The last class in the series was cakes. They saved the best for last. Here coconut cupcakes are being made. Buttermilk, eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla, butter, toasted coconut...
I thought this bin was funny. Like whoops, there it is. The magical components all within this box. Pull any of them out and something wonderful will happen.
Double mixers whipping like mad. One held raspberry filling for the center of the chocolate cupcakes and one was whipping the heck out egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, white chocolate, butter and vanilla to make an awesome buttercream frosting.
These were DIVINE little bundt cakes (don't you just always think of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" whenever you say bundt cake?) made of Sour Cream Citrus Poundcake with Lemon Glaze. Think of a summer day, a bridal shower - or even better transported to "Downton Abbey" having a cup of tea.
One of the things I learned that I didn't really think about before...since I have to admit I can't remember the last time I made a layer cake at home..is to have a professional looking cake, you "lose the dome". Chef Louise told us that in a bakery other things would be made from the "dome" but in this case, I brought it home and again...fabu. The top was crunchy and the inside was soft. It was just great just like that.
Another intrepid baker selected Queen Mother's Cake, otherwise known as a flourless chocolate torte. A ganache of heavy cream, powdered coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and corn syrup was poured over the top. And do you think that's enough?? - nope! Melted milk chocolate and white chocolate were put into piping bags and a design was swirled on the top.
A beautiful sight. All cakes are proudly displayed and shared. Pastry boxes are put together and we are all able to take a bit of everything home to share with family and friends. It is the testament of a great teacher to take students of all different baking levels and make us all very proud of our end result.
This is mine! I chose a White Wine Cake with Chocolate Buttercream frosting. Make that Chocolate and Dark Rum Buttercream frosting. I will tell you that I found making buttercream a little difficult. Jockeying when to beat the egg whites with melting the chocolate with bringing the sugar water to a soft ball stage (238 degrees)...whew...I did it in the wrong order and Chef decided that my first batch of beaten egg whites had been waiting too long and were starting to separate.
They can't be "re-beaten" so I had to start again. But I got the hang of it and after all, practice makes perfect and it's a little naive to think I will master all of the skills right away. (much as my inner Virgo wants to)
This was the last cake to the table. It was a temperature issue. Ideally we learned, the cakes would be made at least a day ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen before frosting. In our class the cakes were still a little bit warm when the frosting hit them, so this masterpiece of lemon cake with lemon curd filling was leaking just a bit. But gorgeous nonetheless.
There are many ways to learn, I have found. This once a week 4-hour class was perfect for me. The class was small, the Chef was informative, approachable and was open to any and all flavor variables and suggestions in whatever we were making. She was a delight. Not sure if that is a professional term for an instructor, but it's true.