Rainbow lollipop class

My sister and I recently went to a candy making class, something that we both have wanted to do. We arrived for the class and excitedly looked around the shop at the wonderful sweets as we waited for the candy to be heated to the correct temperature. Once this was done we made our way to the workshop with our instructor. It was only a small class with another woman, my sister and me and the instructor who was going to lead the class. Today we were making rainbow lollipops.

The mixture of glucose, water and sugar was really hot, and so it was only safe for the instructor to use. The instructor poured the mixture onto a specially made table that was heated to enable him to keep working with it. The flavour of the mixture was tutti frutti and it smelled great. Once the mixture was on the table our instructor started to add colour, made with natural flavourings and were vegan, vegetarian and halal which was great to know.

First the primary colours were made, and then our instructor used these to make the secondary colours. The white was stretched to add air which would then bring out the colour. All the colours were then laid out in rainbow order and wrapped around the white candy to create a long, colourful tube. We were now able to start making our rainbow lollipops.

Our instructor stretched the candy tube to make it thinner and then gave us a piece each to create our shapes. Working on heated tables and with gloves on we made a simple shape first, the swirl, and adding a wooden stick our lollipop was complete. We then made a few more shapes; starts, hearts, flowers and butterflies. I think my favourite was the duck which came out quite well. We had to work quickly with each piece of candy as it would become difficult to mold as it cooled, hardened and turned glass-like.

The class was about 1 hour long, but the time went quickly, as it always does when you’re having fun. Our instructor was friendly, and very knowledgeable, and the candy making process was almost scientific when it came to understanding the way the ingredients interacted with each other. And the best bit; we all got to take our tasty creations home with us, which was a lot more than I expected. I would definitely recommend doing a class like this, as it’s not every day that you get to have a hands on experience that involves such tasty treats.

Let them eat cake

I went to a cake show in London this weekend with my sister and niece. I’m not much of a baker but I wanted to see all the creative designs that would be on show, and eat some delicious cake of course. And I can honestly say that I wasn’t disappointed! There were some amazing cakes, as well as other seriously delicious looking treats that were enough to make my mouth water.

On arrival we were greeted with the huge, happy face of Roald Dahl’s BFG made entirely of sugar, with great colour and detail.

Sugar BFG

There were cooking classes going on with famous tv chefs as well as general sessions to help create treats from well known brands, We didn’t join any of these sessions, preferring to take a look around the stalls. There was almost everything you could think of related to desserts on offer; from cake embellishments and tools, to edible buys like cupcakes, macaroons, meringues and pastries.

I thought some of the cakes on display were great and you could see a lot of time and effort went into making them. Available were kits and tips on how to make and decorate them as well as demonstrations. The biscuit Eiffel Tower was impressive as was the level of detail that seemed to go into some of the sugar craft pieces.

As we wandered we tried some samples and brought some tasty goodies, trying not to get carried away and buying one of everything. We also boarded a red double decker bus set out for afternoon tea.

There was also a cake and cupcake competition that the public could vote for so we walked the aisles wowed by the entries. The theme was myths, legends and fairy tales and there were some great creations. I think my favourites were the Frog Prince, the pretty peacock cupcakes and Disney cake.

After spending most of the afternoon and too much money we headed home with delicious goods, dead batteries and weary but happy smiles. It was a great show and there was something for everyone, avid bakers or not.