I’ve been wanting to go to the Baking Bootcamp with the Expresso team for a long time but up until now, every date they had chosen was one that was unavailable in my diary. I was curious to see whether the bootcamp was for absolute beginner bakers or if they catered to fairly experienced ones and yes, okay, I was curious to see what was in the goody bag . So when they announced the latest one I jumped at the chance, transferred my R350 and made my way through to Pinelands this past Saturday morning.
In a nutshell, it was a great morning. People came with friends and there was a lovely vibe. Katelyn (Katelyn Williams on twitter) and Zola Nene were even lovelier in person than they are on TV and the appearance of Graeme Richards had the ladies blushing and swooning just a little bit.
The bootcamp started with a demonstration on how to make choux pastry and Zola explained the science behind it. Since this pastry using no raising agent it relies on the steam created by the boiling of the milk, water and butter. Once we had an opportunity to ask all the questions we needed we were dispatched to our cooking stations with everything already pre-measured and weighed by the students of the Capsicum Cooking School. I must say if all the prep work and cleaning was done for me like it was on Saturday I’d be in the kitchen even more often than I already am.
After setting up our individual induction stove plates we started boiling the liquid for the choux pastry and then…the power tripped. I work quite quickly and I was the furtherest along in the process by this stage. Little did I realize (until later on) that this would be a problem. The power went out at a stage were I thought I had cooked out the flour enough for me to allow it to cool but when the mixture turned runny after adding the eggs a bit later I found that I actually needed to cook it for a few minutes longer. So yes, my first attempt at bootcamp flopped. I quickly then had to play catch up and make another batch and it turned out a bit better.
Every bootcamp is filmed by the efficient Expresso crew and the footage is used to advertise the next bootcamp. I tried to fly under the radar as much as possible but if you look carefully you may see me running around headless while I look for scissors to cut a hole into my piping bag .
I would recommend that if you have the opportunity you attend one of the bootcamps in Cape Town or Gauteng. Katelyn and Zola haven’t decided what they are making just yet but it is sure to be a fun morning.
P.S. The goody bags are from Sasko so not only will you walk away with an Expresso Show apron but also a Sasko one and 4 bags of their ready-mix products.
Disclaimer: This post was done voluntarily and no payment was received for it.