Friday 22 February 2013

Afternoon Tea Baking School: Test Student # 3 - Leah Ann

As some of you know by now, I am now offering up my Afternoon Tea Baking expertise in the form of my new Baking School.. in your OWN home. 
You can read more about the plans for this here, along with my plans to get this 
spot on, I have recruited a few impartial Secluded Tea Party friends to allow me to use them as *Test Students* to iron out all the creases before
 I started to release myself into your very own homes! 

I plan to be your very own "Fairy Cake Mother" - Resting by your side with a cuppa in hand showing you how to bake, but letting you do it all... you may even surprise yourself. In fact, I promise you that you will, I've had various people tell me that they "can't bake", I've popped over with my baking kit and they have made cakes to rival my own. It's a fantastic feeling knowing I can help you to do just that.

And so... to my little *Test Student* case studies.... 

My third student was the lovely Leah Ann, newly married and now with her first child on the way, she wanted to use her love and passion for all things afternoon tea related and get baking in preparation for being a new mum. 

She told me all about the gorgeous 1920's inspired wedding she had planned herself not even a year ago within local and quirky venues that were personal to her and her friends, with all the gorgeous props and food she had plotted and the gorgeous sounding Hen Party she had put on with Afternoon Tea by a local River, she was a girl after my own heart from the off!

How could I resist teaching this lovely lady how to bake one of my signature cakes? 

She was eager to learn one of my favorite signature cakes, the Strawberry & Cream Layer cake with hand piped chocolate hearts and with Valentines just around the corner, this was the perfect choice of recipe, so I happily obliged. 

This cake had originally been dreamed up for my mums birthday a couple of years ago and when she saw the photos of Leah's cake after my lesson with her, she was texting me telling me she wanted to try that cake herself. When I reminded her that it was her birthday cake once, she had forgotten, amusingly, which went to show just how many cakes I make my family, they can't remember what they have & haven't sampled ; )  

So off i went one sunny, but icy Saturday morning to join Leah and bump in the kitchen for some relaxed cake baking lessons to an equally chilled out soundtrack in the background. What I loved most about teaching Leah was that her home was indeed homely and she had her usual music on in the background, which helped us both to relax from the very start. There is certainly something to be said about geeking out to your fave tunes whilst getting creative in the kitchen and this was certainly no exception! 

I am usually an AC:DC/Foo Fighters kind of girl whilst I rock out a cake, but Leah was much more civilised and sophisticated, offering a jazzy/bluesy soundtrack to the morning. 

Music is always welcomed should I visit you for a lesson, do note ; ) 

Leah got stuck in and loved using the equipment I had provided her, including a new found love for my kMix which I would have had to steal back from her grasp if her lovely husband hadn't suggested that he treated her to one sometime in the near future. It's fun when my students fall in love with the equipment I use, it means I've got it right, hurrah.

Whilst the sponge was baking, we went through some adaptation ideas for her sponge, depending on her mood at the time she might be baking. I always love this sort of discussion with a student, as even I find some new and creative inspiration from the chat. Great ideas were certainly discussed over a cuppa as we salivated at the smell of her strawberry sponge rising in the oven.

Once the sponges were baked and cooling, I taught Leah various different ways to pipe a cake, using various techniques and tricks whilst both making up the buttercream for her cake as well as ideas for decorating the finished article.

Leah was going to be baking this layer cake for her very own afternoon tea party later that afternoon, so we wanted a big wow factor creation to impress her friends.

She went for a good sized chocolate piped heart, making various thicknesses, finally settling on the big thick ones to poke into the very top of her piped buttercream to decorate. It looked AMAZING. 

I was so impressed, for days to come, my Facebook & Twitter followers thought this was all my handy work and as much as I would like to take the credit, I stood over Leah, doing what I do best... being bossy whilst sipping on a cup of tea ; ) 
It was all Leah... and her friend? 

They were mightily impressed, as I knew they would be! Leah even sent me a picture of them cutting into later that day, I loved teaching her so much! 

Miss Sue Flay 

  Leah Says:
" This is the first time I have baked something from scratch and it was a lot easier and less intimidating than I had anticipated, I was so proud of my creation! It felt like I was baking with an old friend and it really put me at ease. I also learnt lots of handy tips and tricks too to hand on to my own afternoon tea guests! I would like to buy baking lessons for my friends and family as I know they will enjoy it as much as I did, in fact, I've already suggested it to various colleagues at work. "

To book your own baking lesson in your own home, 
simply email Miss Sue Flay at 
for more information or to book/buy 
gift vouchers/experiences for private Baking Lessons now. 
  I look forward to baking with you very soon!

You can Read about the other Test Students here.  

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