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The Great Berkshire Bake Off

Baking falls into the two camps – the makers and the fakers. Rise to the GBBO challenge, here's five fab classes to up your game. On your marks, get set… BAKE!

GBBO obsessed but can’t raise a smile while baking, let alone a cake? I hear you. As someone who buys a cake and dusts it with icing sugar to fake it rather than make it, I sympathise and have conjured up five courses that will edge you closer to a Paul Hollywood handshake. Stand back Star Baker coming through.

Baking classes, The Real Macaron Company, Newbury

The Real Macaron Company macarons pink ornage green and cream coloured

If anyone can help you rise to the occasion, it’s the super-talented Gaye Perry of The Real Macaron Company. Gaye runs a range of baking classes (from £50pp) that are the renowned for being fun and informative. Test your skills making macarons; create an entire English afternoon tea from scratch; or perhaps doughnuts. Great for junior bakers and grown ups wrestling with their soggy bottoms. Gift vouchers available.

Bread and Enriched dough, The Woodspeen Cookery School, Newbury

thewoodspeen_bread and enriched dough cookery class

Release the carbs. If you love bread, then you’ll go gaga for The Woodspeen’s bread course. You’ll learn the basics – fermentation, gluten knowledge before having a go at at soda breads, pittas, shortbreads, Chelsea buns and muffins. Add lashing of butter and end the day in a carb coma. £135pp

Sour Dough Masterclass, Birch Bread, Newbury

Sour Dough Birch Bread Pangbourne

If you missed out on the nation’s social media obsession with sour dough during lockdown, it’s never too late. Darren Collings, a baker at the award-winning Birch Bread in Pangbourne, is running sourdough workshops. Aside from getting very sticky and floury, Darren will teach you how to make your own sourdough starters, the secrets to making sourdough bread, simple shaping techniques and why sourdough is the healthy bread option. £110pp.

Cake Classes, The Cake College, Reading

naked simple tall tier ckae

Let them eat cake! But first we need to know how to make the darn thing. Up your sponge game at The Cake College in Reading. They run loads of courses for baking beginners to those who want to get really show off by creating models, sugar flowers, tall tiers and other decorative effects. For the basic bods like me, there’s cup cakes, cookies and big cake basics. From £110.

Recipes from Caldesi in Campagna, Caldesi Cookery School, Bray

Cladesi Ricciarelli biscuits white wavy plates black worktop and two cups of coffee

Strictly speaking this course run by the fabulous Giancarlo Caldesi is not all about baking. In fact, you’ll learn to make seven dished from the Caldesi in Campagna menu (that’s lunch sorted). In addition to the pasta and sides you’ll learn to cook, there’s pastry parcels, tiramisu and almond biscuits to tickle your fancy. Plus you eat everything you make and serve your a glass of wine too. Happy happy days. £135pp.

Find more ideas here

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