Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pastry Class FTW!

Happy 2015!

I can't believe it's already almost February!

So 2014 ended with me signing up for a Pro Pastry series at the Gourmandise School.  I've been watching the schedule for a long while and finally they listed the class series to be on the weekends. Yay!!!  

We had our 3rd class today and I am loving every minute of it.  We're 3 weeks in and it's my favorite 4 hours of the week.  The first weeks have been all about getting comfortable in the kitchen and baking some more of the usual baked goods. Cookies, bars, muffins, etc.  I've made a lot of these before and I learned so much.  Small adjustments in technique for mixing, whisking etc. They're all adding up each week.  And it's also good to know that I'm doing things the way I'm supposed to be and is a confidence boost.

The biggest lesson has been how to bake using a scale. I've been reading a lot about weight vs. volume measuring with baking.  I even asked for a scale for Christmas. But it was still in the box at the start of class because it seemed so complicated. But now that I know it's not complicated at all.  BTW you should get a scale.  Once you get the hang of it, it is SO MUCH easier and faster than using measuring cups.

The class is 4 hours long and it is amazing how much you can get done in 4 hours!  Weeks 2 & 3 have given enough recipes to make for our own bake sales.

Here's some pics of what we made for Muffins & Quick Breads

Blueberry Muffins

Whole Wheat Raisin Scones
(these weren't even on the agenda - 
we had extra time so we got into groups & picked out a scone recipe)

The loot 
Cheddar Thyme biscuits, Carrot quick bread, 
lemon poppy cake, blueberry muffins

We even have homework! This is by far the best homework I've ever had. :)
We were sent 3 different scone recipes and had to choose one to make and bring in. I chose the blueberry scone recipe.  While they don't look very pretty, they tasted pretty good & had a lot of flaky layers.  Though my blueberries were frozen, they didn't want to stay in the dough and blueberries were everywhere!

Blueberry Scones

This past week we focused on Cookies, Lemon Bars, & Brownies. It was heaven.

We partnered up to make the toffee which would later go into the cookies.

From scratch toffee (no candy thermometer needed)

Brownies are hit or miss for me. Now I know I've been way over-mixing my batters. This recipe was easy (technique learned - double boiler) to melt the chocolate/butter/sugar

Chocolate Brownies

We then moved onto making the dough for the Lemon Bar crust.  The trick is to press the dough up just a bit on the edge of your pan so that when you pour in the lemon mixture it doesn't get under your crust.

Lemon Bar just out of the oven

Cooled and ready for the meringue

Lemon Meringue Bar
toasting the meringue was a lot of fun!

Next it was time to make the cookies - chop the chocolate disks & toffee up!  These cookies spread quite a bit and were so chewy with the crispy edge.  

Toffee & Chocolate Chunk cookies

And the best part of Week 3?

We got our chefs coats!!

There are 7 weeks left of the class and the next few lessons will be learning things I've never made so now the fun really starts!

No comments:

Post a Comment