Now Accepting Applications for Summer Cooking Camp Scholarship
I’m happy to announce my first (but hopefully annual) scholarship to my summer program. This is just a small way for me to give back to the community.
Click on “APPLY” to go to the scholarship application form for one student to the July 22-26, 2019, 9:00am-12:00pm, Bread and Croissants camp at La Toque de Cindy in Palo Alto, California, for a prospective student aged 10-15. This scholarship has a value of $295. The deadline for applications is April 8. Applications will be accepted via this form only and the winner will be chosen based on need and other factors. The winner of this scholarship will be notified by April 30 and will attend this camp free of charge. All information submitted will be held confidential. If you have questions about this scholarship, please write to email@example.com. APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP.
On a recent visit to New York City I basically ate up the city. Literally. Between shuttling my daughter between tours of prospective colleges I dined at Jean Geoge as I so love his family cookbook, snapped up a few delightful pastries at Sarabeth’s in honor of my love for her cookbook, “Sarabeth’s Bakery: From my Hands to Yours”.
Amsterdam Avenue was a culinary wonder and visiting the Jacques Torres store didn’t disappoint. In a rush for some sublime chocolate but with little time to savor each item in the store I bought his chocolate covered orange peels and champagne truffles to carry home after snacking on a few luscious chocolate samples the staff let me taste. I cracked open the boxes this week to recall my fond memories of my visit to that dream of a store. The orange peels are out of this world, pairing the bitter taste of the peels with the creamy bittersweet of the chocolate coating is brilliant.
We’ll try to come close to these chocolates when we aim to duplicate them in the March 11 Chocolate Confections class. I have some candied tangerine peels in the freezer just waiting for a good chocolate dip and plenty of transfer sheets to make beautifully dipped ganache. If interested in this class, click on the Class tab above to register.
Jacques Torres Chocolate & Ice Cream, 285 Amsterdam Ave #1, New York, NY
It has been so rewarding to hear from many of you about your interest in my cooking program for 2019. Thank you for all of your patience while I put together a fun filled and rewarding program. There’s plenty to choose from in the listing below and I am also accepting requests for private events. Registration and More
After School Classes
- February 20, 27, March 13, 20 Weekday Dinners
- February 21, 28, March 14, 21 Weekday Dinners
- April 9, 16, 23, 30 Weekday Dinners
- April 10, 17, 24, May 1 Weekday Dinners
- April 11, 18, 25, May 2 Weekday Dinners
- February 15 Baking
- March 11 Chocolate Confections
- June 3-7 Delectable Dinners: Yummy Yotam Ottolenghi
- June 10-14 Delectable Dinners: Yummy Yotam Ottolenghi
- June 24-28 Easy Peasy Meals for Younger Kids
- July 8-12 Easy Peasy Meals for Younger Kids
- July 22-26 Bread and Croissants
- July 29-August 2 Chocolate Champions
The holidays are my favorite time for baking but often one needs an appetizer recipe for a party to whip up quickly and without the fuss of turning on the stove or oven. The Palo Alto Weekly asked me to participate in their “Holiday Spirit” booklet this year with this type of recipe. Bon Apetit and my friend, Michelle, were the inspirations behind my discovery of this delightful fig recipe. Since they introduced it to me I’ve served it at many parties and incorporated it into classes. I remember a special class I taught for the Stanford Dermatology department. That class was a feast of appetizers to teach but held in a conference room without a stove or oven. I did some quick thinking of recipes I could teach the student chefs with limited heat sources. Here is the article and the recipe the Palo Alto Weekly printed. Enjoy!
Each year I fill the holiday season with Christmas baking. An annual Buche de Noel with my son is always on the list for Christmas Eve, sometimes I teach Christmas cookie classes, often Buche de Noel classes, participate in cookie exchanges and for years made gingerbread houses with my children and an extra one for their pre school and elementary school classes. This year the holidays took a bit of a baking twist as I was thinking how best to be charitable with my baking skills. For days leading up to Thanksgiving we lived with dangerous air quality in the San Francisco Bay Area while those in Bute County suffered directly from the Campfire. I was so horrified by the fire I felt I must find something unique to be charitable this holiday season. The timing was perfect when the Palo Alto High School choir boosters asked me to help with their Madrigal Feast Fundraiser. I readily raised my hand and baked more than 200 of Sarabeths’s Bakery Chocolate Marmalade cookies.
When in Hungary eat marzipan. That was one key item I hunted for while in Budapest a few years back. I was delighted to find some in a grocery store in Budapest but that is rather standard fare for Hungary as was the paprika I snapped up at the same store. While dashing through Malibu to soak up the summer sun and a glimpse at one of the top surfers crossing the street, sun and surfers came to mind as the main commodities Malibu has to offer. You can imagine my surprise on my quest for the best chocolate around the world to find a boutique chocolate store in the heart of Malibu. They were nice enough to let me sample each and every chocolate they offered. I honed in on one of my favorite bites, marzipan. My favorite sample was their chocolate covered marzipan. Marzipan in Malibu? How did that happen? It just so happens that Krohn has a Hungarian background as you’ll see by their truffles. The marzipan is labeled Viennese but, to me, it’s oh so Hungarian.
This store is called the Rolls Royce of chocolates by some. I found their chocolate to be good but not the best I ever sampled. Their prices put them in the Rolls Royce category as a small bag of their delightful chocolates will put you back a pretty penny. While they highlight their chocolate covered bears, liquor chocolates and darling bouquets, I recommend heading right for the marzipan.
Read what the Huffington Post has to say about this unique store
I was amazed two of my students competed on Chopped Junior in the same month. With pride I’m happy to announce that Bram made it to the dessert round.
Bram cooked and plated like a master chef every step of the way and I personally think he should have won the entire competition. Being a fan of baking and making desserts myself I was especially impressed by his raspberry fool and plan to make a chocolate sauce for the dessert round. It’s tough to make a dessert in less than 30 minutes yet Bram was brave enough to make two sauces. We use small torches in our dessert classes at La Toque but watch Bram with the large one supplied on the set. He toasted the marshmallows beautifully and it would have been so easy to over cook their exterior and torch those marshmallows to a crisp.
Probably one of the most important skills to learn while honing one’s cooking techniques is to learn how to “fix” the product you’re making if something goes awry. Bram was a master of this during his competition. Not everything went as planned but he was quick on his feet and transformed some issues into a brilliant alternative. You can see this when his corn dog batter stuck to the fry basket, when a piece of beef hopped out of his skillet and then when his chocolate sauce didn’t have the ideal viscosity. It’s great for everyone to learn how to do turnarounds in their home kitchen but takes nerves of steel to do this while been filmed for a tv show. As I always tell my students, a recipe is a guideline and not a set of hard and fast rules.
To see the full episode and see how Bran created all of the courses on a stick go here.