Just before I was due to move to London, I wrote a list of all the things I wanted to do. There was have a picnic in Hyde Park, go see a theatre show, have breakfast at Breakfast Club and have afternoon tea at Claridges. But you know what else was on there? Attend one of Eric Lanlard's Cake Boy Masterclasses. I used to watch his baking show on Chanel 4; Baking Mad, and each week it put two teams against each other to bake cakes at his Masterclass session (This is way before Bake Off mania). I was hooked and said to myself I would do a class. Well something special happened. I got to do one and meet the man himself! Cue fan girl swooning.
The masterclass is held in his Cake Boy shop which is in the now trendy Battersea. The cafe and shop is a fun, bright and energetic place. If you are in the area, definitely pop in for a bite to eat. (Also visit the toilets- it's like a 80s disco in there!)
After a bite to eat and a coffee for breakfast it was time to start to class.
I'd chosen the French Chocolate Masterclass, but there a lots of others such as French Country Baking or Cupcake decorating.
Now I'm not going to teach you step by step what I made- that wold be cheating- but it was definitely the most intense baking I've ever done. We were to make three incredible chocolate French desserts; a chocolate & pistachio torte, an arabesque gateau opera and flourless gateau chocolat.
At home, whilst I love to bake, it's definitely alot more simpler. I don't even own an electric whisk!
For each step we were shown the correct techniques for whipping, whisking, melting and everything in between.
No microwave melting here.
It was interesting as everyone was here for different reasons. Some just for pleasure like me, or some people were doing because they wanted to open their own cake shops.
The course is quite intense, as to get three complicated French cakes done in the time is a challenge, but it never felt rushed. I think though without the watchful eye of Eric, I'd probably take a lot longer at home.
A industry sized vat of hazelnut spread *Drool*
Just before lunch we had assembled the bases of two of our three desserts. By making three in parallel meant you could actually get more done as some needed down time etc.
With the masterclass lunch is provided. We had a delicious rustic chicken and vegetable bake with lots of french wine.
Lunch also gave me the opportunity to have a snoop on the shop floor and see what was on offer. All I can say is, that the cakes are incredible! Look at those masterpieces!
Finally we were on the home stretch and were finishing off our beautiful cakes.
Ta da! How incredible does this look?!
Also how good are my layers? Come on now guys, haven't I done good?
After a quick demo from Eric, it was time to try my hand at writing.
Not bad I say?
I realised I never took a picture of my flourless cake. Although to be fair it was the least prettiest, but in my opinion the tastiest. Oh my god it was so damn good. I'm making that again!
At around 4pm we were done. Graduates of French baking. I have to say, my cakes looks so professional. I took the Opera cake round to a dinner party and I was asked where I had bought it. I think that's a compliment.
The cakes really were absolutely delicious. Such flavours and textures. They really were amazing.
The whole day was such a fun learning experience and you don't have to be a baking expert at all to take part. It's aimed at all levels and whilst the aim is to teach you, it's also a fun experience day. Oh and a fun experience eating afterwards!
You can find out more about Cake Boy and the masterclass I did here