Thursday, 3 July 2014

Konditor and Cook Cake School Review

There is probably only one cake in the entire world that has been seen by an estimated 125 million television viewers. The Curly Whirly Cake from Konditor and Cook was arguably the standout star at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. But then of course a decadent dark chocolate sponge cake enveloped creamy vanilla frosting would be the leading light:

Image courtesy of Konditor and Cook

And one evening last week I popped along to the Konditor and Cook Cake School to learn all about the infamous Curly Whirly Cake. I'd been invited to the Introduction to Cake Decorating class, a two hour class packed full of brilliant tips and tricks to decorate biscuits and cakes, including the Curly Whirly. 

We headed behind the scenes at the Borough Market branch, through a door marked 'Cake School', the confectionery equivalent of walking through the wardrobe in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Our fantasy land beyond held tempting trays of Konditor and Cook nibbles. I for one tucked into with an alarming greed and gusto; apologies to my fellow course mates who probably did not have the chance to sample the bite sized brownies, delicate Parmesan shortbreads and the perfectly layered noisette sponge cake.

After we I had devoured the welcome snacks, Zera, Head Decorator at the branch, ably assisted by her colleague Alex began the class with an instruction to make a dozen mini parchment piping bags each. I'm not the most dexterous person at the best of times; this was like entering the world's most complex origami competition. But under Zera's expert and infinitely patient tutelage within a few minutes we'd all produced our piping bags:

                                        

Once they were filled with a variety of bright Royal icings, Zera demonstrated how to write and pipe the icing. It was just as well my first efforts were on a practice board. My writing was so wobbly it was as though I'd spent the previous two hours in the local pub hell bent on devouring their entire gin supply.


My wavy, childlike writing soon filled the board and it was time to progress to decorating biscuits. We were enthusiastically encouraged to decorate self-portraits and the faces of loved ones. Mine looked like the love child of Dolly Parton and Rod Stewart whilst my husband questioned his new orange beard when I presented him with his portrait later that evening:


(I'd like to confirm the biscuits were utterly delicious and my husband doesn't look anything like his biscuit portait.)

And then, then it was time to bring out the big gun: the undecorated Curly Whirly Cake. We all stood utterly transfixed by the gloriously perfect, naked cake, initially not daring to tarnish the smooth silky icing with wobbly lines and uneven decorating:

                          

Eventually, inspired by Wimbledon I plumped for a strawberry decoration. I reasoned this was possibly more achievable that an iced image of Andy Murray Roger Federer fist-pumping his way to the final of the tennis. With Zera's invaluable assistance, this was my creation:



The class was incredibly enjoyable, relaxed, and taught with huge enthusiasm and warmth. The skills and tips are eminently transferable to the home kitchen ... just as soon as I figure out how to make the piping bags without Zera's close supervision and reassurance! 

If you’d like to visit Konditor & Cook there are four branches dotted across central London:

Waterloo – 22 Cornwall Road, SE1 8TW
Borough Market – 10 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD
Holborn – 46 Grays Inn Road, WC1X 8LR
The Gherkin – 30 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8BF

And a full list of their brilliant Cake School classes can be found right here.

PS: They've an awesome range of July 4th American Magic Cakes to celebrate today's Independence Day in store right now:

Image courtesy of Konditor and Cook

With many thanks to Konditor and Cook for inviting me along to the class and Cake School. 

12 comments:

  1. I absolutely love their Curly Wurly cake! I don't think I could be trusted to decorate one though. Your Wimbledon inspired cake looks great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Katherine- I was so hesitant and nervous of ruining their glorious curly whirls cake with my wobbly icing!!

      Delete
  2. Your strawberry design looks awesome! The neatness of the plain iced cake with the swirl on top is amazing too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am soooo jealous that I didnt get an invite for this! ahaha, it looked like so much fun! How long did it take you to devour the curly whirly?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When the email invite came through, I don't think stopped smiling for a few hours I was so excited! I took the cake into work and we devoured it in about 19 minutes flat!

      Delete
  4. I used to work about a 5 minute walk from K&C in Borough Mkt...can you imagine the torment!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love your cake! What I wouldn't give for some curly whirly cake right now...!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds great fun and I love your Wimbledon cake!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you very much for your comment- I appreciate every single one of them!