First recipe for Pingle evening class (15th Jan) – Pitta Bread

Wednesday 15th January sees a new term of evening classes starting at Pingle. For enrolment details see here. I will give you the recipe sheets for the following classes on the 15th January.

As well as the ingredients for Pitta Bread below it’s worth bringing a few other things, these include:

  • Apron
  • Tea towel
  • Kitchen cloth
  • Suitable container for you to take your cooking home in
  • Oven gloves
  • Notepad & pen
  • Digital scales (if you have them)
  • Roll of baking parchment
  • I sometimes suggest a tin, other baking container or equipment may be required. (nothing special is needed for Pitta Bread)

Pitta Bread
Makes 4 large pitta breads

  • 150 ml warm water (50ml boiling, 100ml cold water)
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • pinch of sugar
  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 15g butter, softened
  1. In a jug mix warm water, yeast and sugar together. Leave for 15min for a froth to form on the top.
  2. Preheat oven to 220oc. In a bowl mix together flour, salt and butter. Gradually stir in the yeasty water until you have a nice dough. Knead for 10 min by hand or 2 min in the mixer.
  3. Split dough into 4 pieces and roll each into a sausage shape. Flatten each piece of dough with a rolling pin, until it is about 5mm thick. Place on a floured baking tray. Once all pieces of dough have been formed and placed on the baking tray, dust with flour and bake for 8-10 until puffed and golden.

New year means new evening class at Pingle

pingle 14 banner words

If you love Great British Bake Off this class is for you. Over the 10 weeks we’ll be looking at different types of sweet and savoury baking including pitta bread, Chorley cakes, Yorkshire curd tart and peach roulade all for the bargain price of £50. The classes will start on Wednesday 15th January 2014. To find out how to sign up for the evening class pop over to the main Apple & Thyme website.

We are now on the wonderful Pinterest and you can find all of our past recipes on there. Feel free to give us a follow. We love seeing what inspired people to get in the kitchen.

Baking evening classes in Swadlincote start 26th September 2013

baking evening classes Pingle Swadlincote

I’m pleased to say that the popular baking evening classes at Pingle School, Swadlincote are back for another term.

Has Great British Bake Off inspired you?

Fancy learning how to bake Bakewell Tart, Calzone, Stollen and more?

During this hands on practical class we will be look at both sweet and savoury baking. Evening class is suitable for beginner bakers and people who want to brush up on their skills. All for a bargain price of 10 weeks for £50.

Enrolment evening will take place at Pingle School, Coronation Street, Swadlincote on Monday 16th September 2013 7pm – 8:30pm.

To find out more about what we’ll be baking and how to enrol click-through to the main Apple & Thyme website.

Day 3 Summer Cookery Club – Mad about Chocolate

Summer Cookery Club - brownies

After a day of cupcake decorating and another day of Italian food it was finally the hotly anticipated Mad about Chocolate day. Unsurprisingly this was the most popular day among the children.

The word had got around that Summer Cookery Club was worth taking part in and we had an extra two children join us today for a day of chocolatey fun. This day was never going to be without mess and I always state that cookery club is about learning and experiencing food, not keeping clean. The bonus as a parent is that if you send one of your children to me for cookery club they can make a mess and I tidy up!

We started the day by making brownies. My pupils have been asking to make these for a while and this recipe has gone down a storm with my Evening Class pupils. The recipe usually features peanut butter too, but for cookery club we made it with just chocolate spread. The recipe works particularly well halved, poured into a 2lb loaf tin and baked for 20-25 minutes. It’s always a good idea to line the tin (as we did here) as it makes it so much easier to get the brownies out of the tin.

Summer Cookery Club - rocky road

While the brownies were baking we made a start on that popular fridge cake – Rocky Road. This was an opportunity for the children to work in pairs to prep the ingredients, make the rocky road and also share the mixture. We added glace cherries, marshmallows and sultanas to the mix.

