Last week I was super lucky to be invited to a virtual Bake Off class and I couldn’t have been more excited. Like most people, I’m a huge fan of The Great British Bake Off and have watched the series over the years. I also love to bake but I’m certainly no Star Baker! I can just about make fairy cakes with the kids.
Bake With A Legend host online baking classes with former finalists and contestants from The Great British Bake Off (how exciting does that sound?) and I was invited to a complimentary, bespoke virtual class with Howard Middleton.
Fans of the show will remember Howard from series 4 for his quirky recipes, although you’ll probably also remember the great custard scandal when he had his own custard stolen by another baker!
Before the event, I was sent a list of ingredients and equipment needed to make Black Forest Eclairs (sounds tricky). I was surprised at the small list of ingredients and equipment. Most of the ingredients I had in, I expected Eclairs to need a variety of fancy things but most items I had in my kitchen. The same for the equipment, there wasn’t really anything needed that you wouldn’t find in the average kitchen. I picked up some pipping bags and nozzles from a supermarket but later found out that I could have just spooned it on anyway so purchasing equipment wasn’t a must.
About an hour before the zoom call, I prepared my work space, set up the laptop and weighed out a few things. I got out the pans and baking trays I was going to use, measured out the flour and chopped up some dark chocolate. I was using raspberries instead of black cherries as I’d been to a few supermarkets and couldn’t find cherries. I popped on my apron and we were ready to start.
I joined the zoom call and was greeted by host and Bake With A Legend founder, Josh Landy, 4 other bakers like me and of course Howard Middleton. We all said hello and Josh and Howard gave us a bit of information about Bake With A Legend and making eclairs. Howard had a camera set on him and one set on his workspace which was fab, as we got started it was easy to follow what he was doing. I explained I had to substitute black cherries for raspberries, another baker had cherry jam. Howard said both were perfect substitutes. This recipe for eclairs certainly is a great for a lockdown bake as you can just use what you have.
Howard worked slowly and made sure we all kept up with him. It explained step by step what we were doing. I was extremely surprised at how simple the recipe was to follow, I had never thought I’d be able to make eclairs! The class was approximately 1 hour 45 minutes and was also interactive. There was plenty of opportunity to show off what you were doing, ask questions about the bake but also about Howards time on the GBBO. Howard was very friendly and happy to answer anything. He told us all about his love for the ovens in the tent, he loved the oven that much he now has one in his own home!
The class was lots of fun, it was great to do something a little different especially in these times. Here in Oldham we’re in tier 3. It’s harder now than ever to go out in an evening, especially when you have children. Tuesdays class with Howard finished off just in time for GBBO, so I enjoyed the new episode with my yummy eclairs.
These sessions are perfect for any GBBO fans and I proved that you don’t need to be an expert! For more information on the Bake With A Legend sessions, visit their website.
I was kind enough to be invited to this complimentary baking class in return for an honest review.