Everyone Asda ‘ave an Extra Special Easter

Cooking courses at Leiths are sadly something I’ll probably never get to do. But for one evening at least I find out what cooking classes at Leith’s are like.

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Extra special need not mean expensive and affordable need not mean sacrificing taste.

An ongoing partnership between Leith’s School of Food and Wine and Asda to completely redevelop each product in the Asda Extra Special range is quietly revolutionising the supermarket premium range.

Myself and an enthusiastic crowd were invited over to Shepherd’s Bush to repeat the memorable experience of cooking in the Leith’s kitchen with those vintage copper saucepans. The pleasure of working in the cookery school that trained foodie stars such as Angela Malik, Lorraine Pascale and Lulu Grimes amongst others was matched by being able to tuck into our hard work afterwards.

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Amongst our tasks in the kitchen were assembling strawberry tarts, trimming racks of lamb with mustard and herb crust making mini chocolate truffle cakes and the occasional sneaky tweet.

The Leith’s staff were on hand to do some of the less interesting tasks like steaming vegetables and *cough* washing up whilst their guests beat up cake batters and cheesecake style tart fillings.

All ingredients where possible were from the Asda Extra Special range even down to – big surprise this – Extra Special samphire. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised… I’ve often seen Asda stock lobster in the freezer section and it’s these assumptions that Asda intends to challenge with the Leith’s collaboration.

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For most of us this was a second visit cooking at Leith’s with Asda and it’s probably a cop out to say we were not worked as hard as before Christmas!

This time the emphasis was on fun, decorating mini egg topped cakes, the aforementioned strawberry tarts and the pedestrian but tricky issue of getting those soft boiled eggs just right.

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The strawberry tarts were my favourites; very little by way of taxing work, just a simple assembly job of mixing cream cheese and double cream with vanilla extract, sugar and lemon juice.

Next you spoon it into ready made pastry cases (that tasted perfectly buttery and light) and top with sliced strawberries and a glaze of jam and water.

The result is a tempting home made dessert with fresh fruit and a luxurious filling that can be knocked together inside 20 minutes.

I am adding this to my party repertoire for sure, it is sure to impress your guests. For sure there will be some who scoff at using ready made pastry cases but the French are known for buying in their desserts rather than making them and no-one knocks them so I say, serve this dessert and be proud.

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Our Easter egg truffle cakes were a treat to take home in a box. I love this shot above, it sums up how the night was all hands on deck and team work!

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Which of course deserves to be rewarded with something pink and sparkly!

Those taking part included Fuss Free HelenKatie BrysonFabulicious RenMichelle Utterly Scrummy, Sarah Food for Think, Becky English MumPenny of the Pantry and Kavey.

With thanks to the lovely Lucie at Freud, Asda and Leith’s School of Food and Wine.

If you’d like to win a hamper of Asda Extra Special goodies then do enter my current giveway via the Maison Cupcake giveaways page. Be quick though, it closes on April 2nd.

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Sarah, Maison Cupcake

Sarah Trivuncic is one of the UK's leading food bloggers. She is the author of Bake Me I'm Yours... Sweet Bitesize Bakes and has been the voice behind Maison Cupcake since 2009. You can also connect with her on Google+

12 comments

  1. I could quite happily spend my days cooking and eating at Leith’s. You must really enjoy the cooking and the socialising with so many fellow bloggers. A perfect day out! Your website is looking so good, I can’t see how you can improve it further……an inspiration! xx

  2. I can’t believe they sell samphire at Asda! I met a home economist recently who styles food shoots, and she said Asda was her favourite supermarket.

    • We were all taken aback too. I rarely recall seeing it in Waitrose. The soft egg yolk when really well with it, cutting through the seaweed-y-ness.

  3. Oh everything looks so yummy!!! My friend Kathryn who runs a cooking school here and who I am working with, trained at Leith’s, they do turn out some fabulous people don’t they?

    I was thinking if I ever got back to Londoan, doing a course there would be my number one priority :)

  4. I have to say you hooked me in with your photos! Those strawberry tarts are so mouth-watering I couldn’t resist looking at your post. What a great idea on Adsa’s part to hook up with Leiths and get you ladies along to participate! Would love to have a go myself!

    • The folks at Leiths are lovely. Doing a proper cookery course there must be awesome.

  5. twas such a fun evening – lovely write-up Sarah. I think my highlight were the strawberry tartlets – will definitely be recreating those at home. So simple but utterly stunning to look at, and scoff!

  6. A great write up and I absolutely love your photos – you’ve really captured the evening and how everyone was so hands on. Leiths is a really cool place, everyone always seems so happy to be there. Lovely to see you, too. x

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