The Science of Baking

24 April 2018

 

On Monday 23 April, Caldicott welcomed Mich Turner MBE, owner of Little Venice Cake Company and one of the world’s leading cake designers, to talk to the school about the science aspects of baking.

Mich Turner has created cakes for celebrities and members of the Royal family, including the Queen, Pierce Brosnan, David Beckham, Sir Paul McCartney and Gordon Ramsey. She is the author of six cake books, an ambassador for the Scottish Bakers’ Association and regularly gives talks, demonstrations and contributes to TV programmes.

During her talk at Caldicott, the boys learnt about the five main elements that make up the food we eat (carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, and vitamins and minerals) and why a combination of each element is important for us to stay fit and healthy.  She then went on to give a live demonstration making her chiffon strawberry cake.  For each step in the baking process, she explained to the boys the science behind why each ingredient is used and what is happening in the process. Many of the boys were surprised at how much science was involved in making a simple cake.

When the cake was ready to go in the oven, Mich used those magic words “here’s one I made earlier” and produced a cake ready for the decorating.  Whilst the meringue icing was being mixed the boys asked some fantastic questions such as “who were you inspired by?” – Delia Smith and “how long does it take to make a celebration cake?” – four days and 30 years of experience.

When the meringue was ready, four boys were lucky enough to help pipe the meringue onto the cake and the Director of Performing Arts, Mr Wild, was given the big task of using the blowtorch to give the meringue a lovely golden colour.

The talk provided the boys with an insight into science being used in the real world, even sometimes without them knowing it, a very valuable lesson.

 

Science of Baking with Mich Turner