After a quick break it was finally time to play with the ganache. I had made the milk chocolate ganache the night before. The children then used a metal  measuring spoon (pah, forget melon ballers!) dipped in hot water to heat it up, to scoop up a ball of ganache. They then had the option of 3 toppings to roll it in then had foil, petit four cases and a box to present the chocolates in.  As you can see on one of the photos, the aftermath. Goes to show how much fun we had.

Summer Cookery Club - truffles

Big thanks to all who have joined and supported me over the last week for Summer Cookery Club. The feedback from the children has been very positive. It’s clear they loved to get messy with the chocolate and really enjoyed calzone making. Hopefully Summer Cookery Club it will return for its 4th outing next year.

It was messy, the things tasted good and the chocolate is the best!

If you want to get some summer holiday cookery inspiration follow #summercookeryclub on twitter for our daily links and ideas.

Day 1 – Garden Cupcakes
Day 2 – Italian Food



Day 2 Summer Cookery Club – Italian

Summer Cookery Club - Italian Food

It’s a well-known fact that kids love Italian food. You only need to ask a child what their favourite food is and many will say pizza or a pasta dish and almost all will mention ice cream. It’s from this premise that I decided to run an Italian food day this summer holiday where the children would make calzone, ravioli and ice cream.

Some of the children on the course are pros at bread making as they have made it in the past with me, some however were new to the kneading game. All managed to make beautiful dough with dough windows Paul Hollywood would be proud of. While the children were kneading their dough I set up a glass with yeast, warm water and sugar to show that yeast is a microorganism and how it makes your bread rise. You could tell the yeast fresh due to the froth monster that emerged from the glass.

While the calzone dough was rising we made the ravioli. I pre made both the pasta dough and sweet potato & Wensleydale filling (You can find the sweet potato & goats cheese ravioli recipe I adapted here). The children worked in pairs at one of the pasta machines to gently roll their pasta then assemble their ravioli. Some also made tortellini. The children took this pasta home to cook fresh there.

Summer CC 20133

The calzone were simply filled with a herby passata sauce, mozarella, cherry tomatoes and ham. While they were baking in the oven, it was time for the final recipe – ice cream. Now of course there are some limitations as to what you can make in a 2.5 hour class. Usually ice cream would be out of the question however there are two cheat ways you can make it. Use the freezer bag, ice, milk & shake method which we’ve done previous years or use the cheats way to banana ice cream: chop a banana, freeze then pop in a blender with a couple of heaped tablespoons of lovely thick vanilla yoghurt and voila you have instant banana ice cream. This is not only a quick way to make ice cream but healthy too with just two ingredients.

We got so engrossed in eating the ice cream I forgot to take photos. If you don’t believe ice cream can be this easy give it a go yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Tomorrow is the last day and unsurprisingly it has the highest number of attendees. After popular request, nay begging from my pupils, I’m running a mad about chocolate day. There will be brownies, ganache and more.

Day 1 – Garden cupcakes
Day 3 – Mad about Chocolate

Day 1 Summer Cookery Club – Garden Cupcakes

Summer Cookery Club 2013

The theme for today’s cookery club was cupcake decorating. I often do cake decorating with children I think they enjoy the tactile nature of it, letting their imagination run riot and not always eating the cupcakes themselves. Last year’s theme was olympics so this year was a garden theme with bugs and birds.

Today the group consisted of ten 4-10 year olds, some of which had been to previous classes. For the first half of the session I demoed six different sugarpaste modelling techniques they then all had a go at making their own.

While I gave the kids limited sugarpaste tools all of what they made could be made at home with a simple cocktail stick. In my classes I try not to use too much in the way of fancy equipment as I want the children to feel they can make it again at home.

demo garden cupcakes

After a quick juice & fruit break (cup of tea for me and my helpers!) it was time to play with the buttercream. Green buttercream naturally. I showed them four different ways of covering and piping buttercream and I have to say they did a marvelous job.

Once all the cakes were decorated and boxed the children then had the opportunity to try making anything their heart desired out of the sugarpaste. We had hearts, Minions and a rather amazing rose.

Tomorrow is Day 2 and nearly all the children are returning for the Italian day. Bring on the calzone, ravioli and ice cream!

