Baking Course Recap {Part 2}

December 19, 2013

My 12 weeks of baking craziness has come to an end. In case you missed it, I signed up for a baking course to help teach me some baking “basics” and step out of my comfort zone. Each week we tackled a new recipe from scratch in under four hours. In part 1 of my recap I covered the content, the people, the instructor and the outfit. Today I wanted to talk about some of the things I learned from the class and highlight the recipes we made. 

photoWhat I learned from Baking 101

1. Measurements are important but even if you’re off it will still work out, most of the time. Don’t go substituting baking powder for baking soda but if your flour is off by a bit the cake will still rise! 



2. When it comes to decorating, don’t fuss. Once the cake is masked don’t try to get it perfectly even because you’re going to mess it up and have to start from scratch.


Spritz Cookies

3. There is especially no need to fuss because everything can be covered with sprinkles, fruit, chocolate or nuts! 

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

4. Double check what speed your mixer is on before adding flour. High speed + flour = a flour explosion. I can thank my baking partner for that one.

swiss roll

Chocolate Hazelnut Swiss Rolls

5. You will get better with practice. As much as I hate piping and masking I did get better by the end of the course and have even whipped out my piping kit at home.

fruit tarts

Fruit Flans

6. Don’t try to run for the streetcar with a strawberry shortcake, it will fall apart. Your coworkers will eat it anyway.

strawberry shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

7. The best bakers learn from each other and build on each other’s recipes. Then once their arsenal is big enough they start building on their own recipes. Thanks Chef Steph for teaching me this!

Overall the course was fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone in the Toronto area. I’ll be honest, I thought it would be way easier than it turned out to be. Each class required a lot of patience but also a relaxed attitude. Not to mention how dirty and sweaty you will get. I have such respect for bakers who do this on a daily basis! 

For now I’m holding off on taking another course. I’d like to build on the skills I learned at home and see where it takes me. I definitely now have a lot more confidence when it comes to pulling off complicated recipes and ones with french names I can’t pronounce. 

Who knows, maybe Davida’s Delights might actually happen?

 Do you have any baking tips or tricks? Who’s your baking idol?

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    December 19, 2013 at 5:43 am

    That looks like quite the good time! The dessert look amazing. I don’t have any tips or tricks, I really do everything on a whim with little measuring or “science” involved. I hate piping and all the fine details though which I never realized until recently. I love experimenting with cookies and dessert recipes but absolutely dread the decorating stuff – no patience!
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…Thinking Out Loud…Cookies, Clouds and Care Bears

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      It’s funny because I’ve learned that baking is a combo of patience and speed. When it comes to piping and masking I do so much better when I move quickly but when it comes to recipe development I need to remember that it isn’t always going to happen on the first try. So tricky!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    December 19, 2013 at 6:31 am

    It’s not even 4:30 AM and you’re already taunting me with delicious desserts. I may forgive you for that one after I’ve had my morning coffee… It wouldn’t hurt if you tossed an eclair in there.

    I’ve never taken any sort of baking course, but you’re definitely making me want to look around for one in the new year. I love baking, but most of what I do now is just playing it by ear and hoping that things turn out. Usually they do, but I’ve had some pretty bad flops too… and I definitely don’t make anything as fancy as eclairs or pretty cake.

    Bug me to sign up for a class. I need friendly encouragement (aka: a gentle kick in the a**)
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #57 .

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    December 19, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Everything you made in that course looks amazing! It sounds like it was such a good experience. I’m definitely going to consider doing it if I end up moving to Toronto next year! I enjoy baking, but I don’t have a lot of confidence in doing it, so I think that course would be really helpful.
    Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen recently posted…What I ate Wednesday: Internship edition

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    December 19, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Those spritz cookies are beautiful!! I enjoyed following your journey in this class, and it really does seem like you’ve learned a lot. You know how I generally feel about baking, so I really respect you for this. You also know that I totally think baking is your THING girl, and you DEFINITELY know how I feel about Davida’s Delights 😉
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey recently posted…Thinking Out Loud

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      You get a portion of the proceeds for coming up with the name 😉

      Tried to make gluten-free spritz cookies at home and they were a total fail…Will be awhile before DD happens!

