Baking Arts at George Brown College – Class 11 & 12

I can’t believe four months of baking school has came to an end. We were a very close knit class of 12 students and Chef Wong knew us individually. These two classes were very different, as I felt like Class 11 (fruit flans) was my favorite from all the items that we made.

IMG_1889
Class 11: Sweet Paste, Vanilla Pastry Cream & Fruit Flans.

I’ve watched cooking/ baking shows for over 10 years and I never tried blind baking. Making fruit tarts may seem hard, due to the process of watching the tart pastry, so it doesn’t burn, etc. But I had a blast making (and eating) two fruit tarts.

IMG_1887

I could honestly eat the tart on it’s own. I love flaky pastry!

IMG_1890
IMG_1891
IMG_1888

IMG_1892

When it came to the decorating part, I thought I’d be horrible, as I’m not the most artistic person. But I’ve seen enough tarts in the cafes and grocery stores and copied the idea of layering my fruits.
IMG_1893

Lasty, we put a sweet glaze on it to finish it off, so it’s super shiny when in placed in boxes.

IMG_1894

Class 12: Tempering Chocolate 

This was my least favourite class. I guess Chef Wong (and the other instructors) wanted to end the course off on an easy note. We learned how to temper chocolate (what temperature to use it at) and created chocolate dipped strawberries and other chocolate goodies (like you would find at Godiva).

IMG_1923

Other students have signed up for more George Brown classes and other’s elsewhere. As for me, I’m busy later on this year and will not have time to lug my baking equipment all the way downtown during Winter. I really enjoyed my time as a baker and hopefully I’ll get another opportunity to do so.
Click here to read my first entry of baking school.

Photos via iPhone 6.

Baking Arts at George Brown College – Class 10

IMG_1839

This is my favourite class so far! I loved how the swiss roll tasted and it may seem like a lot of work, because there are multiple steps required (ie. baking the sponge cake, butter cream, glaze and rolling the cake), it honestly is really simple and straight forward.

Class 10: Chocolate Sponge Sheets, Chocolate Glaze, Chocolate Buttercream, Brandy Syrup & Swiss Roll

IMG_1829
IMG_1830

The base of the roll was made first, since it has to cool before assembling. The batter was somewhat thick but spreadable. Four ingredients: eggs, sugar, flour and cocoa powder. After 10 minutes, we took them out to cool.

IMG_1831
IMG_1832

Next was the buttercream. I usually don’t like buttercream but this was amazing! We used an Italian method for making buttercream. It required more effort (ie. boiling water and sugar into syrup) but surely worth every minute.

IMG_1833

While the buttercream was being prepped, chocolate was melted using the bain marie method. Raspberries were an optional ingredient to add to the swiss roll.

IMG_1835

IMG_1834

After the sponge cooled (we put it in the blast freezer), dabbed teaspoons of brandy syrup (optional, Chef already prepared the syrup:  which is water, sugar and brandy boiled together) onto the cake, spread the buttercream and topped with raspberries before rolling. It was quite difficult to get a solid tight roll but it doesn’t show because the cake is iced with cream.
One tip that Chef showed us: use parchment paper to get a smooth buttercream surface by dragging the paper at an angle while gliding it along the cake. The buttercream surface doesn’t have to be 100% smooth, as the chocolate glaze and toppings (we chose sliced hazelnuts and whole raspberries) will hide the imperfections.

IMG_1836
IMG_1837
IMG_1838

If you haven’t read my previous related baking posts, click here.
Photos via iPhone 6.

Baking Arts at George Brown College – Class 9

IMG_1810

If you haven’t been reading  about my baking classes, well, I’m letting you know that I have been taking introductory baking classes at George Brown since May. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 here. I just had to dedicate a separate post to how I make Black Forrest cake (due to the excessive photos).

Week 9: Devil’s Food Cake & Black Forrest Cake 

Thank goodness the air conditioning wasn’t  broken that Sunday (the a/c is usually broken and it gets really hot in the baking labs). But I had so much fun and learned so much.
We first made the base for the black forrest cake, which I didn’t know is called devil’s food cake.

IMG_1798
IMG_1799

IMG_1800

My baking partner offered to shave the chocolate. Chef Wong had brought chocolate sprinkles for us to coat the side of the cake, but everyone wanted the cake to look bakery like.  She ended up shaving more than we actually needed!

IMG_1801

IMG_1804

We prepped the whipped cream and other ingredients needed to assemble the cake. 

IMG_1802

One thing I love about being in a professional kitchen is having all the equipment. We didn’t have time to cool the devil cake completely, so we put it in a blast freezer. A tip I learned when removing the cake from the cake pan, sprinkle sugar in your working surface so when you flip your cake out, it won’t stick to the surface. 

IMG_1805

Can we just take a moment and appreciate the beauty of the cake. It look’s store bought, like the grocery kinds (no means of insulting). But everything from the final cake coat, to the rosettes and to the right amount of chocolate shavings on cake’s side.

IMG_1806

My partner helped me slice my cake into three disks. Time to assemble!

IMG_1807
IMG_1808

IMG_1809

This was my first time making a layered cake. I was pretty impressed, though I failed horribly.

IMG_1811

As I said that my partner make more shavings then we needed, so I over decorated the cake. Oopsie!

IMG_1812

Up to this class, I would say that it was the hardest for me. I have next to zero patience when it comes to crumb coating. I know I need to improve my patience skills, but also, slicing the cake into three is also hard. My knife skills aren’t the greatest either. But I loved pipping rosettes (I had a few practices), so I’m average at that.

There are only four more classes to go. I’ll miss going to baking school but definitely not carrying my equipment on the subway.

Photos via iPhone 6.