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I was lucky enough just before Easter to join a handful of other baking bloggers for an afternoon in The Co-operative development kitchens with the delightful Mr Luis Troyano.
Luis is a local lad from Stockport, a finalist on the 2014 Great British Bake Off and a thoroughly nice chap. He had joined up with The Co-op to share one of his delicious recipes with us and share some of the skills which saw him become one of the nation’s favourite bakers.
I was thrilled when I found out we’d be baking along with Luis as I thought we were there to watch and learn. Ever better, as it was Easter, he had a cracking chocolate, orange and walnut tart to share with us.
Even though I love to bake, I really lack confidence in my skills (or lack of) so I picked up some great tips from Luis. Pastry: don’t fear it! He told us to flour the surface well and fold the pastry to lift it into the tin. Also, I was able to roll it much thinner than I’ve ever done before and no soggy bottoms!
I also picked up some simple piping tips to lift my tarts and cakes and perfect for the scared decorator in me!
It was interesting to hear Luis talking about baking in such a scientific manner. He says that everything has a temperature at which it is cooked, and if you know that you can’t really mess up. He spoke about his time on the bake off (sounds manic, I couldn’t do it) and is writing his first book.
I also geeked out a bit in the Co-op’s development kitchen. Soooo many slide and hide Neff ovens! It really interests me how big companies come up with new recipes, upscale them and get them into production so I wish I had more time to ask about that. They also introduced us to their really extensive baking range – everything from flour to fair-trade chocolate to quality extracts. Talking about geeking out, I used Luis’s Microplane and realised straight away that my cheap grater would no longer hack it in my kitchen- so I now have one of my own and want to grate everything!
It was a great afternoon and I took home a tart which I was properly proud of, some great tips from Luis and some lovely Easter treats from The Co-op.
Thank you everyone xx