Well I survived my first week of going to George Brown culinary school 6 days a week. It was a lot of driving into Toronto. Man, I wish the city would repair those pot holes on Sherbourne! Neither I or my vehicle can take the abuse. My baketacular week consisted of: continual washing of my chef uniform, long continuous hours on my feet in those ugly steel toed non-slip shoes, some late nights and early mornings, and finally a nasty burn on my wrist. Besides the burn, what do I have to show for it all? First off the best damn cinnamon buns I have ever had. Add that to two variations of pound cakes, a lemon lavender shortbread and parmesan rosemary shortbread, a decadent chocolate cake, fresh crusty white bread, and an abundance of special tips and techniques from some of the best chefs around. A resounding two thumbs up, I’d have to say.
The week started with Enriched Artisan Breads with Chef Thor. A giant of a man with a great passion for dough. Learned some tiny secrets for making sensational cinnamon buns.
Tuesday was cake decorating. Though not my favorite class, I at least have mastered the making of a parchment cone.
Wednesday I had the day off from school. A sane person would maybe rest up for the rest of the week. Not me – I baked homemade granola bars at the community center.
Thursday Chef Heinrich-Kumar whipped us into shape and challenged our knowledge of cakes. We baked a lemon pound cake with chocolate chips and a plain pound cake with dried citrus fruit. The cake was a little disappointing, but I really liked the chef. I know the next nine weeks with her will be amazing.
Friday night we baked cookies with Chef Massey. Two variations of yummy shortbread. Unfortunately the class started late, so we actually didn’t get out of the kitchen till 11.00pm.
Home at midnight and back at school for 8.00 am for Intro to Chocolate. Chef Sally Hildebrandt is an expert on chocolate. I am really excited to learn more about the fine art of chocolatiers. We made a fabulous chocolate cake. It was amazingly moist and purely decadent with a chocolate ganache filling and icing.
I had about an hour break before my next class started and took full advantage of the time by getting off my feet. Pastry class started at 1 pm and Chef Torrens showed us the fine art of puff pastry. Talk about puffing – I thought my arms and shoulders were going to run out of steam! The process is constant rolling and folding. At the end of it hopefully my pastry will be 144 layers. Will find out next class if I “puffected” my puff skills or there is still room for technique improvement.
Back in class on Sunday with Chef Thor again for Breads. We baked a basic soft white bread that was wonderful. It took every once of willpower not to dig into the bread on my drive home. The smell was intoxicating. We also practiced our braiding and bartard skills on molding dough. As you can see I will need a lot more practice.
It was a crazy busy week and each night I got home exhausted, but I loved every minute of my days at school. I am not sure what I am going to do with all these baked goods. My hubby is already expanding like a freshly cracked tube of Pillsbury dough with all of the obligatory sampling (“Now try this, dear”) and our tiny recently purchased freezer is quickly nearing the overflow point. Oh well, can’t stop baking now – we aspiring Baking & Pastry artists are just getting warmed up.