Take the Cake

Few culinary endeavors are as equally comforting and potentially infuriating as baking. On one hand, there are all the mom-really-loves-me associations with cakes and cookies made from scratch. On the other hand, though, there’s the fact that each recipe is basically a chemistry experiment: Too much butter, and you’ve got sweet soup. One egg too many, and you’ve got warm pudding. You could almost be forgiven for throwing your hands up and reaching for a box mix. The operative word there is almost. Basic baking — the sweet kind that will ensure everyone is always happy to see you — really isn’t hard once you learn a few essentials. And luckily, you can learn how starting this Friday at the Biltmore Hotel, when the resort’s Culinary Academy begins a two-session hands-on baking class. In the first three-hour class, you’ll learn basic cakes: sponge, pound, vanilla, chocolate, and the increasingly popular red velvet. You’ll also get instruction on vanilla and chocolate pastry cream as well as cream cheese frosting. Attend the second session the following Friday, April 8, for a sweet array of more frostings: three kinds of buttercream (American, Italian, and Swiss) and chocolate ganache. What’s more, the class’s decorating tips should take you through the next few special occasions with a guaranteed return invitation.
Fri., April 1, 1 p.m.; Fri., April 8, 1 p.m., 2011

 
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