My First Baking Class

Oh baking, how I loathe thee!  Wait that’s not true, I am terrified of you!  Until the day I signed up for my first baking class at the BlackMarket Bakery in Irvine, Ca.

I was walking through the Irvine Farmer’s Market near UCI one Saturday morning, when I came across the Blackmarket Bakery booth.  The aroma of butter and sugar swirled into my nostrils!  There were cakes, breads, croissants, cookies, bear claws, scones and tarts galore.  I bought an almond croissant and a cinnabon to enjoy at home later.  Ugh, they were to die for!  When I learn about a new food place, the first thing I do is Google their website.  I followed them on Twitter and then noticed their “Classes” tab.  Bingo!  As I scrolled through the classes I came across the Caramel class.   MMMMMM.  “Learn how to make Caramel Cream, Caramel Pecan Bars, Upside down Pineapple Cake, Chocolate Chunk Tarts, Caramel Popcorn, and Caramel Stoned Fruit.”  Click!  Signed up and ready to go.  Since I am a baking newbie, I had to ask my baking buddy to join me!

So the first thing I learned was that there are two ways to make caramel from scratch; the dry method the wet method.  Now each method is good for a different application.  The dry method was used for the Upside Down Pineapple Cake and the wet method was used for the Caramel Chocolate Chunk Tart.

Dry Method: is just melting sugar (white or brown) and butter together in a saucepan on medium heat.  Additional ingredients will be added according to specific recipe.

Wet Method:  pour water in the saucepan, pour sugar in the center of the water so no sugar gets on the walls of the pan.  DO NOT STIR!  Cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Additional ingredients will be added according to specific recipe.

I am going to share with you all the recipe for the Caramel Cream.  This was so decadent I’m obsessed with it.  You can use this to drizzle over the desserts or even in your morning latte.

Caramel Cream:

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • Saucepan and heat proof spatula (we used a wooden spoon)

Pour butter and sugar in the saucepan over low heat.  Stir until the butter and sugar liquefy.  Cook until sugar becomes an amber color, about 7-10 minutes.  The sugar should look smooth and not grainy.

Once smooth, turn off heat, add half of cream.  The mixture will bubble furiously, be careful!  Once it has settled down, add rest of cream.  Stir till smooth.  Add Butter.

Below you will see a picture gallery of the Upside Down Pineapple Cakes, Caramel Pecan Bars and the Caramel Chocolate Chunk Tarts that we made.

Enjoy!

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