Category Archives: Events

Our Rosemary Shrager road trip

We were very excited to receive a personal invitation from Rosemary Shrager to visit her delightful cookery school. Nestled in the adorable Lower Pantiles, in Royal Tunbridge Wells her school is set in a beautiful three storey Regency building. Rosemary also has her elegant ‘Shrager’s Patisserie’ just across the square, with display windows filled with the most delicate pastries and cakes imaginable.

Rosemary’s infectious personality and passion for food was evident as we were taken on a guided tour. Unlike other cookery schools, this one has two very distinct functions; a shiny, high tech professional kitchen and a warm, chic domestic kitchen. We were particularly in awe of the array of state of the art baking kit pristinely sat waiting to be used!!

Rosemary has filled her cookery school with a fantastic team of skilled chefs and we were privileged enough to have a Chef’s Table prepared for us by Executive Chef, John Rogers.

The six course menu was indulgent and innovative, not to mention truly delicious!!!!! Each dish had been personally created just for us and was inspired by Billington’s unrefined sugar; from the wheaten bread starter, the refreshing halibut with cucumber and cheeky hints of mojito, right through to smoked duck with carrot and orange.

As we are of course baking mad, our favourite dish of the day had to be the dessert; a deconstructed Black Forest pudding, consisting a beautiful array of cherry and chocolate components.

Pudding

The layout of the Chef’s table allowed us to watch each dish being cooked, assembled and meant that we could interact with John as well. He had used ingredients in such inspiring ways that we were just bursting to get back to our kitchen to try out what we had learnt.
Rosemary was the perfect host and we had a wonderful day out exploring her cookery school and tasting the great food on offer.

The cookery school is taking 2014 bookings for Chef Table experiences, One Day, Half Day and Masterclass courses. Further information can be found on www.rosemaryshrager.com

Rosemary will be appearing at the Cake & Bake Show 3-5 October at London’s Earls Court.

Nielsen-Massey have been confirmed as headline sponsor for The Cake and Bake Show

The Cake and Bake Show is back and this year Nielsen-Massey will be headline sponsor for their London show, from 3rd – 5th October at Earls Court.

The event is a must for any cake or bake lover with so many delectable bakes on display. The show received more than 30,000 visitors last year and has everything from baking demos, to cake decorating, plus of course some tasty treats and baking kits for visitors to purchase.

It’s also a fabulous chance to see some of the star speakers such as Eric Lanlard, Rosemary Shrager, Simon Rimmer, The Fabulous Baker Bros and Rachel Khoo.

If that has tickled your taste buds, they’re also offering £10 tickets (usually £14.50) until 14th July. Just follow the link and pop in discount code BM10 to claim.

http://cakeandbakelondon.seetickets.com/event/the-cake-bake-show/earls-court/771454

Save 20% off tickets at the London Cake and Bake Show

Here at BakingMad.com we like to offer our members exclusive discounts and here’s our latest one…

If you haven’t already bought your tickets for The Cake & Bake Show London 2013, make sure you quote code “BM20″ when you are booking and you will get a fantastic 20% off of your tickets.

Click here to buy tickets

Event details:

  • 13th-15th September
  • Earls Court London SW5 9TA
  • Friday open 11am-6pm
  • Saturday open 10am-6pm
  • Sunday 10am – 5pm

We are looking forward to seeing you at the show!!

 

Vanilla Amnesty at the Cake and Bake Show

Swap your Vanilla Essence for Extract!

The get the best results in your baking, using the best ingredients is key.  This includes vanilla.

If you are guilty of having Vanilla Essence in your cupboard and not Vanilla Extract, we will swop your bottle for a 60ml Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract absolutely free of charge at the BakingMad.com stand.

Nielsen-Massey has crafted the world’s finest vanillas and flavour extracts since 1907. Hand-picked for perfection, their vanilla beans go through an exclusive cold extraction process that slowly and gently draws out the delicate, natural flavours.

Be quick though as we only have 2,500 bottles to give away!

Nielsen Massey Vanilla Workshop

Recently Baking Mad attended a fabulous workshop hosted by pure vanilla experts Nielsen-Massey, educating people about the history of vanilla and the importance of quality vanilla in baking.

Nielsen-Massey ambassador Eric Lanlard hosted the event at his shop ‘Cake Boy’ in London, where members of the media and food bloggers assembled to enjoy a selection of vanilla inspired canapes and mini desserts along with a few glasses of champagne.

