I’m not the most competitive, or most creative individual around. But when faced with a cake decorating contest? Oh boy, you better watch out!
I was down at Jenius Social (quite literally, they’re just downstairs from my flat) to help celebrate their 3rd birthday recently, and was treated to a cake decorating masterclass from professional pastry chefs from Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen and Barbecoa.
With all the cakes, icing and ingredients pre-prepared, all that was left was for us to get down to business. Splitting into separate teams, we were assigned a particular style of cake that we were free to decorate as we wished. Put on the chocolate cake one, we were treated to a quick masterclass in tempering chocolate, and how to quickly turn this into ornate and beautiful chocolate shards/shavings. Other tables were treated to lessons in fondant icing for that more royal/regal look, and another table focussed on piping.
The two lead chefs would sweep in and out of team discussions, offering advice, giving a hand with particularly tricky parts, or helping to translate ideas into action. My team went down the full on chocolate route, layering shards on the top, and dipping cherries in chocolate. An idea to turn a strawberry into a splayed out rose didn’t quite work out to plan, with a sneaky watch of Youtube halfway through the workshop, but it helped form the centre piece of our chocolate cake, proudly sat on top and surrounded by chocolate shards.
Spurred on by the thought of a winning trophy and prize, we ultimately came out on top via the chef vote – but every team’s cake looked fantastic!
Cooking classes are always fun things, there’s never doubt about that, especially when fuelled by prosecco and canapés… But the team here at Jenius Social are a well oiled machine, with every member of staff on hand to help, advise and make things as easy for you as possible.
While cake decorating still isn’t one of my key strengths, the team here do a great job of replicating that home environment for you. There were no fancy chocolate machines that temper it to the right level, no silly moulds and builds, and definitely no niche bits of equipment. Everything was done with what you’d find in your kitchen, and really recreated that home cooking environment – minus all the washing up!
As a group, we’d wholly recommend the cooking workshops here, and I’m looking forwards to going back to make use of my prize!
Jenius Social's website is found here, and their list of upcoming classes is here. Classes start at £75 and go upto £115 for the more involving ones including French patisserie and knife work.
Note, Jenius Social is often hired as a private kitchen for filming and shoots.
Address: 6 Hornsey Street, Studio 8, London N7 8GR
Phone Number: 020 3750 2478