I was thrilled to be given the opportunity by Foodies100 to at attend a cookery workshop at the renowned River Cottage Cookery School. Located in the idyllic countryside of the Devon and Dorset border within the grounds of the old cottage, it really is the ideal location if you want to escape the city and learn some new cooking skills.
Our cookery class was taught by Gill Meller who has 10 years of River Cottage experience under his belt. Gill has worked alongside Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in the River Cottage TV series as well as contributing to the River Cottage cookbooks.
Before we could begin we had to go foraging for blackberries. Then, back in the kitchen, we set about making our own butter and buttermilk. I was working next to the very lovely Kate from Veggie Desserts, do check out her blog for the most inventive recipes using vegetables.
Now, I have to admit to feeling a bit naive not knowing how butter was made but I guess having grown up in a town rather the countryside maybe that’s why I didn’t know, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. The process is so simple I know I will be doing this again, why don’t you have a go too.
How to make butter and buttermilk
Simply pour 500ml of double cream into a bowl and beat with a hand held mixer until it resembles scrambled eggs, then take a wooden spoon and continue beating it until the butter and buttermilk begin to separate. Squeeze the butter together with your hands, to remove as much liquid as possible then simply refrigerate the butter until needed. The liquid that’s left behind should equate to approximately 200ml of buttermilk, the amount needed for our sweet soda bread recipe.
Here’s Gill demonstrating how to roll up flavoured butter and how to shape the soda bread.
The sweet soda bread we made was filled with fresh apple, the foraged blackberries and goats cheese, a delightfully quick no knead bread, it was ready after 25 minutes in the oven.
Whilst the bread was baking we flavoured the butter was salt and foraged flowers and then rolled it up. It reminded me of a jam swiss roll!
I enjoyed every minute of the cookery class and would most definitely return for another class.
Thank you to Foodies100 and River Cottage HQ for hosting such a wonderful foodie experience.
Until next time.
Disclosure: Foodies100 invited me to attend a one day VIP event at River Cottage free of charge. Although I was asked to write about my day, I have not been paid or sponsored to write a positive review.