Adult Monthly Cooking Class ~ Baking 101


  • Cream Puffs with Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • Blue cheese crackers

  • Buttermilk scones with Lemon curd

  • Ginger-Curry Sugar Cookies


Cream Puffs- (makes ~28)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

5 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter, sugar, salt and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and quickly stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until a film forms on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and transfer contents to a bowl to cool slightly, about 3 minutes. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously to entirely incorporate egg after each addition.

For the egg wash, whisk together the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.

Transfer the pate a choux to a large pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch plain tip. Pipe 1-1/2-inch rounds onto each prepared pan. Gently smooth the pointed peaks with a moistened finger, rounding tops to ensure even rising. Brush tops with reserved egg wash. Bake until puffs rise and are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Puffs can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Transfer pastry cream to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8-inch plain round tip. Insert the tip into the opening of each pastry, and pipe to fill with pastry cream. Serve immediately.

Vanilla Pastry Cream (makes ~2.5 cups)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

Pinch of coarse salt

4 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 cups whole milk

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk together milk and egg yolks in a glass measuring cup. Add milk mixture to the saucepan, along with butter. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Let boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Strain pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Just before using, whisk until smooth.

Blue Cheese Crackers (makes ~ fifty 1 inch round crackers)

¾ cup of all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp cayenne

¾ tsp ground black pepper

2 ⅓ cup firm blue cheese

¼ cup room temperature butter

⅔ cup toasted and roughly chopped pumpkin seeds

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, cayenne and black pepper. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the butter and cheese until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated. Mix in the pumpkin seeds on low. The dough should be quite stiff with small pieces of cheese still visible. Chill dough in fridge wrapped in cling film. Once dough has chilled roll out into a square or rectangle and using a pizza cutter or knife cut crackers into little squares or whatever shape you desire.  Arrange the crackers on a parchment lined baking sheet spacing them out. Bake in a 400’ oven for about 7-10 minutes or until golden.


Buttermilk Scones (makes ~12)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold butter cubed

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until in crumbly. Whisk buttermilk with egg; pour over flour mixture. Using fork, stir to make soft ragged dough.

With lightly floured hands, press dough into ball. On floured surface, knead gently 10 times. Pat out into 10- x 7-inch (25 x 18 cm) rectangle; trim edges to straighten.

Cut rectangle into 6 squares; cut each diagonally in half. Place on parchment paper-lined rimless baking sheet.

Bake in 400 °F (200 °C) oven until golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool.

Lemon Curd

4 lemons, zest and juice

7 oz unrefined caster sugar

3½oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes

3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk

Put the lemon zest and juice, the sugar and the butter into a heatproof bowl. Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture every now and again until all of the butter has melted.

Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir them into the lemon mixture. Whisk until all of the ingredients are well combined, then leave to cook for 10-13 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the mixture is creamy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove the lemon curd from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally as it cools. Once cooled, spoon the lemon curd into sterilised jars. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Ginger- Curry Sugar Cookies (makes ~ 4 dozen)

10 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter, diced

1 large egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste

1 ½ cup of all purpose flour

¾ cup confectioners sugar

11/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon curry powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 large egg yolks, beaten

24 one inch pieces candied ginger


Beat butter until there are no lumps and it is a smooth add the whole egg, vanilla and mix until combined. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, sugar, ginger, salt and curry. Slowly marry the wet and dry ingredients. Form into a log and wrap in cling film. Chill. When ready to bake preheat oven to 350’ . Slice rounds of dough about ¼ inch thick and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the surface of each cookie with beaten yolk, sprinkle with coarse salt and press a piece of ginger into the center of each cookie. Bake for about 15 minutes until just beginning to turn golden.



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