Hello, I'm Susan! Welcome to Suz Bakes.

Congrats! You've stumbled across the website during a MAJOR rehaul! I promise it'll be fixed and beautiful within the week. Sorry for the craziness... check back soon! :)
| August 29, 2016


Check it out!

Sale info goes here. :)


baking school: baking with nothing.

My plan for Friday was to go to bed right after class.

I wish I was kidding, but I have been so tired. I came home, began packing up my things to move upstairs, then decided to take a break and grab dinner and Starbucks. Something a little different than the usual cheese and crackers, you know?

I was so happy to finally have a hot dinner to bring back with me... but then Nadia texted me saying that she was having a goodbye dinner for the tenant that I was replacing. Of course I couldn't say no. So, I walked around the outside of the house to join the two ladies upstairs, hoping for some kind of warm takeout. Maybe Chinese. Or pizza. Something hot and familiar.

When she opened the styrofoam boxes, my heart dropped back down to the basement that held my cherished sandwich. Sushi. Copious amounts of sushi and booze.

A bit of a flashback to New Years 2012. I visited my best friend for the holiday, and being the great host that she is, Erin brought home spring rolls from the grocery deli. We watched a movie, and it quite literally took me the entire film to finish one roll. I washed it down with three or four snickerdoodle cookies and hence gagged at the sight and smell of cucumber for a year after.

Sushi just doesn't do it for me.

I feigned a full stomach from snacking on sweets in class (it was partially true), but I ate that dreaded stuff and managed to do so without flinching once. Instead, I absorbed myself in the conversation between the two ladies before me - both of which speak broken English and were quite drunk. Thank the Lord that I brought bottled water.

As enlightening as the night was, I believe hindsight tells that I would have been happier if my night involved the once-warm sandwich that is now sulking in the fridge. It's hard to pretend you're not home when your car is peeking around the corner, but I might have tried.

And here I thought this was going to be a short but sweet post about gluten-free treats.

Day nine was... interesting. Originally, I was supposed to arrive in Toronto several weeks sooner for an extra course on alternative baking. With the huge emphasis on gluten-free goods, I decided it would be wise to invest in the class. However, they cancelled shortly before the class was to begin.

Likewise, they've since cancelled their weekend specialty courses on the subject. This day was it.

Unfortunately, we didn't bake any gluten free bread... I was disappointed. That's one of biggest requests, so why wouldn't they include that in the course? Instead, we made gluten free vanilla cake and lemon shortbread. We also prepared gluten, dairy, and egg free brownies with a coconut ganache.

The cake was surprisingly tasteful, and baked up quite nicely. I finally was able to split a cake into two semi-equal halves instead of completely murdering it with a hacksaw, so it looked quite nice as well! We used a regular buttercream to mask the cake, which I flavored with blackberry compote. The cake is definitely sweeter than a regular vanilla cake, but I doubt anyone would realize at first taste that it was a gluten free creation. I kept snacking on the scraps, so it clearly wasn't terrible!

The lemon shortbread didn't have any "weird" ingredients except arguably xanthan gum. These, too, baked up well and tasted pretty similar to a regular shortbread cookie with a faint lemon taste. The berry filling helped. I need to work on my piping skills, however, because my bear claws don't look nearly as pretty as the few that our instructor demonstrated. To compensate for the poor pipe-job, I copied the cookies that I saw at another girl's workstation and went to town drizzling white chocolate everywhere.

Giving credit where credit is due. ;) White chocolate drizzle-girl is actually great. Alexa is close to my age, which honestly surprised me. I anticipated being the youngest in the class by far, so was quite surprised when I showed up on the first day to see the one other person who had arrived early was like me. Everyone else acts like they're in their twenties, though, so the group as a whole is just one big party.

Back to baking... the brownies. They scared me. The flax seed substitute for eggs makes the whole thing look like it's supposed to taste like raspberries, and the fact that you could pick up the entire pan of brownies as one big chocolate slab just... seemed wrong. But I went with it. I packaged it up and brought it home and thought about whether or not I really wanted to risk sampling the scary concoction.

Confession: I still haven't. In my weak defense, our instructor said they taste far better the next day. Considering mine are now in the freezer... I don't plan on trying them until I'm back in the States and have someone else to risk it with me. :) I'm sure they're actually good - but I like my Ghirardelli box mix, okay??

I really would have liked to learn more today. It was good to hear about all of the various substitutes, as well as the difference between "gluten free" and "does not contain gluten." I learned to not be afraid of xanthan gum, and I baked with margarine even though I swore I never would. (I kind of had to... class recipe and all.) There's no way I could just float off and build a thousand great gluten free cookie recipes after today, but at least I now have a very general knowledge of where to start. That's worth something.

This last week is the one I've been most excited for. We're learning macarons, egg foam cakes, pies and tarts, and petit fours. I'm getting nervous for the final exam, but I'm looking forward to being done soon and bringing all of my goodies home. If only you could see my tiny freezer right now!

I'm not sure where I'll be taking pictures next week - hopefully the table on the front porch gets lots of light, or perhaps there's a nice window somewhere upstairs. Otherwise, I apologize in advance for crappy photos... which would stink, because these are the ones I would really want to turn out!

Until Monday and macarons,

No comments

Post a Comment

© suz bakes • Theme by Maira G.