Hosted by Benjamina Ebuehi, held in Crabtree and Evelyn’s Islington branch and a goodie bag gifted by Nielsen Massey, it’s safe to say that the first tea related event Ive attended was a success!
As I made my way to the bustling side of Angel, Islington and arrive at the store front at a prompt 6:00pm, the entrance of the well-lit store set the tone for the evening.
Following the initial greetings, I take a quick video and get settled in for a well-anticipated evening ahead.
As I stood in line waiting to get my cup of tea, I exchange a smile with a guy with glasses in the corner who I noticed had already greeted and spoke to Benjamina. This initially piqued my curiosity as I wondered how they knew one another – which I later learned of. I didn’t voice this, of course, however we said our ‘Hi’s’ and got to chatting.
I asked him a simple question, which, little did I know, was the opening to a can of worms that’d get the ball rolling which was, “what’s your baking story?” And the conversation just flowed from there. He’s actually a recipe developer and baker too, you can check out his work here.
As we all settled into our seats, and the host made her way to the front, she welcomed us all and got to giving a brief of the book and what she hopes it’s able to achieve. With this in procession, I was delighted by the accompaniment of a slice of the masala chai carrot cake, along with a freshly brewed cup of black English Breakfast tea. And if this cake is anything to go by, the recipes of this book are sure to be home runs!
After sharing the background of getting the book published, the floor opened up for questions and I ask, “you mentioned you don’t have a favourite cake, so if you had to describe yourself as a cake, which would you be?” She smiles, squints her eyes and responds with ‘that’s a really good question, I’ve never been asked that before’. She goes on to pick out flavours she’s fond of which include the following:
– White chocolate which is smooth, and to mellows things
– Pistachio for it’s bounce
– A spice of some sort
Though multiple home bakers were present, it seemed to be the consensus that many felt stretched for time and as though their schedule had stifled their desire to bake. However, if there was one thing I heard many attendees mention by the end of the evening, it was how this meet encouraged them to pick baking back up again.
In sharing her Bake Off experience and the year-long gruelling process of trying, testing, jotting, photographing and eventually publishing her recipe book, she also admits ‘it was hard and tiring, but I’d do it all over again’. Benjamina’s reveal of the intensive nature and reality of juggling your passion/hobby with work, priorities and life in general, though difficult is possible and evidently a key testament to investing in your craft! And by the nods filling the room, this was a definite crowd pleaser!
And to think, this time last week I was tucking into a delicious slice of her masala chai carrot cake. And I must say, of all the carrot cakes I’ve tried, this one sits pretty high on list. And this is due to several things.
1. The sweetness – what I find is that some cakes can be overly and borderline sickly sweet, making it difficult to identify any of the other flavours. But this one, this one was slightly sweet, just the way I like it!
2. Moisture – like goldilocks, this cake was just right.
3. Combination and depth of flavour
4. Texture – I, like many others can appreciate the delicate crumb of any cake
I went for the cake and to hear more about the inspiration behind the recipe book and it’s process, and left with a too-good-too-be-true goody bag, a couple of baking truths and tips and a great convo with a fellow baker. It goes without saying, that the first tea related event I’ve attended was a success.
Oh and before I forget, if you’d like to see a few of the products we received click here or head over to my Instagram highlight titled tea events. I’m considering going through the goody bag filled with a few of Benjamina’s baking favourites, so if you’d be interested in this, let me know in the comments below.
And till we meet again to discuss the next tea event,