At half 4 I began my journey across London to Bourne & Hollingsworth Building for an evening of cake decorating, cocktails and canapés with Great British Bake Off’s Chetna Makan. The masterclass, co-ordinated by Sainsbury’s, celebrated the launch of their new Edible Flowers which are to feature in some 120 stores across the UK. Set to target “confident cookers,” they aim to keep the product versatile with a blend of four different flowers. Indulging in Chetna’s Watermelon gazpacho drink topped with some of the flowers themselves, I learned that they work quite well with drinks too.
Turning our attention back to cakes, the event began with a demonstration from Great British Bake Off’s very own. Chetna set the pace decorating a three-tiered cake. The top layer consisted of Blueberry and Almond, whilst the middle layer was an infusion of Rose and Pistachio, and the bottom a Coconut and Lemon cake.
Chetna based the three individual cakes with buttercream before stacking them on top each other, adding the ‘royal icing’ to create a Henna-themed cake. After doing so, she gently placed the Edible Flowers onto the cake giving us Indian-culture-infused-with-vintage. Her cake was truly spectacular; you could tell she was born to bake.
Whilst Chetna was working her magic we were given a wonderful Courgette tart topped with Edible Flowers served with peppery leafy salad. It was interesting to see the flowers being utilised in such a wide variety of ways.
Pen and paper at the ready, I noted down Chetna’s advice. “Never serve a cake straight out of the fridge, it just doesn’t do it justice,” she said – just a little baking tip from her, to me, to you (thank me later). Once the demonstration was over it was on to the next one. It was now our turn to decorate a cake and let’s just say I had to put those GCSE art skills to good use.
I didn’t really have a theme or idea as to what I was going to produce. I guess you’ve got to be a ‘go with the flow’ type of person when it comes to these things. It also didn’t help that I had never actually decorated a cake before. I kept telling myself it was an art piece, so I could produce something that was somewhat appealing to the eye.
What do you think? Did I do a good job? Okay, well you don’t have to answer that. At least I tried. Rachel on the other hand did an exceptional job coming in first place, while Chetna said we all shared ‘a close second’.
That was good enough for me. It was a great experience, and I for one will be on the lookout for some edible flowers to take a second stab at it!