On your marks, get set, bake!
Day one of Enrichment Week 2019 Bake Off was bread day. Our group of 37 kick-started their Bake Off week with a bread demonstration from Science Teacher Mr David - having 3 daughters meant he was the man for the job when it came to plaiting the dough! Pupils were pros at kneading and had a beautiful rise on their bakes. They also whipped up some homemade ice cream and danced to Taylor Swift ‘Shake it off’ whilst shaking jam jars filled with cream to make homemade butter. The room was filled with that Bakery smell of warm, freshly decorative loaves and creamy homemade butter… even Paul Hollywood would be proud!
On Tuesday the teams were tasked with a pastry making day. The groups began with a mystery recipe and in true Bake Off style, there were gaps in the method to challenge our pupils’ culinary skills. They had one clue as to what they should produce with the title ‘Round and sweet, I’m a tasty breakfast treat’… can you guess what it was? A further 2 recipes were delivered to the groups with an Afternoon Tea theme. The teams were also told they must produce perfectly light choux pastry, so eclairs or profiteroles were the order of the day, accompanied by the classic afternoon treat: fruit scones made with their leftover buttermilk from Monday. We had varying results of choux pastry; some with soggy middles, some fruit scones and some plain, some miniature style and some rustic, some cinnamon swirls and some cinnamon buns – but it is safe to say everyone had fun!
Wednesday: “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man”. The teams had a full day to produce a gingerbread house or scene. It needed to have a theme or story behind it. We had several different takes, from idyllic little houses to Christmas snow scenes and those whose houses didn't stand up still managed to come up with inventive stories as to why the walls of the houses had caved in! The groups also had the opportunity to make chocolate cookies or shortbread if they ran out of time!
Thursday – the big showstopper part 1. This was the day where all pupils had the chance to really show what they could do when it came to cake making. It is safe to say "Mary Berry, eat your heart out!" because the teams did an amazing job and wowed the judges with so much more than just a Victoria sandwich. The pupils were inspired by another Science Teacher, Mrs Sarna, and the amazing cakes she bakes for family and friends. Pupils were treated to a decorating masterclass where they learnt how to make fondant animals, people and flowers. This session taught the teams all they needed to know for Friday’s morning of decorating their showstoppers. The remaining part of Thursday gave the pupils the opportunity to make their sponges; we had multiple tiers, rainbow sponges, Oreo-flavoured, classic vanilla and chocolate. The teams were rather competitive and took time to think of elaborate and creative designs.
Friday was a fun day of decorating their creations - the big showstopper part 2. The teams were eager to begin on Friday morning knowing the competition was nearing a close. They really pulled out all the stops; we had fondant figures, iced flowers, beautiful piping, 4-season themed cakes, Friends themed, Oreo cookie flavoured, chocolate coated masterpieces. This made crowning a winner very challenging! It was lucky that several members of staff wanted to be involved in the taste test!
After a long week in the kitchen, all our teams cooled off in the afternoon with a trip to the outdoor pool.
Each day every team was judged on the delicious food they produced and a winning team was announced each afternoon. They were awarded with beautifully decorated wooden spoons for each member of the group. All our (new) Year 10s did a great job and showed us some fantastic cooking skills!
Coral: "This really fun week of baking helped with team building - it was nice to work with friends."
Kaitlyn: "I learnt some new skills, like making gingerbread, and I enjoyed the trip to the lido too."
Oli: "A really good cooking experience with my friends."
Amelie: "It was really fun because we learnt how to make fondant animals and figures."