Of all culinary things I practice, teaching cooking classes is one of them. And no matter how many years of experience you have, you always learn something by watching even the most novices of cooks cook. At least I always have.
One of the things I learn when teaching, is how to write a better recipe. When I write, edit, and test a recipe in my own kitchen, everything seems clear to me. But when a group of 14 people start cooking that same recipe, I discover that so many details are obscure to a home cook and should definitely be included in the writing.
A few weeks ago, I taught a class at The Institute of Culinary Education, a fantastic cooking school in New York City with more than 100 recreational classes to choose from (in addition to their professional career program).
Fern, holding a Dulce de Leche Roulade (Rocambole de Doce de Leite)
The class was scheduled for 10 am, so I arrived early to set up the class and organize the ingredients. The city was still waking up; the streets still half empty, different from that busy New York we are used to see.
New York, still waking up
The theme of the class: Best of Latin Baking. It is nearly impossible to teach this class without a series of dulce de leche, sweetened condensed milk, and coconut ingredients on the menu.
Dulce de Leche Roulade, Dulce de Leche Brioche Pudding, Flan, Brazilian Malomars (Nha Benta), Honey Cake (Pão de Mel), Coconut Cheesecake with Guava Sauce, and much more!
One of the recipes, a coconut tres leches cakes called for 5 eggs. A typical example of what I was saying before, cold eggs don’t rise very well. I know that much since day one of pastry school. But my recipe didn’t explain it. So, I immediately called the class and gave them a tip: warm the eggs in hot water for 5 minutes before beating them.
As the class progressed, I picked up a few other details that are now incorporated into my recipes and make them so much easier to follow.
Nothing left !