A DAY- LONG, ONE-TO- ONE BAKING COURSE IS A TREAT AS WELL AS AN INTENSE LEARNING EXPERIENCE
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, firstname.lastname@example.org; Instagram @bakehouseinthebarn. Day courses cost £200 per person (max three people), including lunch.