  • Reply
    Elise @ 9toFit.com
    December 19, 2013 at 7:26 am

    I said this last time you posted about your class, but I really need to find one in the Boston area it’s something I’ve been meaning to do forever (and could so use!)

    & I could totally take down that swiss roll right now
    Elise @ 9toFit.com recently posted…Favorite Healthy Gingerbread Recipes

  • Reply
    Danielle @ LabelsAreForTinCans
    December 19, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Love it! The pictures all look so tasty and sounds like you learned so much! I definitely have no baking tips to offer. Haha!
    Danielle @ LabelsAreForTinCans recently posted…Turning 25: Twenty-Five Things I’ve Learned

  • Reply
    Jen @ SavedbytheKale
    December 19, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Davida’s Delights! I love it! Everything you made looks amazing but those Eclairs, oh man I really should not be looking at those first thing in the morning! They look so good! I’ve never taken a baking class but it looks like you had a great time and learned alot of good tips! Side note: Did the email go through that I sent to your gmail??
    Jen @ SavedbytheKale recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #2

  • Reply
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy!
    December 19, 2013 at 8:41 am

    My baking tips are never use an unripe banana :/ and my baking idol is YOU my dear 😉
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy! recently posted…Apple Spice Cake

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      Using an unripe banana is blasphemy! I have like 20 frozen ones in my freezer haha

      And thank you! You are way too sweet 🙂

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    December 19, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Number 3 is pretty much my decorating attitude – when all else fails, throw some sprinkles or some chocolate shavings on it 😉
    I really love the idea of taking a baking class. I may have to see what London has to offer in that area!
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…My First Experience With Acupuncture.

  • Reply
    Tonya@Healthy, Fit, and Frugal
    December 19, 2013 at 9:25 am

    I think YOU are my baking idol! 🙂 Those look amazing! I don’t bake mainly because I would probably eat all my creations and that’s wouldn’t be good. My favorite thing to make is chocolate chip cookies though. So basic but they make the house smell so good. Congrats on finishing your class.
    Tonya@Healthy, Fit, and Frugal recently posted…From The Biggest Loser to Bionic Body: An Interview with Kim Lyons

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      You are way too sweet! And any kind of cookie is my favourite to bake too! If I had it my way I would open a bakery that only sold cookies!!!

  • Reply
    Molly @ The Happiness Recipe
    December 19, 2013 at 9:31 am

    If Davida’s Delights happens, I’ll be your first customer! I promise. 🙂 Looks to me like you learned a lot and your so called “poor” pipping skills were terrific after all. Everything looked delectable. Glad that you found a creative outlet that was neither boring nor too hard. Sometimes a practise that requires patience is good because it clears you of your thoughts for a bit and helps you acquire patience that you can apply in other aspects of your life! I took a McCall’s cake decorating course but I found it to be pretty basic skills which was a bit disappointing.
    Molly @ The Happiness Recipe recently posted…MIMM #13: Fall Reading Week

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      I was worried at first that it would be too easy but they definitely stepped up the challenge after the first class. And thank you!!! Unlimited treats for you my dear 🙂

  • Reply
    December 19, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I have always wanted to take a baking class!!! Seriously if I was in your area, I would be signed up already! Although I’m a bit impatient and have kind of “it’s good enough” attitude so I probably wouldn’t be very good 😉 And seriously I think YOU are my baking idol! Davida’s Delights is going to pretty much be my home once you open 😉
    Alex@vegginout recently posted…WIAW – Peanut Butter Coconut Maple Frosted Donuts!!!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      You’re back!!! It’s so nice to see your pretty face around here 🙂

      You are way too sweet. I’m no Martha Stewart!

