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Creatures & Flowers Cupcake Class with Holly Bell

For those of you who watched the second series of Great British Bake Off will be familiar with finalist Holly Bell. I was a fan of hers from the first episode because she’s local to me, has a similar obsession with Bakewells and (according to insistent family & friends) we are very similar look wise and mannerisms. Yes, I’ve also been known to get the tape measure out while baking, don’t judge me. I’m a perfectionist.

Holly has recently started cupcake and bread making courses at the lovely Bridge 67 Cookery School in Smeeton Westerby near Market Harborough. She invited me along to try the course. The cookery school is based in cute little house on the farm with the kitchen downstairs and the dining room upstairs. It almost felt like we were in someone’s house. I liked that the ovens were (rather nice) domestic ovens proving if you could cook it there we would be able to cook it at home.

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Introducing my Little Helpers.

Although I teach children how to cook as a day job I don’t have children of my own so while at a family party to celebrate Guy Fawkes night I recruited two little helpers in the form of Cam and Immy to help me road test some Silver Spoon products including black food colouring (used on my Black Velvet Beetle Cakes), writing icing, chocolate letters, coloured coco beans and sugar strands.

Let me introduce my two new helpers:

Cam (aged 6) loves: Percy Pigs, hates: lamb

Immy (aged 10) loves: swimming, hates: onions

I made the chocolate fairy cakes and basic buttercream before hand then the Little Helpers had free rein to try the different ingredients and decorate them how they liked. As that night was the family bonfire party from early on Cam decided he wanted his cakes to look like bonfires, of which he did a superb job and Immy’s were inspired by fireworks. Cam was very much drawn to the edible glitters (from Cake Decor) in my cake decorating box and christened them Cake Makeup. One thing I did realise when processing these photos is that my camera hates taking photos of items with edible glitter on them, it just doesn’t know where to focus and leaves the pictures blurred. Apologies to Immy & Cam as these are the best pictures I got.

Cam’s verdict:

I really liked the chocolate letters they were tasty, but I couldn’t spell all my words because lots of letters were broken. The coloured coco beans were my favourite.

Unfortunately lots of the chocolate letters were broken when they arrived with me or the letters broke when being taken out of the packet. I think the packaging could really be improved to stop breakages. There also seemed to be a distinct lack of common letters and soon ran out of useable letters.

Immy’s verdict:

The writing icing is really hard to use and Jules had to help us. When the icing did come out of the tube it was difficult to control where it was going and getting it to stick. I liked the coloured coco beans the best, they are like mini smarties!

I have since found tips on how to make the writing icing easier to use.

Along with cake making they carved some pumpkins and made Guys to go on the fire. Family tradition states that I’m in charge of the mulled wine/cider and Hubs chief firework lighter as it satisfies the pyromanic in him. After watching the display we all come back inside for a big family dinner. This year’s dinner was a delicious slow roasted lamb with roasted vegetables accompanied with Beyerskloof Pinotage then followed by a cheeseboard and sticky toffee pudding. Perfect meal for Bonfire Night if you ask me.

Cam & Im are now my official testers for food related to products aimed at children and have said how they would love to try more things. Be warned Cam & Immy give Gregg Wallace & John Torrode a run for their money.

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