Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Although I’m not sure if I would trust any of us with an open fire.
I’m fairly sure that would end badly, and slightly dampen the Christmas spirit.

But, we were allowed to bake in a safe, monitored environment, with limited use of the stove.
WINNING!

One of my work gals suggested going to a Christmas baking course at The Cooking Professor.
Which of course, I said no to, because I hate Christmas.
And baking.

HA! I could not contain my excitment.
Especially since my mate said we would all have to wear Christmas hats and that she was packing Christmas tunes and Irish Cream to take along with her.

IMG_4426The sight of ingredients all laid out, perfectly measured and ready to be turned into something delicious. I cannot explain how much I love seeing this.
Baking, for me, is such a calming exercise. I love that it all begins as simple ingredients, but when you use the correct amounts and combine them in the right way, something magical happens.
And that magic is cake.

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This is one of my special work gals. We were paired up to make “Magic Pastry” filled with fruit mince, and mini friands.
The rest of the room also worked in pairs (like little elves) to create Christmas cake, stain-glass window cookies, mini gingerbread cakes, lemon trifles, and snowball cookies.

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I cannot recommend The Cooking Professor enough! We had so much fun, and especially after the disappointing wreath making class (which I didn’t blog, because it wasn’t Christmass-y at all. We basically just made centre pieces with apricots on them) this class exceeded our festive expectations!
Our teacher was Tirtza Pisk, and although she lead with the disclaimer that she is from Israel and doesn’t celebrate Christmas, she was incredible!
She gave us clear instructions, and the right amout of support to ensure our treats came out perfectly – while letting us do the work so we could take credit.

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These friands were SOOOOO easy and so delectable! The key was all in the butter. I never cook mine further than just melting it, but if you let it bubble up it turns this beautiful nutty brown colour and has the most amazing caramel taste to it. That buttery goodness made all the difference.

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What a magnificent sugar filled feast. We all tucked in, sharing plates and asking questions – like a family. (Too cheesy? Did I lose you?)
It was really nice though, sitting back and having a look at the hard work we’d put in, and then being able to share our goodies with the rest of the class.
We were given take -away containers (thank god!) and bundled up our treats and recipes to show off to people at home.

The gingerbread cakes are incredible! The top is gorgeously crunchy drizzled with a citrus icing. This is one I will definitely be making over the holidays, and if anyone would like any of the recipes let me know!

Merry baking to all!

 

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