The idea of team building days normally fill me with fear! Don’t get me wrong, luckily I get on very well with everyone I work with, but team building days always seem to be swinging from ropes in trees or racing around go kart tracks. Very manly, grrrr!
Well, this was completely the opposite and it was the best team building day I’ve ever been on!
When you walk into a team building event to be greeted by this, how can it fail to be a bad day!
For our team building event we were joined by Splat Cooking Salisbury and they were going to teach us how to make the perfect cupcake!
Splat Cooking Salisbury is run by sisters Joanna & Jules. They run various workshops and cookery courses such as cupcake making, Italian cooking and Thai cooking to name a few!
I absolutely love baking and decorating so I was so incredibly excited about this (the two guys on the team, not so much)!
After testing the delicious homemade coffee cake Splat had made for us the lesson started off by Joanna talking through what we going to do for the afternoon. She also explained some useful tips and techniques when it came to baking the perfect cupcake, and we were able to ask any questions about our problem areas when it came to baking.
Joanna was extremely knowledgeable and was able to give really useful tips and suggestions to overcome our problems. The most common problem seemed to be too much rise (like a volcano) or too little (like a pancake)! This is to do with oven temperature being too high. Joanna explained the best way to get to know you oven, (hello oven), is to bake a couple of test cupcakes and adjust the temperature so you end up with a nice flat surface perfect for decorating…just like the perfect tray of cupcakes here!
Joanna also spoke about different types of mixtures, icings and the techniques we’d be using during the day.
Then the baking began! We were split into teams and had pre-measured ingredients.
We used a simple victoria sponge recipe which my team decided to flavour chocolate!
We learnt about the best way to hold the spoon (index finger where handle meets spoon to give a good pressure) ,and how to tell when your sugar and butter is the right consistency when you’re creaming the mixture. The mixture should just “plop” off the spoon when you tap it on the side of the bowl.
Another top tip (as this ALWAYS happens to me) is to whisk your eggs with a spoonful of flour before adding to the creamed mixture to stop it curdling. Amazing! It works!
Once we’d filled up our cases they were handed to Jules who was busy in the kitchen and then we moved on to icing.
We made 3 icings (one per team) – chocolate buttercream, raspberry fondant and pure white frosting.
My team did the pure white frosting as I wanted to use this which was using something I’d never heard of before – Trex.
Trex is a vegetable fat that is just found with the other butters. But it’s dairy free, lower fat than butter and it’s pure white. You couldn’t make a pure white icing with butter cream as it will always have the yellow tinge! I never even knew this stuff existed!
Once all the teams icing was ready we moved on to making decorations for our cakes. I’ve done a couple of mini sugar craft courses so couldn’t wait to get stuck into this part!
We learnt how to make mini sugarpaste roses.
Roll 7 marbles in decreasing size
We all had a fantastic time with Splat Cooking Salisbury. They were clear at explaining everything, gave really useful tips...and were very patient! We were all given a printed pack that we were able to take away with us which detailed all the recipes we'd learnt on the day.
And I think the biggest achievement of the day was they managed to convert the men of the group into bakers!
If you want to find out more about Splat Cooking Salisbury and the courses they offer you can find their details here!