  • Reply
    Coffee and Crumpets
    December 19, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I see the Swiss roll and the Black Forest Gateau! Great job with the baking course. Baking does take time and patience, a lot of patience! Things go wrong, cakes don’t rise, and where I live at 5500 feet close to The Rockies, it’s even a bigger challenge. The number of flopped cakes I baked!
    Stick with it and it’s good to hone your skills with this first course before moving on. I love all the cakes and pastries you made, just gorgeous,

    Coffee and Crumpets recently posted…Black Forest Roulade and Lavazza Coffee

  • Reply
    December 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Everything looks so good!
    Cassie recently posted….thinking out loud. #2

  • Reply
    Ang @ Nutty for Life
    December 19, 2013 at 11:35 am

    The fruit flans are as pretty as a picture, oh my gosh! You’re so talented. I’ve always wanted to take a cake decorating course. I really love to do that and I think I could be good at it if I learned real techniques. I can’t wait to see where this baking adventure takes you further!
    Ang @ Nutty for Life recently posted…Cookie Baking 2013

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Thanks girl! You should totally do it because then you can decorate all the cakes I bake haha. Decorating ain’t my thang but it does get easier fortunately!

  • Reply
    Tiff @ Love Sweat & Beers
    December 19, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Come bake for me! That looks like fun, and it’s all so beautiful!
    Tiff @ Love Sweat & Beers recently posted…Winter Break

  • Reply
    Kristina @ Damn Ten Pounds
    December 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Pinterest makes me think I can bake, but then I break your cardinal rule #2 and screw it all up! I’m a perfectionist, so I over correct and end up ruining whatever I’m trying to make. I’d use sprinkles to cover up my mistakes, but I’d probably end up screwing that up too. I’ll just stick to looking at your mouth watering pictures 🙂
    Kristina @ Damn Ten Pounds recently posted…This is the worst idea ever, right?

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      The real trick is taking a baking class after a 9 hour workday. You’re so damn tired all you want to do is go home and sleep so you rush your ass off and don’t worry about the little stuff. My shit always looked the best and I was the first one out. That’s how it’s done boom!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Did you bake every one of those?! They all look phenomenal!!
    My baking tips – find a friend who bakes and likes to share!!!
    I hope that you open up your own place – it would be incredible!!!
    Kim recently posted…The Holidays can be a Hard and Lonely Time

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      I think my coworkers have the same attitude as you! They’re going to miss me, but only for the treats I would bring in!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Tips: make sure the butter is softened! And it’s always (well usually) best to chill the cookie dough before baking. That results in softer cookies that don’t spread as much. Dorie Greenspan is one of my favorite bakers. Her cookbook is the best “Baking From My Home to Yours”. Do you have it? AMAZING!!!!
    Madison recently posted…Things You Should Know About Me If We Are Going to Be BEST FRIENDS

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Love Dorie! We’re on a first name basis because I consider her my best friend…she doesn’t know that yet lol

  • Reply
    Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner
    December 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Hehe, love this list because I can totally relate! You’re so lucky to have been able to take this class.
    Tina @ Tina’s Chic Corner recently posted…Fudge Ecstasy Cookies

  • Reply
    Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries
    December 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Oh my goodness! I want to devour every single thing you made! You are quite the baker little lady! 🙂
    Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries recently posted…Chocolatey Peppermint Protein Bark

  • Reply
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com
    December 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Oh wow! All these treats…I would have a hard time paying attention in class if these treats were laying around!
    Davida’s Delights NEEDS to happen! I will fly up there the day you open shop!
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #2

  • Reply
    Maria @ Little Miss Cornucopia
    December 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Well, aren’t you are just the cutest thing with that chef’s hat on?!

    I’ve been waiting for you to post this recap..so thank you so much for expressing your thoughts. Everything looks so professional..I’m especially loving the look of the Fruit Flans..but I would gladly take a bite of everything, if I could.

    p.s. I think I’m already in love with Davida’s Delights 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      hehe Thanks Maria! The chocolate hazelnut was my favourite but the fruit flans were a close second!