Day 2 – Italian
Day 3 – Mad about Chocolate

Summer Holiday cooking inspiration for kids


The schools are out for summer and until yesterday the sun was blazing down. I’m running the ever popular summer cookery classes in conjunction with a local primary school. Cooking is always a popular activity during school holidays whatever the weather but from personal experience never attempt peppermint creams on a hot sunny day unless you like a big sticky mess!

Of course to start with a selection of recipes on the Apple & Thyme blog to get your kids inspired in the kitchen. How about breadmaking for beginners, using maths to make butterfly cakes, demonstrate the solar system with these Saturn rolls and make tikka paneer kebabs for the BBQ. You can even use your kitchen for a bit of science. This easy investigation is a great way of showing how important it is to wash your hands when you prepare food.

If you want to know alternatives to sharps knives for kids to use in the kitchen have a look at our blog post full of creative suggestions.

Keep an eye on our twitter feed @appleandthyme and the hashtag #summercookeryclub throughout August for more summer holiday cooking inspiration.

Apple & Thyme is back!

After a stressful few months we are now settled in the new HQ and the Apple & Thyme kitchen is officially back open. This means after a long absence the popular Posh Pantry Calzone will be back at the deli in Ashby-de-la-Zouch this Saturday 27th April with the two usual flavours:

Spinach & mushroom
Red pepper and chorizo

along with a new special edition flavour with an Indian twist. Get there early if you want to grab yourself a spicy calzone with paneer butter masala filling. Not traditional I know, but still delicious.

paneer calzone

As well as the calzone all other Apple & Thyme services are back including food educationfood writing and parties.

The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook is here!

ccc cookbook

Ever since Clandestine Cake Club (CCC) was formed by Lynn Hill in 2010 I’ve been a fan. The mission statements is – Bake, eat and talk about cake. Who can argue with that? There are two simple rules for CCC:

  • No cupcakes, muffins, brownies, pies or tart. It’s all about cake
  • You get to take cake home

I’ve been attending both Derby & Loughborough Cake Club for the last few years and have enjoyed meeting up with like minded people and getting the chance to make cakes I usually wouldn’t get to make at home. Nearly a year ago Lynn sent an email to members saying a Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook was going to be published and asked us to submit recipes.

Derby CCC cookbook

I decided to submit a variant of the cake I made for the first CCC event I attended in Derby. The theme for the event was “Trick or Treat” so  I gave a black forest gateau a slightly macarbe twist by adorning it with beetles, lots of marzipan beetles. Unsurprisingly this version was probably a bit too twisted for the book so it was turned in to a Wild Forest Gateau instead.

A copy of the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook landed on my desk last week and, ok I may be biased, but I love it. The layout and styling makes you want to make every cake in the book. It’s full of great recipes some of which a bit different from the norm. I will certainly be using the book in the future to find celebration cakes. It would be a fabulous gift for anyone who loves baking. So pick up yourself a copy and see if you can spot me and other fabulous CCC members in it. Tune in to BBC Radio Derby on Monday 28th January at 11am to hear me chat with Sally Pepper about the UK’s love of cookbooks.

wild forest gateau

The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook (RRP £20) is available from 14th February

Adult baking classes are back!


After the success of Autumn term’s classes Sweet & Savoury Baking Evening Class (Adult) are returning to Pingle School, Coronation Street, Swadlincote

A new 10 week term of evening classes will start on Thursday 10th January 2013 7pm-9pmEnrolment is slightly different to the previous term and is on the first night. Keep an eye on the main Apple & Thyme site to see the ingredients you need to bring.

This is a hands on practical class where we will be looking at both sweet and savoury baking. From cupcakes to cookies, tarts and bread. Suitable for beginner bakers and people who want to brush up on their skills.

The 10 weeks cost £50 and you will provide your own ingredients*

* Full time students receive 50% reduction on fees. More concessions available, just contact Pingle School.

Ingredients list for Spring 2013 term will appear here soon. To see what we made last term look at links below.

To see what we made Autumn term 2012  Click here for the ingredients for Week 1-6 and here for ingredients for week 7-10

If there is anything you’d like to learn next term leave a comment below or email me on

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