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Ready, Steady, Bake!

October 10, 2014 11:52 am Published by

Let me present to you the recipe for TV success; begin with a combination of curdled custards and burnt biscuits, mix in a few tears and tantrums, sprinkle in some genuinely impressive concoctions and finish off with a dollop of tension so thick you could cut it with a knife. And, voila!

I’m referring, of course, to The Great British Bake Off. Quite possibly the best British export since Harry Potter or The Beckhams. The programme, which sees contestants bake against the clock, has gone global with the BBC selling the format for big bucks to countries including the USASwedenDenmarkFrance and Norway.

Pursuit of the perfect pastry and fluffiest sponge has, quite clearly, gripped the globe. Yet whilst most of us enjoy feasting our eyes on tempting Bake Off creations, few can claim to be anything other than amateur bakers. Never fear, however, as I’ve discovered courses (with an international flavour) that will transform you from kitchen calamity to The Big Daddy of baking.

First stop, Paris. Where else to hone the art of baking? The French capital is the motherland of patisseries. Le Cordon Bleu offer a range of short courses to get your baking skills up to scratch. For EUR 180 students can learn to make mouthwatering goodies such as chocolate and banana éclairs in the Sweet Choux Pastry Treats workshop.

Over in the States, Butter Lane Bakery in New York is the place to head to satisfy your craving to be cupcake King or Queen. Learn to pipe icing, use a pastry bag and create classic cake decorations, including roses and sunflowers, for USD 75. At the end of the 2 hour workshop, students can take home their masterpieces to devour. 

In the UK, wannabe bakers can brave bread making at The School of Artisan Food in Nottinghamshire. A four day course dedicated to bread and patisserie sees students immerse themselves in all things dough. Ideal for beginners, book yourself on to this course for GBP 570 and receive professional advice and tutelage from Emmanuel Hadjiandreou. 

Down under, the Brasserie Bread Bakery in Sydney, Australia deliver classes designed to make you an expert cake, tart and bread maker. Just in time for Christmas is the festive bread making class in December, which costs AUD 160. Workshops promise to provide you with the ability to achieve a golden crust, a warm spongy crumb and rich flavours.

Crikey! Sounds like in no time at all you’ll be rolling up those sleeves, donning an apron and expertly whipping up walnut loafs and passion fruit pavlovas to rival Mary Berry. Maybe I should jump on the baking bandwagon too and get a slice of the action? Actually I think, for now, I’m quite happy just to be the taste tester and scoff a slice of the cake! 

 

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This post was written by Kayleigh Driscoll

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