I've been asked to run some cake pop classes in Jesmond this summer and thought it best to have a trial run. I lured in two friends as guinea pigs with the promise that it would be even more fun than our school cookery lessons, and that they would not have to sketch the internal workings of an electric oven.
I set Lu and Annabel to work crumbing cake. After doing four large bowls, they saw through my plan - we couldn't possibly use all these crumbs in a day and they'd unwittingly done a month's supply for me. Thanks, girls! I probably couldn't get away with this in a real lesson.
We started with madeira cake mixed with lemon buttercream and chilled the cake pops while we moved on to chocolate cake and chocolate buttercream. I learned an important lesson - reduce the normal quantities or else the class ends up with an awful lot of cakepops. Still, it means there's more to enjoy.
And of course once you've dipped a cake pop in orange chocolate, there's nothing better to do than paint on a tiger face and make it some ears from half a callet (that's the fancy word for chocolate button). We even managed the tricky two ball manoeuvre to make a Russian doll.
I love seeing which colours people choose and what ideas they come up with, mainly so I can copy them and pass them off as my own. Annabel's bold purple flowers and multi-coloured cats might well be recreated soon, as will Lu's idea of drawing children's faces on them and writing children's names (real names that is, not 'stinker' or 'fatty bum bum'. Though there could be a market for mildly abusive confectionery).
Lu's husband and boys came to collect her and were pleasantly surprised at how many cake pops were coming home with them. Jake's face is the very picture of anticipation, he really should be in adverts.
Annabel had the joy of bagging and tying all her pops and took this photo.
Both she and Lu genuinely seemed to enjoy an afternoon of hard work and said the lesson was brilliant, which was very heartening. I certainly had fun and hope they take up my kind offer of abandoning their careers in order to come and work in my kitchen. As for the forthcoming lessons, I'll put out dates very soon.