On Thursday 20 February I finally took up the chance to do one of Eric Lanlard’s popular baking masterclasses. For the record, baking is not my forte nor do I give it much time but after winning an opportunity before Christmas to take this this class with great pleasure.
This class was quite aptly a French Country Baking class. Given my love of France and it’s culture (check out my harvest post) I jumped at the opportunity of doing it. It began at 9:30am with a nice welcome of a small breakfast. Definitely needed the breakfast s it’s tough work making three cakes until lunchtime (added to the fact I was training for The Paris Marathon that morning!)
Eric took us (there were eight in the class) on a delicious tour of the signature pudding specialities of ‘la belle France’. Being French, Eric was really passionate about explaining each of his recipes. We started our French baking culinary journey in Brittany with a rich Gateaux Breton:
We then moved on to the Loire Valley to learn how to bake the perfect Tarte Tatin, which for me was the most difficult to prepare, not least because of the nine pears I had to peel! After some sugar melting and sauce making, the hard work paid off and looked like this: (though this picture doesn’t show the steam that was piping from it as it was just out of the oven)
Our final cake brought us to the lavender fields of Provence for an aromatic Provencal almond cake with lavender. This was definitely my favourite out of the three, as was it my house-mates and colleagues at work who had it devoured within hours of seeing it! After my expert decorating (cough) it turned out like this:
After baking these three masterpieces we enjoyed a delicious Provencal lunch of a slowly cooked lamb-shank with a homemade gratin of sweet potato and butternut squash. I indulged in two servings it was so tasty! This was served with a choice fine wines (not both French though!)
We got to take home everything we baked which went down extremely well with my above mentioned house-mate and colleagues. We also got to keep the recipes and a great Cake Boy apron.
Eric happily posed for a picture, so I could prove I was there and did it! And if you know someone interested in baking I would most certainly recommend one of Eric’s classes, more of which you can find out about by clicking here.
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