Fruity Pies!

Fruit was the theme for last night’s pies class. We made Strawberry Apple Crumble Pie and Cherry Cream Cheese Struesel Pie. And they both turned out amazing!

The first pie we made was the Strawberry Apple Crumble Pie. It was packed with lots of apples chunks and strawberries. I must admit, it was alot of work, but well worth it. And I just love crumble topping too!

Strawberry Apple Crumble Pie.
Inside peek at the Strawberry Apple Crumble Pie packed with yummy strawberry and apple chunks. 🙂

The second pie was the Cherry Cream Cheese Struesel Pie. It too had the crumble topping, otherwise known as “struesel”. It was essentially a layered pie with cream cheese, and cherry filling alternating within the pie. It was baked, but unlike cheese cake which is also made with cream cheese, the texture of the filling wasn’t baked as firm. Instead the filling was left creamier, yet oh so delicious!  🙂

Cherry Cream Cheese Struesel Pie.A delicious slice of Cherry Cream Cheese Struesel Pie. 😀
A delicious slice of Cherry Cream Cheese Struesel Pie. 😀

Piped Spritz Cookies….

Shortbread cookies!! 🙂
And probably the best shortbread cookies I have ever had (let alone made). They were very light in texture, and super yummy.

They were actually very easy to make.. quick to bake.. and then alot of the class I spent my time decorating them and dipping them in melted chocolate. I think the toughest thing was the piping of the cookie dough onto the cookie sheets. After awhile you started to feel it in your hands and arms.. hahaha. Oh well, I’ll count it as part of my workout! 😉
I piped a bunch of different shapes: rossettes, fingers, hearts, and “s” shapes – both forward and backwards.

Then the decorating consisted of anything my mind wanted and could create. I love chocolate, so most of the cookies had chocolate on them. Whether drizzled or dipped.. heck, even dunked!.. there was lots of chocolate. Some cookies had icing sugar sprinkled on top as well, or had a cherry baked in the centre.. or a combination of everything! And some even were sandwiched together with raspberry jam in between. But all of them turned out so beautiful and delicious looking, that they were almost too pretty to eat!

I said.. “almost”.
😉

Piped Spritz Cookies. 🙂
More Piped Spritz Cookies.
And.. even more Piped Spritz Cookies! 😉

Art of Pies.

Last night marked the first class of my Art of Pies classes. First we made pie dough, enough for week #2 and #3. Then we made a Custard filled Phyllo Pie with an Orange and Cinnamon Syrup. It was good. I have never worked with phyllo pastry before, so I was unsure of what to expect. But its great. The result is light and flaky, and super yummy. I’m definitely going to have to use that again in the future.. and not just for pies either. 😉

Next week’s class: a Cherry Cream Cheese Streusel Pie and a Strawberry Rhubarb Apple Crumble Pie. Yummy!
(And yes.. you read that correctly… I’m making 2 pies next week!) Ha!
😀

Cream Puffs and Chocolate Eclairs!

Yes, I know.. just by reading that title your mouth starts to water. But that title does not even begin to describe how incredibly delicious and absolutely perfect my cream puffs and eclairs turned out. They turned out so well, that I totally and completely amazed myself! hahaha. Heck, I was looking at the 4, yes I said 4, pastry boxes filled with these glorious desserts, thinking to myself  “Geez, I look like I just raided a high end bakery shoppe!”. 😀

But alas, I didn’t. Instead I … yes, I…. created all of these unbelievably light, airy, delicately fluffy pastries filled with yummy whipped cream (and some with cherry filling as well).. and dipped in chocolate.

Sigh…

I have impressed myself. 😉

Here’s what I did. First I made the Choux Paste that becomes the actual pastry. I then piped out fingers (for the eclairs) and rossettes (for the cream puffs). Then I baked them until they puffed out and were  light and airy on the inside, and were slightly golden on top. Then I cut every eclair and every cream puff in half. I dipped all of the eclair tops in chocolate, and some of the cream puff tops. I then put a cherry filling in each of the cream puffs. I then piped every eclair and every cream puff filled with whipped cream. When that was completed, I placed all the pastry tops back on top of their matching pastry bottoms. Last but not least, I then sprinkled powdered sugar on the tops of all of the cream puffs, including the ones that had been dipped in chocolate.

