I know it’s been a while but it hasn’t been for lack of good intentions….what with wedding cookies, pastry mid-term and practical exams, training for a half-marathon, oh and work – time has been a little limited.  So without further ado, here’s an update by way of photo montage.

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This week I made a Charlotte Royale – an old fashioned dessert which everyone in my class thought was shameful looking…save for me.  I am going to single handedly bring these bad boys back – monkey brain cake!  I missed Mondays class and had to make it at home myself, it was not the prettiest looking kitchen when the clock struck midnight (gelatin on the walls, custard on the floor, egg shells everywhere) but the outcome was pretty good. 

AND we made souffles – these are Goat Cheese and Chive.  Super-egg-alicious.

I was asked to donate some baked goods to Creators for Japan, a recent fundraiser here in San Francisco.

Mocha triple chocolate chip and Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies helped to raise over $9000 in just two days!  (And apparently mine sold out by end of day one…not to brag or anything. )

I’m feeling seriously awesome about this whole baking biz.  I’ve learned how to glaze a cake (way easier than you’d think, but don’t quote me on that when I try to charge you big bucks for it in my future bakery) and frost and pipe a cake (not as easy but practice makes perfect).  Check out the Sacher Torte and Spongecake with Vanilla Swiss Buttercream…yes my piping skills need work.

Easter weekend provided the perfect opportunity to try out one of my recipes from class and actually get to share it with people (instead of forcing it down Josh’s throat at midnite when I get home from class).  I decided to make a Classic French Fruit Tart (being that it’s Spring and all) with a vanilla shortcrust.  I tried to take photos of the process, but got a little flustered and forgot half-way through.  Regardless, it was definitely a pleasure to watch everyone devour! Nothing is better than custard and fresh ripe fruit.

We made cupcakes last week, ran out of pans so mine were mini’s.  I learned two important lessons: 1) I don’t really like French Meringue and b) cupcake liners catch fire easily when you try to torch your meringue.

I’ve never felt overly intimidated by baking.  I’ve also never followed recipes to the tee, nor paid close attention to exact amounts. I’ve tended to employ a cook’s attitude in the kitchen, a few spoonfuls of this, a couple extra handfuls of that (always with the chocolate chips). I guess I’ve just been relatively lucky, as for the most part things have baked up really well (okay, I bet Josh could recall a number of times when things have crumbled and burned).  But while that may have worked in my lil home kitchen, I’m playing with the big bakers now!  I’m finally listening, learning and exploring the why’s and how’s to baking so I can manipulate the best outcome, intentionally and repeatedly.  Rising, whipping, folding, crisping, it’s like playing with a chemistry set AND an easy bake oven at the same time – heaven!