cake today. Yes surprised even though I was doing a baking course.
The chef showed me how to mix things, when to add stuff to mix, how the texture should be and all what I had been waiting for. It was really Wow. I actually baked a cake and that too a nice spongy one, to add to it I was given that cake to take home. The fourth and fifth days were spent in learning more about different techniques used to cover cakes with fondant, making big shapes and decorations, baking products and brands to be used, layering with cream and gels, and balancing multi-layer cakes etc. etc.
So it did start very frustratingly but end of it I did manage to learn a lot, and more than that I became confident that I can make almost any cake which I see in the shops.
And also from day 3 it had become a fun place to go as well, with Turkish songs playing in the kitchen continuously as the shop had a mix of Turkish and Kurdish people, I had good time learning about their culture too. They always offered me coffee and ‘Gozleme’ (Gozleme is a traditional savory Turkish flatbread and pastry dish). So all in all a great experience for me.
And here are some pictures of how I am doing with my newly acquired baking skills.
My First Cake at Home
My Beautiful Carrot Cake