Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Class is in session.

In a perfect world, I'd have enough cash to send myself to culinary school, brownies would be a major food group and "My So-Called Life" would be renewed for one more season (to get some closure on the whole Angela-Jordan-Rayanne drama.)

But since it's not, I decided to take the next logical step:  baking classes!

Get your #2 spatulas ready.

Photo from cookologyonline.com

I discovered Cookology shortly after I had my "OMGIWANTTOBAKEFOR LIFE" epiphany last year.  Cookology is a recreational culinary school that offers a wide variety of classes to satisfy your every foodie desire: date nights, knife skills, different styles of cuisine, baking, even classes for kids.  Berry White and I have taken a few of their Date Night classes and I signed up for a 3-part fondant series.

(I just noticed they're doing a Food and Craft Beer Pairing class on March 13!  Woo hoo!  But sadly, I'm going to be out of town that weekend.  Un-woo hoo.)

Anyway, I snapped a few pics during the Intermediate Fondant session a few weeks ago.

Disclaimer:  this class was held in the wine tasting area, hence the mood lighting.  Great for a Jodeci concert, not so great for photos.

We were given a cake to level and frost.

We had the option to toss our cake scraps.

I chose to toss most of them into my stomach.

This is Chef Brad Spates.  You might remember him from this slice of awesome I posted last month.  He teaches all of the baking classes at Cookology and is the Executive Chef at Lola Cookies & Treats in Leesburg, Virginia.  Breads, pastries, cupcakes, pies, chocolate...he does it all.

Here, he's teaching us how to make a fondant rose.

So cool.

My go at it:

Each one weighed about as much as a duckpin bowling ball.  Gotta work on thinning out those petals.

They were also the color of salmon innards.  I got a little happy with the food coloring.

Ta daaaa!  The final product.

Okay, so I may or may not have split my cake in two when transferring it to the cakeboard.  And perhaps the icing is a little (or completely) lopsided.  I blame the temperature of my hands softening the buttercream. 

But not bad for a first attempt, right?

(Psst.  Reassure me.  Or at least distract me with some generic question about the weather.)

While it won't land me a job at Charm City Cakes any time soon (although I might be able to snag an honorable mention on Cake Wrecks), I still learned a lot from the class.  I've read and watched a ton of baking tutorials online and none of them come close to having things broken down for you in a classroom setting.

Until I'm able to reach my ultimate goal of culinary school, Cookology can help make that distance from point A to B just a little bit shorter. 

Now I just have to work on getting "My So-Called Life" back on the air.


  1. wow, I am really impressed. I don't think anyone wants to see what the result would have been had I attempted such a feat. (probably play doh snakes).

    and that is funny that you mention "My So-Called Life", has Liam filled you in on his title?

  2. Draco would totally appreciate your efforts.

    I just watched "Temple Grandin" so I've been on a Claire Danes kick. I heard about them apples, though...

  3. Had to drop that one. Get online tomorrow if you can =)

  4. I love your little roses. I couldn't do that I totally wish I could. Additionally, I am completely down for another season of My So-Called Life.

  5. Thanks RC :)

    Perhaps I'll start a MSCL petition.

  6. I think my sister lost a little bit of herself when MSCL went off the air.

    I'm impressed with the fondant roses, they look so cool! I think the fact that the frosting is imperfect encourages people to eat it. Who wants to break into a cake that's flawless? Not me, I want to dive bomb into the cake with a smudge without feeling guilty about ruining it! (Reassuring enough?)

  7. Aaaand this is why we're IRL409BUDZ.

  8. That looks awesome. Seems like your Cookology classes have been pretty cool.

    I have to admit, I was a little less than impressed with the knife skills class I took at SLT. I guess I'm not really sure what I was expecting, but all I really learned was the best way to cut an onion and a bell pepper. They spent most of the time talking about knife quality and the differences between different makers and East vs. West and stuff, but I already knew most of that and already had all my knives picked out. Oh well.