The third course at VHK had award winning cake maker Sandra Monger take the helm and teach a group of ladies how to bake a celebration cake. In scenes that would rival GBBO the guests created the perfect Victoria Sponge mix and whilst that was baking all made a cream cheese frosting to fill their cakes with. After lunch Sandra demonstrated how to model chocolate flowers with white chocolate. The guests then made their own to place on top of their finished cakes. At the end of the day after layering the sponge with home made jam and the cream cheese frosting there were some stunning cakes baked. Another happy group of guests left VHK feeling very proud of their hard work, cake boxes in hand.
Our second course was led by award winning jam maker Vivien Lloyd. Fruits and sugar at the ready, a full kitchen embarked on a range of autumnal jams and chilli jam. Initially the assembled guests split into groups and made raspberry, raspberry and vanilla and damson jam. As pots boiled and the air was full of delicious fruit aromas the atmosphere was incredibly jovial and most remarked on how they were surprised how easy it was to make jam. After lunch it was time to spice things up a little and with the kitchen full of chillis from the garden here at VHK and some from Vivs garden as everyone made chilli jam. Some of the finished preserves were very fiery indeed! At the end of the day we had made nearly 60lbs of different jam and our happy guests headed home with a box full of their fruity hard work!
So after 3 months of builders converting our wonderful stone outbuilding into ValeHouseKitchen we opened for business on 12th September. Our opening course was led by Tim Maddams, ex head chef of the Axminster Canteen, for an insight into Seasonal Cookery. Everyone started off by making a bread dough and while that was proving Tim gave a demo on how easy it is to make home made pasta. The guests then prepared a courgette, chilli and garlic sauce to go with the pasta and took a quick break soaking up the sun on our terrace. After the break it was time to make a quick marrow pickle. Tim showing how easy it is to use up the glut of vegetables you get at this time of year and turn them into a long lasting tasty treat. Then it was time for dessert, a blackberry crème Catalan, a Spanish take on our crème brullee. Whilst that was cooking everyone had a hands lesson on how to butcher a partridge and then prepare it 2 ways; slow cooked legs in a tomato and herb sauce and pan fried breast. As all these elements of the meal came together it was time to head to our dining room where everyone enjoyed the fruits of their labour with a glass of wine. A fantastic first day and definitely starting as we mean to go on.