In 2017, We learned a bunch!

When I began teaching baking and decorating classes, I had no idea how much I would learn! In 2017, I branched out from being a vendor at a local farmer’s market and a bespoke baker and began teaching public and private classes.

While I continue to teach  decorating at Michael’s using the Wilton Method,  I have made the progression to teach baking, confectionery and a series of beginner baking classes; called Next-Generation-Baker.  It’s on the class information page.

In 2017, we learned to make pies, homemade candy corn, caramel apples and decorated gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies. We made cupcake bouquets, mother’s day cupcake flowers, father’s day craw-daddy cupcakes, pie filling, witch brooms and shoes and black cats. We made small-tall cakes decorated with purple Louisiana Iris and cakes decorated with succulents. We torted, filled and frosted cakes and cupcakes.

I attended a baking workshop at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vermont.  I took classes on how to make the flakiest pie crust and the tastiest filling, temper chocolate and make truffles and ganache and how to choose the right chocolate for a recipe.

What is my take-a-way in 2017? I learn from doing and what I love to do is teach. When you teach a person to bake, you give them life and social skills and they attain self-confidence through their ability to bake.  What is learned in baking goes far beyond the kitchen walls.  Bakers not only bake for themselves, but also bake for others. When a person, especially a young person, bakes for their family and friends, they are sharing a part of themselves – their love of baking- through communication that is personal, one-on-one, face-to-face; not electronic.

We learned a bunch in 2017 and we’re sharing our love…

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Pain au Chocolat

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.

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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