 Yummy!

Chocolate Eclairs.
Cream Puffs.
My little bakery shoppe stocked with boxes of Cream Puffs and Chocolate Eclairs! 😀
Puff Pastry Swan made by Chef as an example of what you can do with the Eclairs. 🙂
Puff Pastry Swans.

More pies?! Yup, more pies!

You’re probably reading the title and asking the question: “What is she talking about? Pies? What about pies?”

Well, the answer is simple. I have just registered for another baking class (while still doing my Monday night class). The class?! The Art of Pies! 🙂

I was debating about registering for one or two classes. And I was also debating, if I only register for one class, which one? The  classes? The Art of Pies, and The Art of Pastry.

As much as I wanted to do both classes, I ultimately decided that I will do just the one class, and that class is The Art of Pies. I start my class next week Tuesday. So now I will be having baking classes on Monday and Tuesday nights! Yay!

🙂

Soft Rolls!!

Bread, bread, bread and more bread! That was the theme of last night’s baking class.

In Ontario, we have a provincial holiday called Family Day that happens in February. And because of that holiday, last week’s baking class was cancelled. Well, not exactly cancelled, but postponed may be a better way of saying it. Either way, I discovered that when last Tuesday rolled around, I began to go through withdrawls because I had not had my weekly baking class the night before. Needless to say, by the time yesterday night came knockin’, I was more than excited about my class.

But here’s the thing.. Yes, I was excited that my class was back in session, but even more so, I was super excited about what I was learning to make in class: BREAD!

I have always wanted to learn how to make bread. There is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread. And last night’s class did not disappoint. What we ended up making was bread dough, that was cut down to about 3 oz sizes, and rolled into soft roll balls. Then we made a huge selection of breads from those soft roll balls.

First item – was a tear-away loaf. In a 7 inch cake pan I placed 1 soft roll in the centre, and 6 others surrounding it. I then covered my soft rolls with seasoning (salt, oregano, chili pepper spice) and cheese. Lots of shredded cheddar and parmesan cheese. It was then left to rise, and bake. When done, it was huge! It had expanded high above the cake pan into this loaf several inches high. And to top it off, it tasted amazing!

The next thing I made was a braided loaf. I rolled out 3 soft roll balls, long and narrow. I then braided them into a long, yet thick loaf. I seasoned the loaf with garlic and a pile of cheese. When finished, it had expanded to almost twice its size. The cheese melted into the braided curves, and the inside was soft and yummy.

The last thing I decided to do with the soft rolls were to turn them into bread art! 😉
First, I created double-knot rolls.
Second, I tied figure-eight rolls.
Thirdly, I tied small braided rolls.
And lastly, I created rolls into the shape of doggy-bones. 🙂 They were super cute!
I then seasoned each style of rolls with different seasoning, and put them in the oven to bake.
When completed, all of my rolls looked like they were perfect little works of art – beautiful to look at, and even better to eat.

Can’t wait until next week’s class!

Creamy-liciousness!

Baking class last night took a completely different direction from just a couple weeks ago.  Pushed aside were the ‘healthy’ baked goods for the devilishly sinful creamy ones!

Cream Caramel and Bavarian Cream.
(sigh)

First we made the Cream Caramels. The caramel on top was golden. The entire dessert – light and airy.. with just a subtle delicate flavour.. Yummy!

Then we made the Bavarian Creams.
If you have never had a Bavarian Cream.. boy are you missing out. Its decadent and creamy. It reminds you of ice cream with the same texture and fullness. Yet, its lighter, but super creamy at the same time.
I flavoured mine with raspberry..
They taste divine!
😉