Last year, my friend, Jeni and I donated a cooking class, to our school's auction, for 4 woman and it was such a success and so much fun that we wanted to do it again this year.
Last year the agenda included how to plan a weeks worth of meals, using almost all the same ingredients. We cooked, we laughed, we drank! Although the cooking class was requested again for this year, we decided to offer a baking class instead. This years menu consisted of:
Scones, lemon curd and jam to start
Mini cheesecakes with burnt salted caramel sauce
Eclairs w/pastry cream and chocolate glaze
Quiche (two kinds) and salad w/iced green tea
The day before the class, we prepped a few items. We made the pate brise
for the quiche, rolled and shaped the scones (in the freezer, waiting to be baked), pastry cream for the eclairs and the crusts for the mini cheesecakes. We had also measured out all of our dry ingredients for all the other recipes and we put them in baggies, labeled, ready to go.
We started out with scones
with a little lemon curd
and whipped butter on the side. Fresh O.J., Prosecco and the coffee jello shots.
Next we moved on to the quiches ( we used this basic custard
). We were planning on serving the quiches for lunch. As we had limited time, we wanted to get these in the oven so they would be at room temperature when it was time to eat our delicious lunch. The crusts were cooked, the shallots were sauteed and the asparagus was blanched. All we had to do was make the custard. After all it is a cooking class, we were there to teach! We had leave at least one element to share with our "students".
The key to teaching, cooking, and/or baking is organization. The french call it "mise en place" which means "putting in place". Mise en place makes cooking effortless. I like to work this way. Whether it is a weeknight meal, a baking project or a simple salad, I like to have all my ingredients ready and measured out before I start my cooking. Makes life (especially with 3 kids and an occasional neighbor or friend running around our house) so much easier and less stressful.
The quiche needs to come to room temp, so we started, here with the hands on instruction. After we popped the quiches in the oven we moved on to the cheesecakes. Then on to the eclairs, granola bars and finally, the caramel sauce.
Two and a half hours was not nearly enough time. It was such a great group of ladies. I could have spent the whole day with them. We are talking about starting our own club, similar to a book club. Yet, instead, we want to have a cooking and chatting club. Hmmmm...could be the wave of the future!
Labels: almond paste, baking class