Wednesday, April 28, 2010

macaronage carnage

So the best bud and I have been busting our butts trying to perfect the French Macaron. OoLaaLaa~
Too bad in all our attempts there were few to zero of "viable" macarons to fill and rejoice at.

I'm still determined to get it though. We've made good progress since our first attempts... but still far from perfection. And like the souffle (which I have yet to re-attempt at home), I refuse to let this one go.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Class Day 4: Pies, Tarts, Cobbler, Crisp

This week was fruit... in pies, tarts, cobblers and crisps! Everything from scratch of course.
 Double Crust Apple Pie
Blackberry Cobbler
Pear Crisp
You can see (and taste) the diff between the crisp and cobbler topping. YUM!
Lemon Tart

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pudding anyone?

Still playing around with packaging and labeling...

Would you refuse this magnificent tower of homemade...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Class Day 3: Pate a Choux, Pastry Cream, Chocolate Souffle

This class was a toughie... I was just "off" the whole time. Must have just been one of those days. Blah.

Pate a Choux came together nicely - probably since I've done it before.
Also got to hone the piping skills!

Burned the pastry cream a bit. Got the burned milk taste going on... which was later on masked by the chocolate and pate a choux.

Sucked at the chocolate souffle. I think I over cooked the roux - which ruined everything from then on. But I got to exercise the arm muscles by whipping the egg whites by hand!
I'll definitely be working on that souffle. I refuse to let it get the better of me! Rarrrrr.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


a tip? or already well known info?

ANYWAYS - New to me!

We all know the traditional water bath for baking cheesecakes and custards etc... fill a pan partway with hot water, in the pan is the baking good wrapped well with aluminum or whatevs to keep water out.

I learned this other way!

Set a kitchen towel on baking sheet... SATURATE with hot water... set baking item right on the wet towel and bake. TA-DA! A water bath without the risk of unfortunate water splashage!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

No-Bake Sunday

Since Sunday has become my only "day off", I've become drastically unproductive when I don't make any plans. Needless to say, I spent all day indoors - most of which was laying in bed.

But I did want to share something I found during break time in class last week:

I flipped thorough this issue and noted a few recipes to try. (I might just subscribe to the mag too.)
Definitely read all 100 in the list... good stuff!!

Photo by Todd Coleman; Taken from

Photo by Andre Baranowski; Taken from

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Class Day 2: Custards

Exhausted. But had a good day at class...

Main thing to work out is to not have things (e.g. vanilla bean flecks, raisins) sink to the bottom of the custard. Hmmm. Practice time!

Bread Pudding with Brandied Raisins and Pecans

Chocolate Pudding

Creme Brulee

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Coffee and Orange Zest

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Class Day 1: Quick Breads - Muffins and Scones

Maybe I will survive this after all! Granted I have to drive one and a half hours to get to class... it's nice to just have a day just to do what I REALLY want to do. (Traffic sucks, but it's LA - what can you do?)

And while I think it's not right to run rampant and share the recipes from class, I still want to share my baking successes and fails - and of course, what I learn from actually being in class with real instruction.

Blueberry Streusel Muffins
In the past I have had dense muffins - and apparently I overwork the batter. OOPS. So, while it's easy to mix wet and dry ingredients - its harder to know when to STOP mixing (at least for me). Stop folding the batter just when the dry is all incorporated. I mixed my batter pretty smooth and it seemed to have just SLIGHTLY sunk a bit in baking.

Currant and Orange Zest Scones
I KNOW I overworked the dough on this one. I could feel the butter just start to soften as I worked with it. But to be fair, I've made scones before with better success and the room was getting warmer as the ovens started going, etc etc. I liked the color that just a bit of orange zest added too.

A new place I found to start spending TONS OF MONEY each week is within walking distance of class.. WHAT LUCK! Surfas Restaurant Supply and Gourmet Food
Needless today, my first step in there I freaked out (similar to my candy warehouse adventure). Think Sur La Table+Williams Sonoma+Restaurant Depot... PLUS a cafe!
I'll document the next time I go... which would be next week, without a doubt!