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Review: The Baking Club

January 5, 2018
By

Several months ago Chris asked whether I’d be interested in reviewing a sample box he received from ‘The Baking Club‘. As baking is a hobby for me, I was quite happy to take him up on that and, during his most recent visit, we cracked open the box to see what we’d find.

The box itself is sized to fit through a standard letterbox, and marks the ‘best before’ date for the dry ingredients included. The packaging appeared to be of a good quality and well-suited to the task of protecting its contents.

The ingredients and recipe were for Raspberry and Coconut Squares, rated 2/5 for skill level. In addition to the ingredients within the kit, it required butter, eggs, fresh raspberries, and a square tin – I had all but the raspberries in stock, so those were obtained and we were ready to go.

On a step-by-step level the instructions were for the most part quite easy to follow, although we did nitpick some minor things as we went through. The provided baking parchment for the square pan was sufficiently greaseproof that greasing the pan before lining was fairly ineffective. (I’m good at folding it though, so it wasn’t a problem.)

We tested the included card butter measurer for accuracy against my kitchen scales, and it was quite reasonably close, although I did top it up a bit to get the full 200 grams requested. The butter is then rubbed in to the contents of bag 1 (self-raising flour) and bag 2&3 (ground almonds and caster sugar) – the latter was listed as two separate bags in the kit, although they were actually combined in packaging. A portion of this is then measured out (we needed those kitchen scales after all) and combined with bag 4 (dessicated coconut) and set aside. In went the eggs (“mix by hand with a wooden spoon” – doesn’t it work with any other sort of spoon?).

The egg mixture went into the tin, and half the raspberries ‘scattered’ on top of this. (Picture shows remarkably neat rows of ‘scattered’ raspberries. I followed the written instructions instead, so mine wasn’t as pretty.)

The coconut mixture went on top of that, and then I popped it into the oven and we rewarded our efforts so far with a cup of tea.

In a bit, the cake came out, I “dotted” the remaining raspberries over the top, sprinkled bag 5 (Demerara sugar) over the top, and it went in for its final bake.

By this point we were definitely getting hungry as the aromas escaped the kitchen, so our patience was a bit tested by the cooling period. Finally, we could scatter bag 5 (white chocolate curls) on top, and cut it into squares.

“The proof of the pudding, is in the eating” as the old saying goes, and on this it scored very well indeed. It was much enjoyed at the time, and kept well for a day or two in a sealed container. Further testing on how well it kept was made impossible owing to its rate of disappearance.

OVERALL: We found the recipe tasty enough that I’ve kept the instructions, and will likely make this again, using my own ingredient stash, sometime this summer when raspberries are in season. Nitpicking aside, the instructions were clear, and the difficulty level of 2 of 5 seems about right and probably reflects the assembling of different layers.

The kit itself had been acquired on a special offer, but they generally run a bit over £8 per box if you subscribe to their monthly deliveries. Since I do bake regularly I had all of the ingredients in the kit except for the dessicated coconut and the white chocolate curls in my own cupboard, but for people who do not routinely bake I can understand the appeal of getting exactly the amount needed.

For people who routinely keep baking ingredients in stock, it probably isn’t good value for money, but might be enjoyable as an exploration of new recipes. Its appeal might be highest for those who don’t routinely bake but would like the opportunity to, without needing to stock what I think of as standard supplies for my baking hobby.

2 Responses to Review: The Baking Club

  1. Chris Malme on January 5, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    As Janet says, I was visiting when she tried this. As someone who only occasionally bakes, I think I would have been able to follow this without too many problems.

    I had two pieces (one for breakfast the next day!), and it certainly was delicious!

  2. Robert Maughan
    Robert Maughan on January 5, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Really tasty, would nom again.

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