An Introduction to Baking at Leiths, week 1…

So after a blissful month at Le Cordon Bleu, a four week ‘Introduction to Baking’ course at Leiths had quite a lot to live up to. When I picked all these courses, I knew that LCB and Leiths were two of the most well known and successful cooking schools and their reputation made feel fairly safe in booking classes with them. I don’t think I was expecting to love LCB quite as much as I did, therefore I trotted off to Goldhawk Road and the first class at Leiths with sky high expectations…

leiths

Lovely warm and friendly reception staff got the first class off to a good start, especially as I had the delights of a tube strike to deal with in getting there. The strike might have contributed to the fact that the class was quite small and half the signed up attendees didn’t make it but I actually thought great, more expert knowledge for me!

The kitchen was smaller than LCB but just as well presented with stunning groups of glowing copper pans lined up around the edges. Jess, our teacher was smiley and welcoming as she told us that this first class would produce brownies and biscotti.

I’d never actually made biscotti before, mostly because they’re not my favourite type of biscuit. I’m a girl who likes a damply chewy interior as opposed to a sharp snap in the mouth which is of course, what biscotti deliver with each bite. These biscotti were beautiful with jewel toned fruit beaming out of each piece and you can imagine they’d be a lovely addition to coffee at the end of a meal. It was nice too making something so straightforward that you can’t imagine the end product ever not looking as good as those you see lining bakery shelves in large glass jars.

week 1 b week 1

week 1 c week 1 h

Beautiful gift at Christmas as I’m sure many other people have already discovered though I’d probably use pistachios and cherries to add a festive tone and maybe half dip them in dark chocolate…

The brownies were good. They were rich and chocolatey and they were much appreciated at work the next day however they definitely didn’t knock my ultimate brownies off the top spot though. That accolade belongs to Gwyneth Paltrow whose brownies are unquestionably up there at #1 for me. Deeeeeeee-vine.

week 1 g  week 1 d

I have to be honest here and say that although there were some really great aspects to this class, it wasn’t the challenging or exciting learning experience I’d had high hopes for. Please don’t get me wrong, we made some delicious food and there was a nice atmosphere, there just wasn’t the same passion in the air for food that created an insanely eager class of students at LCB and it was all a little bit simpler than I had anticipated. Totally not claiming that I’m the long lost child of Nigella, Lorraine or Ina here; I just hadn’t expected, from the website descriptions, that the dishes we made to be so easy.

The warning bell came for me when we ran out of things to do, a good 40 minutes before the end of the class. This may have been somewhat related to the fact the class was much smaller than expected but we rattled through everything at such a speed that we ended up making pistachio-cranberry-hazelnut topped dark chocolate discs to fill the time with. They were fine. They were yummy. They weren’t however what I had foreseen making when I shelled out a large amount of money on the class. Maybe week 2 would step up the game a bit…

week 1 f week 1 e

 

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