My name’s Lloyd and I have a confession… I’ve got a major sweet tooth that just won’t quit! And I know I say problem but honestly, its not something that I feel the need to change. Chocolate is my kryptonite but in the absence of chocolate, I’ll take anything else that’s available!
You might remember when we went to explore the stunning little villages in the Cotswolds (and staying at the impressively stately Wood Norton Hotel. Well on one of the nights there, we stumbled (after a glorious dinner) for cocktails at the bar where we bumped into Lisa. Lisa’s a Londoner who owns and runs Madeline’s Cake Boutique, a sugary heaven located in one of London’s loveliest neighbourhoods.
We got talking about cakes, cookies and travel (but mostly about cakes and cookies) and Lisa invited, nay challenged, us to come round to hers for a masterclass in cookie decorating! Never one to shy away from a challenge (or a chance to work my way through lots of cookies), I accepted and eagerly looked forward to seeing what she had in store!
Just before we visited, we’d been travelling for weeks on end with very little time in London and on this weekend, the sun was shining and we couldn’t have picked a better day to do this! Granted we were indoors doing this but everything is better in London when the sun’s shining! Plus its not often we get to spend time in London (and doing regular ‘London things’) so we were grateful for the opportunity!
As soon as we arrived, I instantly became transfixed by the fluffy cakes and other delicious fragrances coming from the kitchen which I was only too eager to help explore even further!
Oh and this is where to find Madeleine’s by the way…
Address: 397 Upper Richmond Road West
London SW14 7NX
Phone: 020 8878 6194
After a little look around the boutique, with some obligatory taste testing ;-), we headed straight into the working kitchens of the boutique itself to get started on creating what I anticipated would be proclaimed the greatest masterpiece in cooking decoration!
All together, we were a class of 6 equally eager cookie monsters (Georgia came with) as we started learning all about how to become experts at making the perfect cookies.
Random aside – I’ve never really done cooking or baking classes. I enjoy food so much (as you can probably tell from my photos) and so I figured earlier this year that I would try to make more of an effort to just simply be better and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.
Yaya on the other hand is a much more skilled cook and baker (don’t ever tell him I said this or I will deny it) and wasn’t too impressed with my culinary skills (granted I tried to do a ‘disappearing act’ on some of the cookies even before we started decorating).
I might have bragged a lot about how I would be much better at this than Yaya though I did take a little note of Yaya’s technique… There was no way I was gonna let him leave with better cookies than me! 😉
Flooding a cookie sounding quite traumatic to me… I’d never actually heard the term before but it made total sense – once I’d created the outline of the shape I was trying to create, I filled it with a big dollop of freshly made sugar icing! It’s also worth noting that you don’t need perfection at this stage as if your icing sugar is done right, it should naturally spread to fill in any gaps on the cookie.
After a little over an hour of icing and a steady hand, I’d managed to create a pretty ‘epic’ set of cookies. I use that term lightly as you might have noticed on snapchat how I managed to dent some of the cookies… and also forget to add a few bits on – turns out icing sugar also acts as pretty great cookie glue!
I genuinely had no idea how much fun these classes would be! In a world dominated by thrill-seekers everyone wants to be the one who’s climbed the tallest mountain or hiked the furthest distance or even been to the most countries, its so nice to just focus on the core everyday things that makes you really happy! The best part about doing this cookie decorating class was doing it with Yaya and Georgia as we all have so much fun whatever we’re doing (plus, we’re all so competitive with each other so this was a perfect opportunity to get one over the other person). 😉 🙂
Waiting for the icing to set, we took this opportunity to have a little lunchtime tipple of prosecco, Madeleine’s specialty tea, freshly baked cheesy scones and a big slab of moist Guinness cake! (Never had Guinness cake before this – totally addicted to it now).
After our delicious lunch break, I headed back into the workshop to finish my epic cookie decorating battle against Yaya! 😉
Okay fine, this ‘battle’ was all in my head but Yaya’s were much better than mine at this stage and Georgia was nailing it every step of the way – then again, given the halloween outfits she comes up with, its easy to see why.
Somewhere along the way, and maybe it was the prosecco… or laughing too hard while trying to design the cookies but I ended up creating with some rather wonky cookie lines, leaving Yaya with a clear win!
Those are his below and save from the atrocious Kanye-West-sunglasses blue dress one, he didn’t do so badly for a first-timer (again, don’t tell him I said any of this!)
Oh and that’s Lisa below, by the way!
Given my recently displayed (lack of) design skill, anyone wanna wager a bet on me creating one that looks just like this? 😉 🙂