BAKING & PASTRY - Recipes and more for Baking & Pastry class
In Baking & Pastry class, we cover both sweet and savory baked goods and pastries, using both regional U.S. recipes and recipes from around the world. It's not always easy, or even possible, but when it is, I use recipes that lower fat and sugar content and/or use fruits or veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds to make them a bit healthier without compromising flavor. The main message I try to impart to students when it comes to the baked goods we make is that they are special treats, best enjoyed only occasionally and in small portions!
Students start off with basic quickbreads (muffins, scones, biscuits, crepes and popovers) then move on to yeast breads, pies, crostatas, tarts and galettes. One of their favorite units is the chocolate unit, which includes a field trip to the Taza Chocolate Factory in Somerville. Students make Aztec (chili powder, cinnamon, pepitas) Chocolate Bark, Dark Chocolate PB & J Cups, Chocolate Medallions and an assortment of tasty truffles.
Students will learn to make their own Choux pastry (used in making eclairs, cream puffs, etc) and puff pastry from scratch and will have 2 or 3 classes to work with phyllo dough. We will make several types of cakes from around the world, including Tres Leches, Greek Yogurt Cake with Lemon/Anise Syrup, French Apple Cake (La Torta Alle Mele) a rich French Chocolate Cake and then we'll tackle a few cheesecakes, including a low-fat pumpkin version and a delicious Italian ricotta cheesecake recipe from Sicily.
As we move into the familiar - devil's food, angel food and carrot cakes, we'll bake up big batches of perfect cupcakes to use in our Cake Decorating Workshop, taught by a very talented local baker. She is wonderful with the students and they produce some amazing creations!
At several points throughout the year, students will be asked to develop their own signature recipe for whatever we are working on at the time; a signature scone, or cream puff or pie. Once or twice over the year, their recipe development projects will be presented as a challenge and judged by a group of volunteer faculty and/or a visiting food professional. Winning items receive gift certificates donated by local businesses.
Check out some of the recipes included here the next time you want to come up with a special dessert to serve or make your own healthy, preservative-free bread for your family! Got a favorite recipe you'd like to share with us? Please - send it in!