What do you get when 31 of Scotland’s best bloggers come together to learn some baking secrets from the pros? A Twitter trending topic, apparently; as well as some stuffed bellies. So fair play to blogging network Joe Blogs, who pulled off just that at their recent Currys in the Kitchen event at the Cookery School in Glasgow.
The premise of the day was simple: first, we’d be shown how to make each of the bakes planned for us by Cookery School chef Danny (scones, Victoria sponge, cupcakes and chocolate-chip muffins), then we would split into groups and attempt to recreate what we had seen. All while Instagramming and hashtagging our way through the process, obviously: you’ve never seen so many phones in the kitchen.
We were told to break up into groups of three, but before I had time to think Miss West End Girl was steering myself and Lori of Glasgow Beauty Blogger to the back of the room while flashing the secret weapon she had snuck into the class in the pocket of her yellow dress: a tub of edible glitter! Of course. One of the best things about the day was that the bloggers in attendance weren’t your typical foodie bloggers, and our levels of baking knowledge ranged right across the whole spectrum – but it was only once we were joined by pistachio queen Ananyah that #TeamSparkle was truly born.
One thing that bonded us together from the off, other than our amazing tattoos, was our general disapproval of raisins in scones – making us the only bloggers to go off plan right from the start! You can’t beat a big, floury, plain scone thick with butter and just a smidgeon of jam on one corner in my book – and with the oven in the flat broken at the moment, I’m spending many a Saturday lunchtime in the M&S Café in order to get my fix. Once the scones were ready for the oven, we popped outside for the above group shot – and, by the time Lynsey and I were done shooting outfit posts (don’t you love gatherings where that’s not only socially acceptable but encouraged?) our first bakes were ready for sampling with a cup of tea.
Kenwood had provided us all with a hand mixer to take home, as well as a couple of covetable Pattisiere food mixers which were offered up as competition prizes. My top baking tip – to of course colour-coordinate your baking tools with your lipstick all the better to take Manic Pixie Dream Girl-esque selfies with (because otherwise, wouldn’t you just buy your cakes from Tesco and save yourself a lot of hassle?) – lost out to Charlotte from Colours and Carousels, who frankly would have deserved to win for her ability to style our fetching royal blue aprons alone: but a girl can dream of finding one of these in her 1950s diner-inspired dream kitchen come moving day, right?
Shush, you’ve missed my gratuitous boob shot selfies.
Of course these mixers weren’t just there to look pretty, and when it came time to work up two batches of cake batter for our Victoria sponge and cupcakes Michelle gave the mixer a go while Lori went for Paul Hollywood’s preferred hand-mixing methods. Which turned out better? Frankly, to look at and taste the gorgeous cakes we created you couldn’t tell the difference (that said, Stringer ended up eating my portion of the Victoria sponge when I got home, clutching my stomach and whining from cupcake over-exposure).
I also, with Lynsey’s encouragement, couldn’t resist a proper fashion blogger-style outfit post when we realised that the cake cases from our chocolate chip muffins matched my blouse (a look that Lynsey named “Rizzo in the kitchen bad gal sass”). I need to re-learn how to feel comfortable in my own skin more in order to do this more often, given how much I love my clothes and accessories – baby steps though, eh?.
(Incidentally, can we take five minutes just to comment on how flattering these Gap jeans are, for those of us with lumpy waists and finely-developed posteriors? Up until relatively recently I’ve been living in skirts and dresses while shying away from my waistline, but now I’ve found my perfect jeans I’m swinging back to the double-denim days of my youth…)
All in all, a fantastic day catching up with old friends, making some new ones and taking some existing ones offline! Thanks to Joes Blogs, the Cookery School and Currys (who also blogged about the day) for hosting us: you can shop their range of Kenwood mixers here.
And these are absolutely getting annotated, framed and hung in my new kitchen.