Edd Kimber hosted a wonderful winter tea here at The Buttercup yesterday. We closed early (sorry!) for the special event, polished our cake stands and got our best tea cups out. Edd arrived and got to work baking his chocolate and chestnut torte which he served warm with chestnut cream. Delicious and light. He told us he thought the best affordable chocolate to use for cooking was Green and Blacks’ dark chocolate. Never use milk chocolate he said – far too sweet.
While he sliced up the cakes which he’d brought for our guests to taste, he shared brilliant baking tips and chatted about his baking life. Edd had been miserable stuck in a banking job which he hated. He sent off his application for the first series of BBC2’s The Great British Bake-Off and after many rounds of auditions and baking tests he made it through to the TV series.
He told us winning the series had truly changed his life. Now he was baking on Woman’s Hour and appearing at food festivals across the country. He’s hoping to open a bakery in London.
The gingerbread was sweet, spicey and smooth. Delicious. It was his Nana’s recipe and the recipe card he uses is 100years old. He had to decifer his Nana’s handwriting on the card and convert the old measurements. Anyone heard of a gill of milk?
We chatted about macaron flavours while he helped everyone learn how to pipe chocolate ganache into festive, bright green shells. Apparently piping to music helps keep your dollops consistent! And his other tip, was to keep the nozzle very close to the macaron shell to have more control with the filling.
Edd told us how he’d met Pierre Herme, Parisian godfather of the macaron, and tasted Pierre’s exotic white truffle macarons. Ugh!
He told us about what it was like working in the kitchens of Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir on a shift that started at 5am and ended the next morning at 1am. He baked Almondine for us, inspired by one of Raymond’s recipes. It’s a frangipane baked into a mould and topped with crumble. It’s usually filled with jam but as it’s nearly Christmas he made us some truly delicious mincemeat. It wasn’t thick, dark and sickly like much shop bought mincemeat. Oh no, Edd’s mincemeat was light and fruity.
Our guests experimented with our menu of speciality teas – Lapsang, Brainbrew, Blueberry, Veranda, Jasmine and more. It was a cosy afternoon and it felt like we were hanging out in Edd’s kitchen. He says he’ll back when he’s ready to test out his new cake recipes for his next cookbook. We can’t wait!
If you’d like to cook any of the cakes we were lucky enough to eat, British Bookshops has Edd’s book The Boy Who Bakes in their shop on School Hill in Lewes. Happy baking!