I went to my first cooking lesson AND my first blogger meet up the other night! Along with 20 other food bloggers we took over the Underground Cookery School, courtesy of Currys, and whipped up some delicious grub. On the menu- chicken curry followed by a pear souffle. Now, just the thought of making a souffle intimidated me and seeing as every curry I’ve ever made came from Misters Patak or Grossman, this lesson was clearly needed. Split into two groups, my group headed towards our lesson in Souffle making. Dessert first? Clearly my kind of cooking!
I’ve always had it in my mind that souffles are really hard to make and that you need to whisper and tiptoe around in case it falls flat in the oven, but all those myths were blown away. First we separated the egg yolks and egg whites into two bowls- absolutely no yolk was to get into the bowl of egg whites. This should be a straight forward task, but in a room full of food bloggers every moment had to be captured on camera! The egg whites are whisked into stiff peaks and then gently folded into a curdish pear mixture.
In a buttered and sugared ramekin, we were shown the technique to smoosh the mixture in with a spatula knife, trim off the excess and then bang it on the table to get the air pockets out. Running your finger along the side of the ramekin creates that neatly raised look once the souffle has baked. It only needs 15 minutes in an 180 degree oven. Simple! (considering I’d had a couple of Proseccos) We then switched sides- it was now our turn to learn how to make a delicious curry from scratch.
We were taught how to debone a chicken drumstick and thigh- surprisingly easy- and then paired off to start the actual curry making! I shared a stove with Emma (she stood no chance once my crazy eyes clocked her). The garam masala was cooked, the tomato and coconut milk bubbled, and the handiest tip (for me at least) was to add to the chicken in last for the meat to poach in the sauce! Mind boggled. The curry was then dished into our own little named pots.
We sat down to finally eat- it was SO NICE to be in a room full of other people casually taking photos of their food. I still feel really self conscious when I do that in public- so being in a room of like minded people was really refreshing! I could snap away and not feel silly. Our curries looked amazing and were delicious- I don’t think I could go back to curry sauce in a jar again. Sorry Lloyd.
I finally had a chance to chat with other bloggers- I was seated between the awesome Sam and KB– while some prizes were handed out for the best social media coverage. I didn’t win, but I wasn’t expecting to- declaring my love for Carlos, one of the chefs, over Instagram when making Pina Coladas for us probably sealed that deal.
Soon came my favourite part of a meal- Dessert! I couldn’t wait to try our Pear Souffles.
I loved mine. It was delicate and fluffy- I could have inhaled it’s sticky, caramelised scent all evening, mmm. Others found it too sweet or too eggy but for me it was a massive WIN and I am going to be giving this a go in my own little kitchen. Heads up Robin!
I’m so glad I got to be a part of this event- for discovering the Underground Cooking School and in getting to meet other bloggers. I actually learnt a few things too! There’s hope for me yet.