A fun day out at the Can Cook Studio in Speke

Our can cook studio day out

For Christmas last year we were given an amazing present of a Can Cook Studio session from my brother in law and his wife.  We had it booked in for March, but sadly due to me being poorly we couldn’t go and had to rebook.  After a long wait the date was finally here and we headed to Speke for our session with no idea what we going to find or have to do.

I had heard from Kurt who owns Fuel Shakes that the place was amazing, fully kitted out with kitchen equipment and kitchen pods available to hire by the hour which Fuel had used.  We arrived at the Studio which is located at the Matchworks, to be greeted with a beautifully laid out table with freshly baked scones, juice and tea and coffee.  After a delicious breakfast we headed to the display kitchen for the first demonstration going through what we will be making during the session and getting us started on the dough for the bread.  We then split off into pairs and got started on making 2 different types of bread – a focaccia and bloomer.  There was an air of competitiveness between Kev and I and following a comment on Kev’s dough advising it needed to look like mine, this competitiveness was embedded for the day!!

Whilst the dough was resting we headed back to the display kitchen to go through Cornish pasties which was next on the menu.  We learnt how to make pastry and learnt a few tips Kev is keen to try next time he makes some shortbread or a pie.  We were provided with the ingredients for the filling and headed back to our kitchen pods to get started.  We made a couple during the session then, due to time we boxed up the rest ready to be made at home.

Whilst the Cornish pasties cooked it was back to the display kitchen for the run through on sticky toffee pudding.  We made our own pudding and popped them in the oven along with the bread which was now ready for baking.  Whilst these were cooking we headed back to the dinning table to sit down with drinks and our homemade Cornish pasties for lunch.  We all really enjoyed our pasties, and making half the batch and eating them allowed us to identify any changes we wished to make to the filling before cooking the rest of them.

We left the Can Cook Studio with bags of food to take away with us and had had an amazing day.  They provided everything we needed, we had our own personal washer upper – Tony and we had a fun group of people who all seemed to really enjoy the session.  They didn’t rush us and made the session fun and interesting.  I would highly recommend these sessions to anyone who fancies learning more about baking and cooking.  They do lots of other sessions; visit their website to learn more about them.

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas – Mince pies. 8 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………Some scrummy home made mince pies!

Make your own Mincemeat and Mince Pies

Last Christmas we decided it was time to make our own mincemeat.  We love making mince pies and Kev now makes the pastry so it seemed only right that we should make the mincemeat.  It was set as a January task.  Late on in November I decided I should really start buying the odd jar or two ready for Christmas baking, only to get home and remember about the jars we had put away 10 months ago!  I love it when that happen.

I used Delia’s recipe for mincemeat, click here to visit her site for the recipe.

You can have a lot of fun making mince pies as they are simple and if you don’t want to make it all at home you can buy ready to roll shortcrust pastry usually found in the freezer or fridge sections and jars of mincemeat ready to use.    You can make them different sizes by using different muffin tins and decorate them in all different ways.  You can do lids in the shape of a star or other shapes so you can see some of the mincemeat through the gaps or do full lids and decorate them with shapes using small Christmas cutters.

To make mince pies, roll out your pastry to a thickness of 3mm.   Grease your tin.  Using cutters to match the size of your tin cut out circles and place them as the pie bases. Cut out your lids – match your cutter to the size you are making.  Spoon mincemeat on top of each pie base, brush the edge of the pastry with a little milk/egg mixture and place your lids over the top, sealing them around the edges using your finger.

Bake them in an oven for 15-20 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to ensure they don’t brown too much.  Let them cool then sprinkle with icing sugar and eat!

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas – Mince pies. 8 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………Some scrummy home made mince pies!

Make your own Mincemeat and Mince Pies

Last Christmas we decided it was time to make our own mincemeat.  We love making mince pies and Kev now makes the pastry so it seemed only right that we should make the mincemeat.  It was set as a January task.  Late on in November I decided I should really start buying the odd jar or two ready for Christmas baking, only to get home and remember about the jars we had put away 10 months ago!  I love it when that happen.

