Everyone knows I love to learn about cooking, so of course going to a cooking class at Surfas Culinary was AMAZING! I got to cook with other kids and learn more about baking.
Chef John Pitblado was our teacher. He likes to cook all kinds of things.
He is really good at making pastries though and that's what he taught us.
He taught us how to make a dough called Pate a Choux.
It's a dough that you can use to make different pastries. We made Profiteroles.
They are like puff pastries with cream in the middle and powdered sugar on top. (See below for recipe.)
We also made Chocolate Glazed Eclairs, Lemon Pound Cake, a Berry Pie and Thyme and Gruyere Gourgeres. The Gruyere is a kind of cheese. We put the Thyme and the Gruyere cheese in the Pate a Choux and baked it.
We did a lot of baking! Some of the names were hard to pronounce but they sure tasted good!
My favorite pastries were the Chocolate Eclairs and the Lemon Pound Cake. We all made enough to share with our family or friends. My mom really liked the Berry Pie.
One of my favorite things about the class was that I got to use some of the baking utensils that I haven't used before.
Surfas has a kitchen that they call a Test Kitchen. This is where everyone takes classes.
It is a big kitchen that has any kind of kitchen utensil you can think of.
I want to get one of those mixing bowls that stirs the ingredients by itself. Those things are cool! Did you know that Surfas Culinary is also a store? They have all kinds of cooking utensils and cooking supplies that you can buy.
Surfas teaches lots of other things at there test kitchen too, like how to make cheese, doughnuts, and homemade pasta. I think I'm going to take one of their classes on how to make different kinds of chocolates though.
Surfas is a great place to learn how to cook and John is a great teacher!
Recipe for Profiteroles:
4 ounces unsalted butter cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup (8 ounces) water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 ounces unbleached all purpose flour
4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix butter, water, and salt in medium saucepan over low heat. Stir with wooden spoon until butter melts evenly. When butter is melted, increase heat and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and add flour. Beat vigorously with wooden spoon until the dough sticks together in a mass around the spoon.
Place the pan back over the medium heat and continue to cook, stirring vigorously for another minute or so until the dough begins to dry out the pan. (The pan will have a thin film of dough on the bottom).
Immediately transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute with the paddle attachment to slightly cool the dough. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, allowing each addition to blend completely into dough before continuing to the next. When all the eggs are incorporated, the mixture should be shiny and elastic and stick to the side of the bowl. It should also pass the "string test." (Place a bit of dough between your thumb and forefinger and pull apart. The dough should form a stretchy string about 1-1/2 to 2" long. If the dough has not reached this stage, beat another egg into the dough.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag. Use 1/2" plain round tip. On a cookie sheet begin squeezing the mixture from the pastry bag in small (appx 1-1/2-2" wide and 1" high) Profiterole shapes. Make sure there is space between each Profiterole. Use a template if needed.
Place in oven a bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 10 min. Reduce the temperature again to 300 degrees and bake another 5 min.
Once cooked and cooled. Cut in 1/2 and using a pastry bag, squeeze the vanilla pastry cream on and place the top on. (Like a sandwich). Sprinkle them with powdered sugar.
Vanilla Pastry Cream for Profiteroles:
6 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
4 ounces cornstarch
12 ounces granulated sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt
12 large egg yolks
In medium saucepan, over medium heat, mix milk and vanilla bean paste.
While milk is heating, mix cornstarch, sugar, and salt into a medium mixing bowl and blend thoroughly using a whisk. Gradually add the egg yolks and continue to whisk until smooth.
Slowly add 1/3 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture while whisking rapidly. Pour the egg mixture back into the sauce pan with the remaining milk mixture.
Keep the milk and egg mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil while mixing constantly. One the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, boil for a few seconds to ensure the cornstarch taste has disappeared.
Strain the pastry cream into a large heatproof bowl and cover with plastic. The plastic wrap should be directly touching the cream. Set the bowl of pastry cream into a large bowl with ice to cool quickly. Once cooled, store in refrigerator.