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit
    December 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    A cooking class?! How fun! All of those desserts look phenomenal, too. Yum!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    December 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I like the last one. It’s so true. What’s that saying? I think it goes: If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

    I think Davida’s Delights would be a hit and you’d better believe I’d be coming by for a treat.

    By the way, that hazelnut roll looks MIND BLOWING!!
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health recently posted…Skinny Snickerdoodles {vegan and gluten-free}

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Thanks girl! It was definitely my favourite of everything. Tasted like a nutella cake i.e. perfection in a roll!

  • Reply
    Courtney @RunningforCupcakes
    December 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Your posts never fail to make my stomach growl! I pretty much have all of your recipes saved to try, but I know they won’t turn out near as good. Oh and I absolutely LOVE the idea of Davida’s Delights!!!
    Courtney @RunningforCupcakes recently posted…Hashtag Thursday: Home Edition

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      HAHA thanks Courtney! Sometimes I have to avoid going through my pictures because they make me hungry too!

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Fit 'n' Well Mommy
    December 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    It looks like a fun course! All of the goodies that you made look amazing! I’m definitely craving something sweet now! You should totally start Davida’s Delights!
    Melissa @ Fit ‘n’ Well Mommy recently posted…3 Tips For Working Out On Vacation and CrossFit Home or Travel WOD #16

  • Reply
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    December 19, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Eclairs are one of my favorites, I’m getting weak in the knees just looking at these! Beauties!
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl recently posted…Snowball Russian Teacake Cookies

  • Reply
    kathy @ vodka and soda
    December 19, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    um hello, YOU are my baking idol. i hope you know that BBM2014 will involve a lot of you baking and us eating. just sayin’.

    Vodka and Soda
    kathy @ vodka and soda recently posted…how things change when you’re an old hag

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    December 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    I.need.dessert.NOW!! Everything looks amazing 🙂 I think that Davida’s Delights is going to happen one day (it better at least!)!
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness recently posted…Apple Dapple Pancakes & My Favorite Breakfast Recipes

  • Reply
    December 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Holy cow! Those baked goods look amazing!! I really should bake more. Maybe now that the weathernisi cooler and I want to be indoors more, I’ll give it a try. What would you recommend starting out with?
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Finding Your Own Balance Over the Holidays

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      Cookies are definitely the easiest! If you have any questions I’m always here to help 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you whip up! Hope you’re enjoying your vacation!

  • Reply
    Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate
    December 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Seriously, all these goodies look amazing! I read this while cooling down at the gym bahah. I can’t wait to see what your experimenting with all this knowledge produces.
    Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate recently posted…Interview on The Raw Food Sisters

  • Reply
    Cailee @ http://hellohealthyeating.com
    December 19, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    This looks like so much fun!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures with us!!
    Cailee @ http://hellohealthyeating.com recently posted…Thankful Thursday: Eating dinner with my family!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    My baking secret is having milk/eggs/butter room temperature. I don’t know why, but it makes a difference.

    I don’t have a baking idol… maybe Emily from Cupcakes & Cashmere because she is my lifestyle idol?
    Cassie recently posted…Carrot Cake Stuffed Pancakes

  • Reply
    December 19, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Now I’m craving dessert! Glad you learned so much…it sounds like a blast but also very difficult. I don’t know that I would have the patience!!
    Paige@FitNotFad recently posted…Sauteed Spinach With Eggs

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    December 19, 2013 at 11:19 pm


    Unlike fetch.

    I’ve actually picked up many tips there- especially the baking soda/baking powder one. so many errors with that before!

    Glad the blog is working again!
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…He Thinks/She Thinks- The downside of Fitness gadgets

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      You and Amy (LDJ) need to light the fire under my ass to make it happen. I keep focusing on the whole “I’d have to wake up at 4:00AM” side of the bakery instead of the “My life will be surrounded my treats” side. HELP!

