An Introduction to Baking at Leiths, week 2…

Week 2 of this introduction to baking and I had high hopes that it would be a bit more testing than the first. It brought us a new teacher, a practical demonstration of a lighter-than-air orange and walnut swiss roll and and actual making of passion fruit and lime syrup sponge and scones.

Week 2 was definitely better for a few reasons – the teacher, with us for 1 week only sadly, was jovial and interested in us, asking questions and encouraging the same back. The sponge was not something I had made before and the swiss roll was utterly splendid, soft and crumbly and almost falling apart with the orange scented cream holding it together until it melted on your tongue leaving traces of warm walnuttiness behind…

week 2 week 2 h

Scones have been in my baking history since I was a little girl and my mum and grandma showed me how to make them. They’re simple but don’t ever hold that against them or assume that this means they’re easy. Simple and easy are too very different things when it comes to baking. Something can be simple if it only has five or six ingredients as scones do but it won’t take much effort to over bake, resulting in weapons with which to arm yourself for the next tube strike rather than lavish with cream and jam and enjoy.

These scones were light and tasted like droplets of heaven when blanketed in clotted cream and fresh raspberry jam…

week 2 j week 2 i

It was undoubtedly the sponge that was my favourite dish here. As someone who’s new to liking both passion fruit and lime but who’s an old hand at liking cake, I was looking forward to seeing how this would turn out and the answer is light, refreshing, tangy, moist and definitely one for the repertoire – it’s the cake I could imagine serving at a ladies-who-lunch lunch.

week 2 b week 2 c

A gorgeously elegant sponge, golden and risen to perfection with a hint in the air of the lime zest that was folded into the batter…

week 2 e week 2 d

…just asking to be drenched in sticky, zingy syrup, warm and brimming with passion fruit seeds. This was a terrific cake to learn how to make, each bite full of the flavour of the fruit with each seed being a little explosion of sherbet-y freshness in your mouth, a really welcome addition to the cake family and a nice alternative to much loved but sometimes overly rich chocolate.

week 2 f week 2 g cake

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