Sainsbury's Edible Flower Masterclass Launch

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Written by Annette Kellow

I have walked past the historic Bourne and Hollingsworth building many times but have never ventured in. Luckily for me I had a wonderful excuse as I was invited to the Sainsbury's cake decorating masterclass with Great British Bakeoff winner Chetna Maken who would be launching their very first range of edible flowers, released in stores nationwide.

On arrival the private kitchen in Bourne and Hollingsworth is pure vintage heaven! Fresh plants, flowers, a large table workstation and old rustic wooden beams greeted me as I sat down.

I was handed a cocktail of Frose (this summers craze of crushed rose) adorned with flowers (full on Instagram worthy) and each of our placemats had cake stands and decorating utensils complete with Sainsbury's aprons- I whipped mine on straight away!

The first thing I noticed about Chetna is she is completely captivating. She talks in a relaxed manner and brought out some freshly baked cakes, one being rose and lemon, another pistachio, followed by blueberry. She explained that her preferred protocol is to use hints of flavour rather than over powering the tastebuds.

She began by using a fragrant smelling buttercream and spoke about how to make and achieve beautiful baking by not thinking everything has to perfect- infact she made it sound so easy!

After icing and layering the cake on stands she explained that the flowers are made specifically in England at the Vale of Evesham and include varieties such as tagete marigold, monkey flowers, viola and dianthus.

She also told us an amusing story that some people go into Sainsburys hoping to buy a bunch of flowers then decorate their food and eat them ( apparently a big no-no as some flowers can be highly poisonous!)

Finally, it was showtime i.e time to make our own. The room was full of bloggers such as Monas Eyes and Little Sunny Kitchen and I was worried my icing was going to look like I'd done it with my eyes closed compared to theirs. But the smoothing utensils helped greatly and I figured if I went wild with the flowers hopefully no one would notice if I was a bit scrimp with the buttercream! And wild I went, pretty much covering one side of the cake (whilst hoping Chetna wouldn't see the other!)

After helping each other take photos, chatting, and nibbling on other fabulous Sainsburys goodies, I realised that working with food is not only beautiful, fun, creative and therapeutic- but it brought a bunch of ladies together that evening who bonded over the simple love of baking - albeit with the icing on the cake and the flowers to go with it.

Sainsburys edible flowers are now in store.