I love travelling and writing, meeting people and experiencing foodie places.
Published August 5th 2017
Have fun and gain knowledge in the art of baking
Mouth-watering chocolate cupcakes, creamy mocha swiss roll, fluffy sponge cake, delicious white chocolate cake - this is a paradise where dreams are made, desires fulfilled. Eleven passionate bakers study our host and teacher, Anneka Manning, as she demonstrates lining various shaped tins, decorating the tops of cakes to create a stunning edible art and revealing the secret to a well-risen cake before we stand at our benches to create our own wondrous delight.
Anneka has been in the baking business for over 27 years. She has written a number of award-winning books and has worked for some impressive magazines such as Australian Gourmet Traveller, Australian Good Taste and The Australian Women's Weekly as well as appearing on television and radio. Anneka founded Bake Club just over four years ago to teach home cooks not only the fundamentals of baking but patiently helping students with more difficult aspects.
It's a Saturday afternoon and I signed up for a 3.5 hour hands on Let's Eat Cake class in a state of the art kitchen at Rosebery. For some of the students, it's their first baking class, while others are doing a second class. One woman raved about the Sugar and Spice Christmas class she participated in last year and was looking forward to our cake class today. We broke into small groups, with each group creating two cakes each. Each participant was given an easy to read instruction booklet with all the recipes for the day designed by Anneka. Our group made Mandarin and Polenta Muffins which were flourless and gluten-free. These delectable spherical pieces were incredibly moist and absolutely delicious. The second cake was Orange and Pistachio Cake with Saffron Syrup baked in a ridged bundt tin. It sounds complicated but the cake is a one-bowl mix. The cake was delicious and with the addition of the warm syrup, raised the bar on orange cakes.
After the cooking session, we re-grouped to observe Anneka demonstrate cake toppers such as chocolate curls and candied citrus strips. All the amazing cakes were displayed on a long table. We were each given a box to carry our creations home - but not before we all tried some, and then some more. It was surprising how moist the cakes tasted several days after baking.
The display of cakes made me reminisce to a time when my mother, who was a great baker, churned out apple pies, sponges, chocolate cakes, all with a cute decoration on top. She made the mistake of letting my dog inside the house while out shopping one day. On arrival back at home, the ravenous beast was sitting in a chair at the table licking the cream from her facial orifice much to the horror of my mother, but that's another story.
Anneka is very patient demonstrating new ideas and answering questions. She possesses a wonderful sense of humour and the classes are a lot of fun. Anneka runs a range of baking classes including her unique six-month Make Me A Baker program aimed at home cooks.