The Cake and Bake Show (1)

We won a pair of tickets to the Cake and Bake Show at Earls Court, courtesy of Andrew Webb, editor of the very wonderful

We weren’t at all sure of what the show would be like. We’re enthusiastic breadmakers and I’m (perhaps too) fond of pies, but cakes aren’t our forte. We needn’t have worried. It was great. In fact, one day wasn’t nearly enough to see all that we wanted and to attend all of the demonstrations that we would have liked.

Plus, to add a dash of celebrity to the proceedings, the contestants from The Great British Bake Off were there.

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Here are just a few, but we spotted all but four of the thirteen. I’m sure that they were there too, somewhere in the throng. They were a friendly bunch, in spite of it being the third day of the show, and were still willing to pose for photos. Here’s Jean with contestant Glenn, at the Bakery Bits stand. Bakery Bits has long been my favourite website for buying breadmaking accessories, and the Bake Off bakers obviously liked it too.

But the highlights of our day were the demonstrations. Here’s Dean Brettschneider, introduced as a global baker. Andrew Webb is on the left.

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Dean’s cooking shows a lot of Asian influences. He showed us how to make savoury muffins – the next big thing, apparently. This is a recipe that we’ll certainly be making, a muffin dough with plenty of finely chopped vegetables, enclosing a soft-boiled egg (or a cheese-stuffed pepper).

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The picture shows the muffins being assembled. I have to say that the finished product was delicious, and will make a fabulous and different lunch or supper when we’re entertaining vegetarian friends.

Dean also created a mini shepherds pie, but with a layer of cheese between the spicy meat sauce and the potato. The spuds weren’t mashed, but parboiled then crisply fried in tiny cubes, like Scandinavian Pytt i Panna.

We bought his book, of course!

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The other demo that we loved was on sourdough bread, given by Aidan Chapman. His technique involved folding the dough ever so gently – no vigorous kneading which I’d always believed to be essential. Instead, plenty of time is allowed for the cultures to develop at low temperature. We have a fresh sourdough culture starting up as I write, so our first Aidan Chapman inspired loaf should be coming out if the oven in a week or so. We’ve also booked ourselves on his next available breadmaking course!

Here he is in full impassioned delivery:

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There was much more to the show than that, of course, but that will be the subject of my next post.

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