Pancake class with Great British Chefs

My social feeds have been crowded with pancake photos and recipes… indulgent stacks of American breakfast pancakes, wafer thin lemon & sugar pancakes and everything in between. I spent Tuesday evening at my best friend’s house enjoying her brilliant pancake dish: thin pancakes wrapped and filled with spinach & ricotta, topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella and baked in the oven. It was absolutely delicious and made me wonder why we don’t eat more pancakes year round.

The week before Shrove Tuesday I was invited by Great British Chefs to join a class of bloggers and journalists at the Cordon Bleu school to learn how to master pancake-making techniques. Here’s what I learnt…

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Tom Brown, Head Chef at Outlaw’s at The Capital (Nathan Outlaw’s London restaurant) led the class, illustrating how to make the perfect fluffy thick pancakes with seasonal stewed fruit. We gathered round as Tom carefully mixed the ingredients, sifting the flour to add air and lightness to the batter. He then left the mix to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes, which ensures there is no chewiness to the pancakes.

The chopped rhubarb and apple was cooked down slowly with ginger beer and sugar to create a delicious sweet compote. The pretty pink compote was dolloped onto the stack of pancakes and finished with a spoonful of Cornish clotted cream.

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Next up was Le Cordon Bleu’s patisserie chef Jerome Pendaries, who did a demonstration of his Blackcurrant crepe souffle, a French classic. The process seemed rather more complicated and Jerome showed that pancakes can be elevated to a fine dining dessert.

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The thin crepes were filled with airy purple souffle mix and cooked in the oven for a few minutes before we got the opportunity to delve in and try the magical dish. Needless to say these pancakes were exemplary, perfectly presented and absolutely delicious.

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Learn more about Great British Chefs here.

Rise and shine this July at Eventbrite Summer School

Throughout July, Eventbrite Summer School invites early risers to enjoy an exciting timetable of pre-work classes, designed to champion morning learning. This is following research from Eventbrite which reveals a trend in early morning learning – 80% year on year increase in the number of Brits attending morning classes. With an impressive line-up of talent teaching the classes, there’s no excuse to lie-in this summer.

Food perfectionists Thom and James Elliott of Pizza Pilgrims, kick-started Eventbrite Summer School at their coffee kiosk, Sottoscala in London’s Kingly Court, with a lesson on How to launch a successful food business.

The line up of fantastic classes continues at the same venue with:

  • Learn how to distil vodka and gin: Chase Distillery will be giving an introduction to distilling with the all-important do’s and don’ts when creating super premium spirits.
  • How to bring your business into the mainstream with Cawston Press: Soft drinks gurus Alex and Tom of Cawston Press will provide guidance on how incorporating brand positioning, products and, most importantly, people can take a business from the local market to high street supermarkets.
  • Curing with Cobble Lane Cured:Join the British charcuterie experts for a demonstration in butchery and curing. Learn the several process stages for creating a ready to eat, cured meat.

To see the full schedule of classes at Eventbrite Summer School, taking place at Pizza Pilgrims Sottoscala throughout July, and to book your space visit: Eventbrite.co.uk/SummerSchool and follow @BriteLondon

What:                     Eventbrite Summer School is a series of morning classes running in London to encourage early-risers to get learning

Where:                 Sottoscala, Pizza Pilgrims, 11 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PW

When:                    Kicks off from 1st July 2015 with most classes from 8-8:45am

Cost:                        Event costs vary, from free to £10, spaces are limited so please reserve your seat at Eventbrite Summer School by visiting Eventbrite.co.uk/SummerSchool

Hello Fresh

What is Hello Fresh?
“Hello Fresh is a new and revolutionary way to cook: we aim to help people who appreciate good food find the time to enjoy it.”

This online food company comprise a group of highly qualified chefs creating interesting nutritional meals. They deliver the necessary ingredients direct to your door, in the correct proportion for the recipes along with tips and information, inspiring you to cook at home. The boxes come in different sizes and varieties, so there is something to suit every palate.

Receiving my Hello Fresh box, I was aware of three obvious advantages: time saving, recipe teaching and healthy, non-wasteful eating. They are carefully arranged and thought through, cost and time effective for everyone. We did notice a few inaccuracies in the recipes: an instruction to boil a pan of unneeded water and a strange suggestion to squeeze an orange onto the chopping board. These discrepancies standout as the recipes are otherwise so clear, easy-to-follow and well presented.

As a keen meat eater I was disappointed when the incorrect veggie box arrived at my door, nonetheless the recipes were varied and intriguing.
– Zesty Citrus Stir-Fry with Tofu and Ginger
– Courgette and Sun-Dried Tomato Dorset Pastry Tart with Fresh Basil (although we received Rocket instead)
– Thai Mussaman Rice with Roasted Aubergine and Chestnut Mushrooms

Each recipe card includes preparation time and nutrition facts, and I was surprised to read that every serving contained over 450 calories considering the healthy ingredients, however the servings were huge. We prepared all three meals in one evening, a feast for a whole family to enjoy.  It was a bit chaotic but the results were mostly successful! The food smelt and looked as it needed to, and tasted fresh and full of flavour… I certainly learnt something from the experience and will definitely be trying the pastry tart again.

Hello Fresh do (nearly) all the work for you, sending a perfectly organised box with the exact measures of ingredients, recipe cards and an information pack. The only things left to do are to cook and enjoy it!

Boxes vary in price. Our veggie box, containing three meals each for two people, was priced at £36.00 including taxes and shipping. Working out at £6 per meal per person, it seems quite reasonable to me considering the knowledge and cooking skills you are left with even after all the food has been eaten!

Hello Fresh are kindly offering Thoroughly Modern Milly fans £10 off by using the voucher code MILLY1.

www.hellofresh.co.uk