Last Week I was invited to the Underground Cookery School in London for a blogger’s special culinary class. So when quittin’ time finally rolled around on Wednesday afternoon I said goodbye to my office desk and hopped on a train to Old Street!
As you’d expect, the Underground Cookery School is… underground! Heading down the steps I found myself in a bright and industrial looking kitchen space where chefs were preparing for the class and hosts were ready to bombard me with drinks and nibbles. Of course, I was happy to oblige!
I started off with an ever-so-healthy and freshly squeezed spinach, celery & ginger juice. Feeling like I’d had my entire 5-a-day in one glass, I felt I had the green light to delve into the delicious selection of snacks the chefs had prepared.
The arancini balls were gorgeously gooey and cheesy inside, I couldn’t leave these alone!
These delicate looking bites are essentially posh sausage rolls: tender pulled pork wrapped in a delicate pastry and sprinkled with seeds. I must have a go at making these!
All happily washed down with a delicious glass of bubbly!
Okay, so down to business! I’ve never been to a cooking class so I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. The Underground Cookery School seemed to take more of a demonstration approach, rather than individual cooking stations we huddled around to watch the chefs at work followed by having a go ourselves. The evening was sponsored by Curries who were showing off their lovely new Kenwood range, so fittingly our main course was just that! I’m no stranger to making curry but I did pick up a few useful tips.
The curry sauce should be made first and allowed to reduce down. This is especially important for tomato based sauces to stop it being watery. After a generous helping of coconut milk we added the chicken to poach. Adding it last makes a big difference to how juicy the meat is.
I have to say dessert was my favourite part of the class as we learned to make the most feared of desserts: the soufflé! I’ve always shied away from soufflé, thinking it was horribly complex. Turns out the ingredients are simple and the process, whilst needing to be exact and performed with delicacy, is perfectly doable!
I was in charge of folding ever-so-carefully the fluffy egg whites into the pear purée. So if the soufflés deflated it was all my fault. No pressure!
Filling up the sugared ramekins was extremely satisfying.
Not bad eh? Nibbles digested and excitement in full swing, we sat down at the long dining table to tuck into our creations.
The curry looked great, but didn’t set my pants on fire as I found it a little bland. To be honest I don’t doubt the cooking methods, I think curry is just one of those things that needs a little more time to infuse and develop.
What a beauty! I was so proud! The pear flavour was very subtle, but the texture was marvellous: light as a cloud and wonderfully sweet. I scoffed this down in no time!
I had fun at the Underground Cookery School. It wasn’t an in-depth, one-to-one learning experience I had expected, but the chefs were extremely entertaining and the sit-down meal afterwards was really enjoyable. I think the school is perfect for team days or large groups of friends looking to try something different together. Thanks for inviting me Curries!