In September, I made my biennial trip to the land of baking knowledge, King Arthur Flour Baking School. I walked familiar halls and breathed in the atmosphere, mostly the aroma of freshly baked goods.
This year, one of my core classes was taught by a baker at the top of her field Gesine Bullock-Prado.
Gesine has written several cookbooks, has a teaching kitchen in Vermont, Sugar Glider Kitchen and now she has a show on the Food Network, Baked in Vermont. Gesine taught me how to make homemade candy corn, choux pastry, puff pastry and now flaky pie dough. She makes me smile…. Thank you Gesine!
I made flaky crust and created a delicious Pie…
Tart Cherry Filling
Creating the Lattice
Egg Washed and Ready to Bake
Beautiful and Delicous!
Next was Wilhelm Wanders, Master Pastry Chef and Chocolitier. Wilhelm is an eighth-generation pastry chef and confectioner.
I made truffles…
Three Chocolate Blend
And I learned more about Chocolate… I had to taste every piece. It was tough…
Melanie is a Confectioner. She apprenticed on a Chocolate Plantation.
I learned about chocolate..
And I got to spend time with my Sister…
Nothing better than baking with family. Sharing the Love!
King Arthur Flour Baking School is located in Norwich, Vt.
My love for buttercream began many years ago, long before I become a Wilton Method Instructor. It started with Maria.
I was looking, really more like desperately searching for something to fill my time. My one and only son had enlisted in the USMC and was off to boot camp. I spent my time taking care of him up to now and now what…
One afternoon, instead of going straight home after work, I decided to stop at my local Michael’s store. I was not looking for anything in particular, just looking to kill time. As I entered the store, I noticed a group of people gathered around a small table. Standing behind the table was a lady holding a cupcake. My interest was piqued as I have always been fond of cupcakes. Anyway, the lady, who I would later know and admire, was Maria. Maria was the Wilton Method Cake Decorator and was demonstrating the art, yes I said art of decorating with buttercream. While Maria was explaining in great detail about the piping tip, angle of bag, blah, blah, the only thing I was aware was she was creating a beautiful red roses made for buttercream right before my eyes. How did she do that- is this something I could do – I was hooked – where do I sign up?
My Wilton Method Decorating Demo
I signed up and took every class. Maria was very kind and a very patient teacher and a genuinely nice person. After the other students left, Maria would stay with me – patiently watching me make butercream roses. “Breathe,” she would say as I held my breath while piping each petal. “Relax, it’s your rose.” It’s funny, today when teaching I tell my students the same. Maria taught me patience and understanding and it really is “your rose.” It was Maria who encouraged me to become a Wilton Method Instructor and my heart thanks her before every class. I don’t know where Maria is today or if she is still teaching, but I hope so. I hope she is still stands behind a small table demonstrating the art of making beautiful buttercream roses inspiring others to take her class and changing the lives of people who were just looking to kill time.
Pain au Chocolat means Chocolate Bread. Yes, Chocolate Bread! This Pain au Chocolat is made with Quick Puff and pain au chocolate sticks also called chocolate batons. You can order them from King Arthur Flour. The recipe for Quick Puff was taught in an online by Gesine-Bullock Prado at Craftsy.
The quick puff or rough puff is easy to make and comes together quickly. The recipe makes about 5 pounds and can be frozen for future use. Just let the dough thaw in the refrigerator before attempting to work it.
Quick puff can be used for pie dough, sweet treats or savory snacks. I also made mini croissants and dusted them with non-melting sugar, also from King Arthur Flour – I just love King Arthur Flour.
If you have ever wanted to make puff pastry but thought it too difficult, try Quick Puff. Once you see have easy it is, how many uses there are for this flaky dough and taste the wonderful the buttery goodness you will agree it is worth the time. Next, I will move on the traditional Puff Pastry and you can too.
Remember it’s all about the Love of Baking! Terri