Food and Ingredients News

Celebrate National Cupcake week – 17th-23rd September

If you’re into your cookery, baking especially, you may already be aware that we are almost upon National Cupcake Week. Yes, yes, I know. But don’t be fooled by the femininity that the name ‘cupcake’ imbues – in the land of online baking, they are big business.  Let’s put it this way – if they were a football player for Team Cooking, Manchester City or Chelsea would be vying to pay them £250k week for the potential ROI this delicate little buttercup of baking has.

To ensure that they’re not missing out on the impending baking frenzy, the baking mad kitchen’s latest news letter leads with the story, citing famous chefs’ recipes and even suggests we throw a ‘cupcakes and cocktails’ party. I may not be so well blessed in the cake field, but I know enough about cocktails to suggest that even this frangipane of an idea is stretching the imagination, somewhat. Would you really spoil a measure of Cointreau by mixing it with egg and flour? Okay, maybe it’s just me, then.

Could you imagine beetroot cupcakes? Or, indeed, any type of vegetable ingredient going into this favourite mother-and-child baking lesson favourite from down the ages? No, me neither, but that’s what’s being suggested. I think I may get a little more sympathy for that than the cocktail comment. But I don’t know – if you’ve got your own experiences – even if it’s just blowing something by adding too much rum and applying an aggressive flame – share them with us in the comments, below.

To be fair, it’s not all whacky cupcake ideas. Eric Lanlard has christened a traditional recipe with his own twist the ‘red velvet’, which incorporates natural vanilla and dark chocolate – now that’s doable. Like, very.

But Lanlard’s not the only one getting in on the act. As you’d expect, there are a host of associated products being featured that, rather handily (somewhat contrivedly so, the cynic may proffer) there is a range of extracts just perfect for cupcakes and that just happen feature in Lanlard’s recipes. You can, however, win 20 sets of said extracts and see if you can marry them with the Cupcakes and Cocktails section, which lists everything from daiquiri recipes to Bailey’s cupcakes.

The red velvet is both the featured recipe of the month and is available in his Home Bake book, available at with free shipping to the UK in paperback format – see, we can do promos, too!

And I know I’ve perhaps jibed about the ‘coincidental’ nature of some of the ingredients that go together – as if by magic – hand in hand, here, but there is the opportunity to win 10 copies of the MacMillan Little Book of Treats  launched to raise awareness of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and, of course, to raise funds for the irreplaceable cancer charity – worth signing up to Lanlard’s site (a condition of competition entry) just to support the group.

Okay – the recipes are not exactly cookery courses per se, but the community feel of the site and the openness of the forum is perhaps as close as you’ll get to sharing a cooking experience with other fledgling chefs without actually turning up to a cookery class yourself. And from the comfort of your own chair, you can become the creator of cupcakes, cocktails and catastrophes along with me in the member’s only community area. See you on the inside.



Cookery School News

Cookery School Joins Forces With Queen Margaret University

The Edinburgh New Town Cookery School has joined forces with Queen Margaret University in a deal which will see first year students from the university complete almost 90 hours in the cookery school’s kitchens.

The businesswoman behind the cookery school, Fiona Burrell, is keen to position the company as a professional choice for those Scots looking to pursue a career in the food industry.

Burrell opened the cookery school during December 2009 having previously worked for 12 years in London at the prestigious Leiths School of Food & Wine.

After a difficult first year the school has seen a big change in 2011. It has taught a number of professionals looking to retrain and its short cookery courses on topics such as baking, curries and French cuisine has also proved very popular.

The corporate hospitality sessions are also becoming more popular and Burrell is hoping that the deal with the university will help to establish Edinburgh New Town as a venue renowned for quality training.

The cookery school is based in Edinburgh city centre in a venue which spans five floors and offers fantastic views of the Firth of Forth. It adopts a professional and practical approach that aims to equip student with the skills required to cook with confidence.

The school offers a wide range of cookery courses with something to suit every level of ability, from homemakers to chefs and food enthusiasts to students.

Cookery Courses News

Global cookery courses for all budding chefs at Bridge 67

We return to Leicester for one last time as we break down the cooking courses on offer at Bridge 67 Cookery School.

The Family Cook Day is a great way to introduce your children to the kitchen. Not only what goes into making the meals but also will teach them from an early age the valuable safety lessons to avoid the dangers inherent to cooking that remain the main cause of accidents in the home. For a very reasonable £75, one adult and one child can learn to cook a starter, a main course, a dessert and a cake, which can then be taken home to show off to the rest of the family the toil you’ve put in during the day. Extra child places are optional for a surplus fee of £25.

For a trip to the Mediterranean to remind you of those sunny days on the Costa or the lazy days on the Riviera, Bridge 67 also offer cooking courses from Spain and Italy. The Spanish course uses the rich, fresh flavours inherent of the country to prepare colourful and bold, yet simple, recipes. And specialty Firenze cooking with Lino Poli, the Michelin-toured chef whose trips around Europe to gain the kudos he richly deserves are infused in his unique style and menu, which pay homage to the rich heritage any chef who learnt their trade in San Pellegrino would do to the Italian staples.

If it’s a taste of The East that tantalises your taste buds, you’re not going to be disappointed, as there are cookery courses in both Indian and Thai. The Cook up a Curry cooking class incorporates everything from your samosas, rices, naans and, of course, a couple of strengths in curry, too. For a taste of Thailand, the lesson incorporates your tempura, noodle dishes, two curries (one green, obviously) and starters and sauces so you can impress one and all with the complete Thai meal.

Baking is covered in a multitude of cooking courses, as you would expect from a cookery school whose roots are firmly based in the farmhouse heritage of the Leicestershire countryside. From basic bread to patisseries, cakes to baking with allergies and even a cookery class dedicated to cake decorating, you’ll be opening your own bakery in no time.

There is plenty more to discover at Bridge 67 Cookery School, with menus for men and those who wish to bring the treasures of the deep to the table in a fish cookery course, covering both the salt- and fresh-water variety.

There is a complete timetable on site, covering almost every weekend of the year, right up to the second Saturday in December (in 2012). For any of you who can’t make Leicester, choose your cookery course from those we have on offer online at