First off baby Davs would like to wish you all a HAPPY HALLOWEEN. It’s normal for a 3 year old to want to dress up as a tree, right? It’s also normal for your parents to dress you up in a red body suit with safety pinned leaves attached and call it a tree, right?
Side note- Dad, I completely forgive you for this costume, but only because it’s your birthday!!!! As per your request, a batch of your favourite Dark Chocolate Cherry Bars coming right up!
Onto the real topic of this post. I’m about halfway through my baking course so I thought it was appropriate that I do a recap of how it’s going so far. For those of you who don’t know, I signed up for a 3-month long baking course at a culinary school in Toronto. A lot of you have probably seen these pictures thanks to Instagram. Even if I get nothing out of this course, at least I have some pictures for you to salivate over.
Thankfully I have actually learned a thing or too. More than I thought I would actually. I won’t lie, I went into the first class being my typical know-it-all (ahem maven) self, and scoffed at the fact that our first class was a simple pie crust. Well it was clear that the instructor had a plan in mind. Build our confidence up in class 1 and then crush it by cake week. My dream of opening Davida’s Treats (or Davida’s Delights as Amy so brilliantly came up with) by tomorrow has been put on hold. Clearly, I have a ways to go.
The content: So far we’ve covered pie, muffins, biscuits/scones, custards, bread, and cake piping and masking. I can’t say I’ve been excited for every single one of these topics (I’m looking at you piping and masking), but I’m happy they’re included because otherwise I would never attempt to practice them. By far my favourite was the custard class because we made our own caramel and I am the caramel queen! And while my bread braiding skills are on point, my kneading skills are subpar bordering on non-existent.
The people: I got very lucky that I picked the right workbench on day 1. Wherever you chose became your spot for the next 12 weeks and whoever was next to you became your partner for the rest of the semester. Fortunately my partner is awesome and doesn’t laugh at me when I accidentally measure in ounces instead of grams. The rest of the class is an interesting mix. About 50% are actually interested in baking and have the same obsession with dessert as I do and the other 50% either has no clue where they are or completely misunderstood that you have to bake in baking class. Have I met my baking soulmate? Not quite. But I am able to tolerate almost everyone for the entire 4 hours, which is a serious feat for me.
The instructor: Chef Stephanie is actually my baking soulmate but she just doesn’t know it yet. Chef Steph, if you’re reading this I am completely obsessed with you and am bordering on stalker status at this point. Also I want your job at Food52. Be my best friend? PLEASE.
The outfit: This needed it’s own category because it is downright ridiculous. Plus it doubles as a sweet Halloween costume. The outfit is actually quite comfortable, minus the shoes. We’re forced to wear intense steel-toed black shoes and since I’m cheap I bought mine at Walmart. They are enormous and uncomfortable but in the rare case that an oven falls on me, I’ll survive with all 10 toes.
The verdict: I am so happy I stepped out of my comfort zone and signed up. I definitely feel like I’m learning a lot, and it’s been a while since I’ve learned anything so that’s an additional plus. I also get to spend 4 hours talking and immersing myself into my favourite thing, baking. The only downside is the fact that it is 4 hours long. It means I go straight from an 8 hour workday to 4 hours in the kitchen. Then I have the hour commute home on the subway where I am perpetually worried I’m going to get jumped, but not for my wallet, but for my pies. Oh and sometimes the baked goods get sacrificed as I try to sherpa my way home. Several of my creme caramels had an accident all over their box.
Do you see all the lines? Technically I would have failed. Sigh.
I still have a long way to go. Hopefully I survive the next 6 weeks and/or Chef Steph doesn’t put a restraining order on me so that I can do a full recap for you. In the meantime, I’ll see you on Instagram. Tonight we tackle éclairs!