With a few days off work in the pre-Easter week I headed off to Ballymaloe Cookery School to get my bake on. Had it booked for a while and was feeling non-plussed in the extended run up to it. But when the day finally rolled around I was really excited. I was so excited I even had my car serviced to make sure I got down to Cork in one piece. Luckily punty got me there in spite of there being a very distinct smell of burning oil which started in the hinterland of Portlaoise and persisted until the N25 in Cork. I opened the window and sailed forth. I would like to be able to wax lyrical about driving through the rolling hills and soaking up the Irish countryside but let's be honest motor way driving in boring beyond belief and by hour three my threshold was being severly tested.
Thankfully it was worth the wait. The sun shone pretty much the whole time I was there making sure I was able to eat breakfast on the terrace every morning, not bad for Cork in April!
Darina and Pamela demonstrated on day one; simple cakes, biscuits and tarts. Note the cons!
Then it was into the kitchen to try our own hand at it. I made Raspberry jam, Anzac Biscuits and a Roast Pepper and Wild Garlic Pesto tart.
Day two we looked at more comlpex cakes and treaty things! I tried my hand at Ottolenghi Hazelnut and Cinnamon meringues, Lemon Curd, Lemon Polenta Cake and Guyere and Chive Scones.
While I was there I even treated myself to a 7 course meal in the House. 7 courses you may wonder...well wonder no more 1: Salad with wild leaves and edible floweres, Mascarpone (which had a fancy name that I now forget) with Asparagus, Monkfish with Champ and Spinach, Cheese board (Gubeen and Cashel Blue), Desert (Lemon Drizzle cake and Chocolate Rum Roulade), Coffee and Petit Fours (Truffle and Marshmallow). All in all a belt busting meal.
My view from the window of the drawing room where I enjoyed a glass of wine pre dinner. It was at this point that I rang people to gloat.
The drive home was equally boring and also not entirely comfortable due to a case of the severly shrinking jeans. Ahem.