On a bit of a whim this morning, I headed over to the Home, Food and Wine Weekend at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter. ACP Magazines is hosting free demonstrations, lectures and workshops based on themes like cooking, decorating and gardening.
The first session I attended was hosted by Deborah Bibby, editor of Real Living magazine. Deborah and her co-hosts showcased the current Royal Albert fine bone china range and demonstrated how to use the range in a budget-friendly afternoon tea setting. Each audience member at the Royal Albert showcase received a 30cm New Country Roses cushion. Quite a nice freebie! After the session, attendees sipped tea, nibbled on biscuits and purchased Royal Albert items with a 30% discount. I won’t be re-creating the serving suggestions demonstrated (most involved glueing china to glasses to create cake stands and bending cutlery to create place card holders); however, I am thinking an afternoon tea is in my future. Floral, polka dots and pastels, oh my!
Next up was a cake-baking session. Pamela Clark is the food director for The Australian Women’s Weekly Test Kitchen and has over 100 cookbooks to her name. I think most Australian homes have at least one AWW cookbook on their shelves. I’ve still got my mum’s collection and have added a few of my own. Pamela and her assistant Charlotte demonstrated how to bake the perfect sponge cake. I took notes in this session and can’t wait to try them out. I’ll share Pamela’s tips in a future post. They include using your hand to mix the batter. Not sure if I’ll try that one at home kids.
Pamela and Charlotte making the perfect sponge cake with fluffy frosting.
Sponge cake made with Queen food colouring
Paris Cutler of Planet Cake hosted a Q&A session and shared her love of cake decorating. Paris has built quite the cake empire. Cake store, cake decorating school, cake books – she even has a cake TV show! Paris told stories of cakes being made too large to fit through doorways, a melting wedding cake that was patched up with toilet paper and Celine Dion singing her a song after she made the singer’s 40th birthday cake.