  • Reply
    Karey @ Nutty About Health
    December 19, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    You’re so cute! Love this, & YOU are definitely my baking idol. 🙂
    Karey @ Nutty About Health recently posted…Thinking Out Loud

  • Reply
    Kumar's Kitchen
    December 20, 2013 at 2:35 am

    these are simply the best tips on baking…and the flour explosion thing…we have at many occasions converted ourselves into flour monsters(as the kids say) by repeating those mistakes,a great post,thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Ah flour monsters!!! That’s exactly what I looked like after my partner made that mistake! Made for a good laugh though 🙂

  • Reply
    Ksenija @ With An Open Mind
    December 20, 2013 at 5:17 am

    Oh girl, though I experienced most of the mentioned things through home baking I really would love to take such a class right now. Some lessons I learned:
    – Cacao powder is even worse than flour when it comes to explosions – always try to mix it in with a spoon first!
    – Butter tastes best. All these substitutes (especially shortening, yuk) are exactly what they are called: substitutes, not the real thing.
    – Nothings ever that bad that it cannot be covered up with some powdered sugar. My solution to burned tops: scrape and powder 🙂
    Have a beautiful day, lovely, I hope Davidas Delights will come true!
    Ksenija @ With An Open Mind recently posted…Francipation!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      omg I can’t even imagine a cocoa powder explosion! There exists no true substitute for butter. Nothing can compare to it’s greatness! and I wish I could sprinkle my life with powdered sugar haha. You are one baking superstar btw!

  • Reply
    Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life
    December 20, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Our Internet has been down the last couple days and as I’m scrolling through my feed, I realized I missed, like, all your amazing posts! The shortbread cookies, this post, the love/hate post – I just love reading your blog 😉 I loved seeing all your photos and reading your tips. Definitely will be using them! Thanks Davida!
    Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life recently posted…Peppermint Saltine Toffee Bark

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      You are too sweet girly! Hope the internet got sorted out and you’re feeling better today. Don’t like hearing things aren’t amazing but love how you keep it real. Happy Holidays lovely!

  • Reply
    Lacy @ Running Limitless
    December 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Oh my goodness! I am a sweet addict and those all look amazing. I love to bake an find it to be so therapeutic for me. Plus I am a numbers nerd and really like the specifics of measurements etc. So corny, I know. I love baking cakes in particular but love sugar confections as well. I learned how to make spun sugar this year and instead of buying the tools to make it I just use wooden dowels and cut off the tip of a whisk. It works perfectly!
    Lacy @ Running Limitless recently posted…5 For Friday {My top 5 finds from the week}

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      I totally understand and my brain works in the exact same way! I think that’s why I love baking too 🙂

      That’s so cool you learned how to make spun sugar! I’d love to learn one day!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate
    December 22, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I am terrible at baking…mainly because I don’t have any patience!
    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate recently posted…Fitness Friday: Body Weight Circuit Workout

  • Reply
    Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite
    December 26, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    This is so awesome, Davida! I can totally see you opening up davida’s Delights :). And (I know I’m WAY behind on this…), but I am really impressed with your new blog layout. Good for you for all of the changes and updates you’ve made in your life and on the bloggy blog. Hugs!
    Alisha @ Alisha’s Appetite recently posted…A Wedding, Christmas #1 and a Fitness Plan

  • Reply
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
    December 28, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I think it is SO awesome that you took this class and I am totally jealous! I wish we had some sort of place in my town to take culinary classes…I would totally suck at a baking one, but I’d love to learn how to make more complicated/intimidating dishes…and sushi! I’ve always wanted to take a sushi eating class!

    Love all the pictures! I’m not even a real sweets lover but you totally have me drooling!
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli recently posted…The Great Christmas Recap!

  • Reply
    Lemon Swiss Roll with Coconut Cream Frosting - The Healthy Maven
    February 11, 2014 at 7:21 am

    […] what I did. I then emailed my baking instructor for what I should bake and she reminded me of swiss roll week and how proud of myself I was for actually pulling that recipe off. So I got on a roll (I’m […]

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