I used Delia’s recipe for mincemeat, click here to visit her site for the recipe.

You can have a lot of fun making mince pies as they are simple and if you don’t want to make it all at home you can buy ready to roll shortcrust pastry usually found in the freezer or fridge sections and jars of mincemeat ready to use.    You can make them different sizes by using different muffin tins and decorate them in all different ways.  You can do lids in the shape of a star or other shapes so you can see some of the mincemeat through the gaps or do full lids and decorate them with shapes using small Christmas cutters.

To make mince pies, roll out your pastry to a thickness of 3mm.   Grease your tin.  Using cutters to match the size of your tin cut out circles and place them as the pie bases. Cut out your lids – match your cutter to the size you are making.  Spoon mincemeat on top of each pie base, brush the edge of the pastry with a little milk/egg mixture and place your lids over the top, sealing them around the edges using your finger.

Bake them in an oven for 15-20 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to ensure they don’t brown too much.  Let them cool then sprinkle with icing sugar and eat!

Homemade pies from the Garner residence.

We have continued the pie making and  Kev is loving looking up recipes and trying different fillings out, the only downside is the ingredients often require a spend at the supermarket so we have to do them near payday!!

I am continuing to contribute by decorating the top of the pie if I am about when its ready for the oven.  Kev is trying different techniques to finish the top of the pie  to see which seals it best and also looks the nicest.

Kev’s favourite is meat and potato so he has made that a few more times, I always put in for cheese and onion but with it having no meat in it, it can often be dismissed!!  Although I may try the line of it being a cheap option for pie filling to sneak it in there more!

If anyone has any pie recipes they wish to share we would love to try them – well I would get Kev to make them but I would enjoy eating them!

More Pie Making – good for the soul, maybe not so good for the waist line!

Pastry making is continuing in the Garner residence.  This time it was Cheese and Onion pie – my favourite yum!

The pasty was a parmesan pastry, a different recipe for us to try out, time for Kev to start mastering a range of pastries!

We treated ourselves to a new pie dish and are exploring options for smaller pie dishes, the perfect size for a single pie, although Kev and I have different ideas on how big a single pie should be!!

I also got out my letter cutters and decorated the top (the best part)!

It was simple to do and delicious when eaten.

We used the Hairy Bikers recipe found from a google search click here to make your own.

Homemade pastry – meat & potato, apple and mince pies.

As Christmas approached the same discussion took place in our house – my husband asks why we don’t make our own pastry for mince pies?  I explain that we use ready to roll bought from the supermarket which does the job fine!  In other words I don’t really want to add to the task by making our own and I suggest he does it!

2011 then became the year Kev started making pastry!  Since mid December Kev has had several pastry making sessions.  We have had a lot of ‘all homemade’ mince pies, with the mincemeat homemade by my brother in law’s father and if you saw my last post, you will now know we will be making ‘all homemade in the house’ mince pies next year!

We have had meat and potato pie which was delicious and was big enough to feed us twice.  Kev also made a single pie which came out looking fab.   I am slowly coming around to the idea of making our own.  At first I was happy for Kev to do it all and I still am.  However when making apple pie at the weekend, the pastry Kev had made the night before had crumbled.  I therefore had to embrace the task and it actually wasnt too bad.  I do stand by my first thought on it though – it just takes up more time making the job in hand more involved and time-consuming!  The apple pie turned out lovely and I decorating it using my cake cutters.  That was the part I was most excited about!

I may suggest Kev continues as pastry chef and I will decorate!

Things have learnt about pastry making so far:-

  • Having cold hands and using cold equipment is important
  • Pastry left for over 24 hours is not then good to use as it just crumbles at your touch
  • Decorating in pastry is just like using icing and is lots of fun!!

We have only made a basic shortcrust pastry so far.  I am keen however, that 2012 becomes the year Kev makes all kinds of pastry!