Sea­sonal bak­ing

A DAY- LONG, ONE-TO- ONE BAK­ING COURSE IS A TREAT AS WELL AS AN IN­TENSE LEARN­ING EX­PE­RI­ENCE

The Simple Things - - LIVING - By SALLY COULTHARD

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL

COME. That’s the premise be­hind North York­shire cake maker and pâtis­sière So­phie Smith’s new Bake­house in the Barn culi­nary ad­ven­ture. She had the bril­liant idea to build an oak-frame shed in the grounds of her gra­nary barn, kit it out as a pro­fes­sional kitchen, and run short cour­ses for fans of exquisitely styled, beautiful tast­ing desserts, canapés and savoury tarts. Not one to miss out on the op­por­tu­nity to eat cake in the name of re­search, I booked my­self on her Sea­sonal Sum­mer Bak­ing one-to-one mas­ter­class, a day-long course de­signed to help you cap­ture sum­mer’s tastes, smells and tex­tures.

The aim of the day was to make three sea­sonal dishes us­ing in­gre­di­ents that are ei­ther grow­ing in the gar­den or wild or over sum­mer: straw­berry and pis­ta­chio Bre­ton tart; thyme and poppy seed mini loaves; and a lemon and el­der­flower syrup sponge.

Learn­ing one-to-one can be in­tense but So­phie proved an ex­pert teacher – re­laxed, friendly and full of use­ful, hands-on ad­vice. The kitchen is small with­out be­ing cramped (ideal for su­per­vised learn­ing) and I picked up lots of pro­fes­sional hacks, such as how to seal a bot­tom­less cake ring with bak­ing pa­per and make a fruit glaze.

It’s a packed day – 10am un­til 4pm – and I had just enough time to knock out all three bakes (above), tempt­ingly warm and fra­grant from the oven (the mini loaves, to my shame, didn’t make it past the car jour­ney home).

So­phie’s classes run through­out the year; she also does a Ve­gan Bak­ing day, but she will ba­si­cally tai­lor a course to what you want to learn. For more in­for­ma­tion, So­phie Smith, bake­hou­se­inthe­barn@gmail.com; In­sta­gram @bake­hou­se­inthe­barn. Day cour­ses cost £200 per per­son (max three peo­ple), in­clud­ing lunch.

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