It has been a wonderful journey so far. I am beyond impressed with the students in the this session. It is a pleasure to watch them learn and grow. Not only are they learning, but I am as well. Inspired at every turn. I thought it may be of benefit to you to submit this short progress report.
If you haven’t taken it into consideration yet, please take the time to view some of our progress pictures and think about joining the Professional Cake Designer Program. It is a wealth of information that will prove to be vital to your new business or daily work. We cover everything from baking to business!
The next session, April 4 – 29th, 2016, is now open for registration. For more information, please submit your request by following this link.
One of the first cakes that I ever made on my own, without the help of my grandma, was a pineapple upside down cake. It was ridiculously sweet but super simple to make and a staple in our home economics class. As far as instruction was concerned, it was pretty much a no brainer for the teacher and an easy victory for the fledgling bakers.
Basic white cake with canned pineapple and a maraschino cherry topper.
Ewwwwwww! Just the thought of eating a Maraschino cherry now turns me green.
Now that I am grown, (and I use that word loosely), I have a more refined palate. Or at least my cake eating counterparts do. I have sworn off cake, for the time being anyways, so baking this and NOT eating it was a challenge.
I am a lover of fresh. I love fresh veggies, fresh fruit, fresh made just about anything. I am also just back from a small excursion to the interior of British Columbia where it’s harvest time in all of it’s glory. But one can only eat so much fresh fruit in one sitting and are therefore forced to find a way to get the most out of this short season. So, if you are into canning and preserves, you can enjoy for months to come.
I brought back with me, a load of fresh picked peaches. Hot on the heels of my newest cake experiment (an absolutely scrumptious almond cake), I decided to add a little peachiness to the mix.
As a throwback to my joyous pineapple upside down cake days, I present to you, (drumroll please)………..
Peach Upside Down Almond Cake
It’s so delectable, it requires nothing more than a fork, but a little whipped cream wouldn’t be completely out of order!
One recipe Master Cake Mix
4 oz almond paste (Marzipan)
One large peeled, cored and sliced peach
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). 325F Degrees for convection
Combine melted butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan and melt to combine fully. Mixture should resemble caramel. Be careful not to burn this mix. Let it cool slightly and spread into the bottom of 7″ parchment lined cake pan. Arrange your peach slices on top of sugar mixture. Set aside.
Crumble the marzipan into the master mix and combine well. Prepare your batter according to the Master Mix recipe below.
4. Spread batter evenly over the peaches.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
6. Cool 10 minutes in pan, remove the parchment from around edges and invert onto a serving plate.
7. Gently peel back the bottom parchment paper and Voila! Peach Heaven!
My master cake mix is the base for all of the cakes that I do. You can add a variety of ingredients to create any cake you desire. For example, a little adjustment with some spices and grated carrot and you have a luscious carrot cake. Add melted dark Belgian chocolate, a shot of espresso and you have a most decadent moist chocolate cake.
I like the convenience of making it ahead and freezing it until it’s needed. You never know when the mood to bake a cake will strike and I’m always prepared! It’s also the perfect density for carving without sacrificing that wonderful mouth feel.
Master Cake Mix (Makes eight 7”x 4” rounds)
· 8 c. all purpose flour
· 1/4 c. baking powder
· 2 c. unsalted butter (may substitute vegetable shortening)
· 6 c. powdered sugar
· 1 tbsp. salt (optional)
Mix ingredients together. Make 8 equal portions of 3 1/3 cup each.
Will store 6 weeks or will freeze for 6 months.
***If you add 2 cups of powdered milk to your master mix, you can use water instead of milk when adding wet ingredients during cake making
To make Almond Cake add:
3 1/3 cups of Master Mix
with 4 oz. Marzipan mixed into it
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
Mix ingredients until well blended. Fill parchment lined cake pan 1/2 – 3/4 full. Bake for 45-50 minutes on convection setting 325 degrees F
I really hope you are enjoying this season as much as I am. Please watch the posts in the days to come for more spoils of my harvesting. Fresh caking ideas to come!
It’s the next level that we are going for. Have you taken note of all of the new caking shows on tv lately? The one name I hear more than any other, CakeBoss, is gearing both young and not so young in that direction. And now, here in our little city of Calgary, we are taking our leap into the cake future. Certain cake decorating “gurus” had remained the same for many many years and now are starting to change their curriculum to keep up. We are all following the progression of things. Everybody wants to be the Cake Boss, and the cake boss does three dimensional cakes. Not many bakeries even, will take on the 3D cake because of the time factor. They are very expensive to purchase and it is strictly because of the time issue and the artistic value that is put forth.
I love to bake and decorate and built my foundation with some of the “gurus”. I am so glad that they’re out there. They gave me a taste…. but now it’s insatiable. The next big project is always around the corner, and I am always searching for it. I just want to take some folks along for the ride!
I dug into my artistic roots and through much practice, loads of trial and error, (sometimes more error than trial), doing and re-doing, experimenting, and converted what I know about art and how it translates over to cake. I combined my love of art with my love of all things caking and few years ago I opened “Lesi’s Kitchen”, School of Cake Artistry. I went in with the mindset that I am going inspire someone to be the next Cake Boss or better yet, their own version of some cake designing great.
I am always inspired when I see the imagination that our young people today have. I am working toward building my little school, taking on a team of artist/decorators, like minded in our creativeness, who love passing on the passion that we have for your craft. A good dream to build on, I feel.
My goal is to teach what I know and continue to learn and grow. Like all good artists, the more we practice your craft and expose ourselves to different media, the better we become. I learn so much from my students as they learn from me and a lot of my classes become brainstorming efforts. The day that I think I know all there is to know about cake decorating is the day that I will hang up my spatula and move on. Until then, I will continue to expose myself to the creativity of others, soaking up idea after idea, reading, reading, reading, traveling and studying with the greats, and passing on what I know.
Apparently even I want to be a Cake Boss…..I’m just not very bossy!
Look into it, come and take a class or two, express your inner artist and never ever stop learning.