Thom’s Baking Adventures (and more)…

Hello all an welcome to my Baking Adventures (and other things)…

I’m mostly going to talk about my journey from Pastry School to hopefully opening a bakery with my husband, Mike.  Along the way I may throw in a line or two of my thoughts on other things…

Also let it be known that I am an Marketing/Advertising employee with Intel Corporation (your Sponsor’s of Tomorrow!!!), but this blog is 100% THOM.  (if i need anything else for legal, you’ll be reading it!)

So, back to baking (and me)…I have loved to bake for a LONG time…and this passion was augmented during my Year Without a Job!  (Ironic I now work at the company that was responsible for my job loss in 2001).  I will be gathering all my cake pictures for a photo gallery, but suffice to say Angelique gave me a picture of a three-tiered Mad Hatter cake and said “make this”…which I did…and kept baking from there…

I’m always in search of challenges, and of course working on what I hope to be one of my signature cakes, the S’mores cake!  Right now I have actually mastered the graham cracker cake, so I use that, make marshmallow and chocolate buttercreams (separately), and end it with slightly toasted/burned braham craker crumbs.  And when done right – YUM!

A challenge I’m partiularly happy with (if i do say so myself) is my honey dew melon buttercream.  I came across the idea one day as I LOVE the taste of honey dew and smelled it while I was baking.  I read two handfulls of baking sites where there were no suggestions for buttercream with melon (it’s usually too wet for a buttercream to hold it’s consistency).  I thought like my brother Pete used to – I’ll be the one to crack this!  So I started by using this increadible buttercream recipe from the guys at Baked in Redhook, Brooklyn (thanks Renato and Matt!).  I thought I was so smug and smart with my first solution – I crushed and concentrated the melon then mixed with heavy cream to a consistency that would keep in the buttercream.  This resulted in a very light, refreshing buttercream – tasty but not as pungent as I would have liked.

As luck would have it, I think I got it right today.  Since the recipe I borrowed from Baked called for lemon curd, I decided make a curd substituting honey dew for lemon.  The result – AWESOME – it tastes more like a melon custard.  It worked PERFECT – I made it with chocolate cake, filling a hole in teh middle of three layers with the curd and incorporating the curd in the buttercream.  I wasn’t sure I would like the results at first, but I think it’s unique and VERY tasty!

That brings us up to PASTRY SCHOOL!!!!!  I started tonight at Tante Marie’s.  It’s a great location – less than a block away from my house.  It’s been two years since I have been applying but it wasn’t sinking in.  I took last week off work for a STAYcation to get myself mentally and physically prepared and it still didn’t hit me…not even when I hung up a shelf for my baker smoker:

(direct from Germany! – I need a name for him!!!)

Then today – what a day!  The excitement just increased all day….I was getting a bit good-scared when finishing my chocolate/honey dew mini cakes at 5:30pm (class starts at 6:00).

After a stand in front of the fan, I put on my checkered pants – oh yeah, baby!  Of course, what to wear?  Dress to impress, right?  I was just getting nervous.  Mike lovingly reminded me that this is about me, so just be ME!  (LOVE YOU!).  Had to wear concert-t from latest Rush tour – more on RnR later…)

So I got to school and from the moment I wrote the check there was no turning back!  Everything that happened just kepy me smiling wider.  I could not help it!  I absolutely ADORE the instructor – Cindy Mushet, you can get her books online or at Sur La Table – and she’s the author of our textbook!  I can’t wait to learn all I can from her.  And my classmates!  Fun people – and of course there’s less then 6 degrees between some of us, through work or friends or both.  I can’t wait to collaborate and discuss – and even practice – with these folks!!!

Lastly, when I got home from Cookie Night (learned a LOT about the mistakes I always make that made my cookies flat and not baker quality), not only was I extremely hyper and excited (oh, and HOT AS HADES – tis hotter in the house than outside), I decided that I would start a blog.  I don’t know where this blog will go, what voice I’ll end up with (limited characters SUCK!), but I hope it’s fun for anyone who chooses to read it.

So, I thank you all for reading…you’ll see more from me here!!!

SMOOTCH!  (from sugarlips – name spelling still pending)

Thom

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One response to “Thom’s Baking Adventures (and more)…

  1. Love the Blog and all the new news..keep it comin!

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