Bay Area Baking Classes: Foundation Basics by Local Pastry Chef

| March 5, 2007 | 1 Comment
  • 1 Comment

It’s that time again: time for teaching, inspiring, educating, and eating delicious Spring and Summer produce. Who’s not looking forward to rhubarb, strawberries, cherries? Besides the obvious: eating them out of hand, fresh from the farmer’s market, wouldn’t you love to know how to whip up some Pavlovas, Angel Food Cake, creme anglaise, pannacotta and smooth, silky pot de creme to go with those long awaited warm weather fruits?

I’m teaching two classes this month that may be able to help you with these, and many more sweet projects. By popular vote, the first class on Sunday March 11 will be on the subject of Egg Whites. Understanding what egg whites can do, as well as knowing how to get them to do it might pose a daunting task. Perhaps you’ve already attempted egg white based desserts? A short, but incomplete, list of confections where egg whites play a starring role: buttercream, mousse, Angel Food Cake, meringue, cupcake frosting, Pavlova, French Macarons, and sponge cake.

And, by perfect reciprocity, the second class on Sunday March 25th will be on the subject of Custards. On that day we’ll learn how to use and get to know the whole egg. Achieving light, gorgeously smooth, rich custards is no easy job. But pastry chefs and Jell-O shouldn’t have the corner on the market. Learn why water baths are necessary when baking custards, how to get the most out of infusing various flavors and scents, just how rapidly to whisk pastry cream, and more.

I am a student of the egg and have been studying it for almost 15 years. For a post written about my classes from the perspective of some of my previous students, check this one out on pate a choux.

My hope is that those who take my classes will go home and have the confidence and foundation knowledge to not only replicate what we made in class, but more importantly, to understand enough of the “whys” to be able to correct mistakes and experiment further. My hope is that my love and my passion for sweet things will be infectious, touching you with the bug to make beautiful desserts at home.

Future classes include, but are not limited to: more Knife Skills classes, seasonal fruit desserts, chocolate, caramel, and whatever you’re in the mood for… Many of the class subjects come from past and future students’ requests.

These classes will take place in North Berkeley (exact location disclosed upon registration) on Sundays from 12:30-4 PM. They are $100 per person with two spots in each class for “assistants” at 1/2 price. The format is a mixture of lecture, demonstration, hand-on, and eating the end results. Classes are small, usually no more than 12 students.

If you’re interested in signing up for my March classes, or just want to learn more, head over to Eggbeater. There’s both an email link for correspondence as well as the Paypal link for direct registration.

Come One, Come All. Come Hungry To Learn!

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Category: bay area, chefs, culinary education and classes, dessert and chocolate

About the Author ()

Shuna fish Lydon was whisked and baked in San Francisco but served and eaten in New York City. She's had a 16 year tumultuous love affair with professional cooking and has BFA in photography from CCAC. Working with and for some of the best chefs in NYC and California, Shuna's resume reads like the who's who of cooking today. She identifies as a fruit-inspired pastry chef and calls the many local farmers' markets her muse. Currently "at large," Shuna spends her time teaching baking and knife skills classes, consulting at local restaurants and writing for a number of outlets about deliciousness.
  • cook odom

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