CIA snapshot – day 1 & 2

CIA Pastry Bootcamp is everything I had imagined and more. The same Chef is teaching this class that taught baking bootcamp last year! What a treat. And, I’ve seen one of the TAs from last year and another Chef from one of our classes last year. How wonderful of them to take time to stop by and say hello!

I’ll post bootcamp details next week, when life returns to normal. In the meantime, I’ll give you a short summary of day 1 & 2. (15+ hour long days, and we love it!)
Day 1 – I can’t even remember without looking at my instruction book. We’ve baked and mixed and eaten so much!
Oh yes…pastry cream, pate a choux, and creme caramel. Long gone are my fears of a making a custard and caramelizing sugar. That’s not to say that everything we made was prefect, because it was not. But, we learn from our mistakes as well as our successes.
Day 2 – Filled and glazed pate a choux; unmolded our beautiful creme caramel; mixed, piped, and baked spritz cookies; and, we made a vanilla sponge cake. The mixer turned the sponge cake ingredients into mounds and mounds of stabilized bubbles. Our cakes baked to a golden brown. Tomorrow we will soak them with a flavored simple syrup, and frost with buttercream. The chocolate demo offered instructions regarding various tempering techniques. And Chef brought beautiful, tiny chocolates for us to taste while she piped chocolate butterflies with wings in flight.
The tasting is one of the many benefits of a trip to CIA. Everyone wants you to taste everything. I gazed through the window of our TA’s classroom late in the afternoon. They were making petite fours, invited me into the room, and offered a taste. I just didn’t have room for another bite- what a shame!

Hyde Park, NY – CIA – how exciting

(bridge east across Hudson River, then north to Hyde Park and CIA)

Sunday September 13
I’m really here again! When I left last September, I knew I would return at some point in the future, and here I am. Alarm clocks (yes, more than one) are set for 4:30 AM EST. Orientation begins on campus at 6 AM tomorrow morning.
I drove around the campus earlier today, fondly remembering last year’s week of Baking BootCamp (my links here), and wondering what wonderful experiences are yet to unfold at this Pastry BootCamp.
Does one week make one a pro? NO. But I do know where to park, where to attend class, and where to get the hot water for my morning tea.
It will be an exhausting week, as our days begin at 7AM and end around 9:30PM. I intend to post during the week (intend being an imaginary bold font).
As an aside, the Barnes & Noble bookstore here (in Poughkeepsie) is two stories high. I’ve never seen one that large. I now have the new book, “Confections of a Closet Master Baker – A Memoir.” Rather than reading, I need to be sleeping…..