I was invited, along with other bloggers, to attend a baking class at Le Pain Quotidien in Borough Market where we were going to learn how to make a five seed sourdough loaf and Savarin cake, which is a classic French cake – a bit like an Italian Rum Baba.
I brought my friend Holly along and we were joined by David from Custard Magazine and his friend Paul, Charlotte from Sainsbury’s Magazine and her friend Ali and Amelia from Bella Magazine and her friend Simon. We kicked off the evening with a drink and a chat before getting stuck into kneading bread.
Didier, Pastry Manager at Le Pain Quotidien in Borough Market and our teacher for the evening, introduced himself and we got cracking. First up was the five seed sourdough bread as you need to give it time to prove. As the class is only two hours, all the ingredients are helpfully measured and laid out on a tray for you.
I have never made bread in my life and I’m happy to report it’s fairly easy! That’s not to say I will never buy another loaf from a supermarket (I’m hardly a Domestic Goddess) but I will certainly give it a go at home. A top tip from Didier was to add your salt to the side of your bowl so that if you get distracted and you can’t remember whether you added it or not, you’ll be able to see it. The same goes for sugar, baking powder and yeast.
After we’d scored our bread and they were off to be baked, it was on to making the classic French Savarin cake. As with the bread, all the ingredients were laid out for us on a tray. Didier then took us through the method of making the cake. Apart from getting a sore arm from all the mixing, it was fairly straightforward. Once the mixture was the right consistency, it was time to fill the cake rings (leaving the middle hole, clear).
Clearly Holly and I were proud of our achievements!
After we’d made the cake, we had a short break with another drink and some tasty sandwiches. This is to give both the bread and the cake enough time to bake.
Once we’d finished our sandwiches, the bread and the cakes were out of the oven and they smelt amazing! It was time to soak our cakes in rum and sugared water, then fill with cream and decorate with fresh raspberries and icing sugar. How much you want to soak the cakes is up to you. I didn’t soak mine too much as I’m not that fond of cake with alcohol, and as a result my cakes only had a hint of rum. Perfect!
All in all it was a fabulous, fun evening. I made new friends, learnt how to make sourdough bread and a classic French cake. We also got to take our goodies home with us along with the recipes so we can make them again. In addition to the bread and cakes, we also got to choose a jam and a spread to take home too. I chose the strawberry and rhubard jam and the Noisella (Belguin halzlenut) spread, which I can’t wait to try with my next homemade loaf!
Thanks to Didier and Le Pain Quotidien for a great evening!
Our class was complimentary but Le Pain Quotidien in Borough Market regularly runs classes so if you’d like to go along take a look at their website. All classes are £45 per person and include two organic drinks, canapés, a jar of their signature organic Noir chocolate spread, a jar of organic jam, plus your own organic baked treats to eat in or take home.