Eric discussed the production of vanilla and about how the world’s finest vanilla is grown in the warm, moist, tropical climates of Madagascar. He explained that vanilla pods, or beans as they are commonly called, are the fruit of an orchid, and that of the thousands of varieties of orchid, the vanilla plant is the only one known to produce an edible fruit. The flower of the vanilla orchid opens for only part of one day and if not pollinated on this day pods will not be produced.  This is why Nielsen-Massey hand pollinate each and every flower, over the two to three month flowering period to ensure a plentiful crop.

Nielsen-Massey use an exclusive cold extraction process to slowly and gently draw the delicate and distinctive flavour from the vanilla beans.  This process differs from all other processes as it doesn’t use heat or pressure when extracting.  The vanilla is extracted under precise temperature control at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, using a specially constructed stainless steel extractor, after the beans are loaded into the extractor, an alcohol and water solution is pumped continuously over and through the beans.  It can be a lengthy process, taking three to five weeks to complete depending on the batch type being produced.  The finished vanilla is then filtered into a holding tank ready for bottling.

We were invited to observe three small dishes in front of us containing vanilla essence, vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste. Eric highlighted the difference between the three, with the vanilla paste and extract having a denser texture and a much more poignant vanilla smell. The vanilla essence was more fluid and clear with a synthetic smell, and Eric explained that synthetic vanilla essence is shockingly what 98% of the world still use as a flavour and fragrance. It’s obvious to see that the Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Bean Paste would bring a stronger, more amazing flavour to your baking.

Eric demonstrated his favourite vanilla recipe, a Nielsen-Massey Fraisier. Using copious amounts of Nielsen-Massey extract and bean paste he assembled this strawberry delight, topping it with toasted marzipan and hand decorating it with chocolate. Fabulous!

Every attendee received a lovely Nielsen-Massey goody bag containing Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste, Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract, a Nielsen-Massey branded apron and an individually wrapped Cake Boy vanilla cupcake using Nielsen-Massey and topped with a golden vanilla pod.

Thank you to everyone who attended on the day I think we all had a fantastic time. We hope you enjoy using Nielsen Massey vanilla products forevermore to make your baking totally delicious.

Taste of London, 21-24 June, Regent’s Park.

Celebrate world class cuisine at Taste of London,  as more than 40 of London’s top restaurants gather in Regent’s Park for the most gastronomic and glamorous grazing session yet. Old Taste favourites and hot new restaurants alike will be joined by a boutique food market of 200 premium brands and artisan producers, chef demos and foodie entertainment for this four day alfresco spectacular.

Create your own perfect tasting menu from the likes of Michelin-starred Le Gavroche, Gauthier Soho and Pollen Street Social; take your taste buds on tour with foodie offerings from Peru, Brazil and Malaysia, as well as our dedicated Taste of Thailand section; and be entertained watching chefs take on the challenge of the Weber British BBQ Championships, or enter the amateur competition for yourself if you think you have what it takes.

With all this plus a whole programme of wine tastings, book signings and chef demos, Taste is one foodie fest you really mustn’t miss out on.

Treat yourself to 2 standard tickets for £38* – a saving of £19! Simply click here, or call 0871 230 7132 and quote BAKING38. (Offer valid Thursday & Friday sessions only.)

*Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras. Booking and transaction fees apply. Offer applies to Thursday and Friday sessions only. Saving is calculated on the door price. VIP and other ticket types available from tastefestivals.com/london.

Taste of London is Back!

Taste of London

There was a big ‘yipee!’ from the Baking Mad kitchen when we heard that Taste of London was back on this Summer!

The fabulous foodie event which takes place at Regent’s Park between 21st-24th June is a great way to celebrate world class cuisine,  as more than 40 of London’s top restaurants come together for the most gastronomic and glamorous grazing session yet. Old Taste favourites and hot new restaurants alike will be joined by a boutique food market of 200 premium brands and artisan producers, chef demos and foodie entertainment for this four day alfresco spectacular.

Create your own perfect tasting menu from the likes of Michelin-starred Le Gavroche, Gauthier Soho and Pollen Street Social; take your taste buds on tour with foodie offerings from Peru, Brazil and Malaysia, as well as our dedicated Taste of Thailand section; and be entertained watching chefs take on the challenge of the Weber British BBQ Championships, or enter the amateur competition for yourself if you think you have what it takes.

With all this plus a whole programme of wine tastings, book signings and chef demos, Taste is one foodie fest you really mustn’t miss out on.

Treat yourself to 2 standard tickets for £38* – a saving of £19! Simply click here, or call 0871 230 7132 and quote BAKING38. (Offer valid Thursday & Friday sessions only.)

*Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras. Booking and transaction fees apply. Offer applies to Thursday and Friday sessions only. Saving is calculated on the door price. VIP and other ticket types available from tastefestivals.com/london.

Abbie crowned Little Baker of the Year!

Abbie Perkins Baking Mad Little Baker of the YearFollowing a tense Bake Off in London on Saturday we are delighted to announce the results of our Little Baker of the Year competition 2011/2012.

Abbie Perkins, from Wrexham, was chosen as the winner by our panel of judges which included Ruth Clemens, runner up on 2010′s Great British Bake Off, Michelle Rice, author of Utterly Scrummy, and Baking Mad’s own home-baking expert, Mitzie Wilson.

The standard of baking throughout the day was extremely high but it was eight year old Abbie who came out on top with her recipe for Rudolph Sponge Cake.

Mitzie Wilson said: “We were so impressed with the creativity and technical ability of all of our finalists.”

The competition was really close but we chose Abbie as our winner because her recipe was really fun and festive and she showed a lot of skill and confidence in the kitchen. We hope she will inspire other children to give baking a go!”

As the competition winner, Abbie will become the face of the kid section on Baking Mad.com, have her recipes published on the website and will also win a year’s supply of baking ingredients courtesy of The Silver Spoon Company.

Talking about her win Abbie said: “When they announced me as the winner I felt so excited, I thought I was going to cry! I am really looking forward to telling all my school friends about the competition and making lots more yummy recipes for my family and Baking Mad.”

Take a look at the highlights from the competition…

Abbie
They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating and Abbie’s Rudolph Sponge tasted as good as it looked!

Baking Mad Little Baker of the Year

Erinn
Errin’s Frosty Christmas Scene delighted the judges. Her clever use of Orios for snowman hats and desiccated coconut for snow, showed every little detail had been well thought out.

Baking Mad Little Baker of the Year Competition

India
India’s ambitious Christmas Cranberry Snowball recipe really showed off her technical ability. Her oat and cranberry biscuit base was simply divine!

Baking Mad Little Baker of the Year Competition

Fidelma
We loved Fidelma’s Christmas Cupcake Wreath concept. Perfect for sharing and complete with fairy lights, a cupcake recipe does not come much more festive than this!

Baking Mad Little Baker of the Year

Well done to all our Little Bakers! We wish you all happy baking for the future!

Cookery School at Little Portland Street

The Cookery School at Little Portland Street has something to offer all food lovers: classes and courses for beginners and experienced cooks, as well as sessions on specialist topics. They also run corporate events, cooking parties and private classes on request.

They are based in custom-designed premises in Little Portland Street, London W1, two minutes from Oxford Circus (Map).

Click on the relevant link for details of the classes on offer over the coming months and register with us to receive news and updates

Jason Atherton

Jason Atherton, chef/owner of Pollen Street Social http://www.pollenstreetsocial.com/

It was over a month ago now, but I’m only just recovering from Taste of London and Taste of Edinburgh.

They’re two of the UK’s most stylish food festivals, where anyone with an appetite for al fresco dining can sample exquisite food and see demonstrations from world-class chefs.  

I was in good company alongside many culinary greats including Tom Aikens, Gary Rhodes, Theo Randall and Bruno Loubet, not to mention the gorgeous Gwyneth Paltrow who was  feverishly signing copies of her new cookbook ‘Notes from my Kitchen Table’.   She looks as good in the flesh as she did on Glee (I know you all watch it).

Taste is not just about savoury dishes, which is great news as I have a real passion for puddings.  So much so in fact, I put in a bar, devoted to serving desserts, in my new restaurant, Pollen Street Social http://www.pollenstreetsocial.com/

The dessert menu is created to appeal to lots of different tastes, from a rather sexy Watermelon, Candied Goat’s Curd and Basil Sorbet to a traditional English rice pudding, but served with hay ice-cream and lime jelly.

Making puddings is a real art; it’s the only part of my kitchen where I insist on everything being accurately measured and weighted.  If you put one too many olives in a tapenade, nobody is going to know. But when you make a lemon tart, if it hasn’t got the exact amount of eggs in it, it’s not going to set.  I’m a stickler for using the right ingredients as well.  To get the best results you need to start with the very best ingredients you can afford.  I always use Billington’s unrefined range which I guarantee will make a real difference to the results of our baking.

Have a look at some of my latest pudding recipes on http://www.bakingmad.com/, or pop into the restaurant.

Pollen Street Social, 8-10 Pollen St, W1 (020 7290 7600), pollenstreetsocial.com