Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Half-a-teaspoon pancake baking class

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This Saturday I went to Half-a-teaspoon baking class at last. I found about this project around half a year ago. It's an experimental confectionary shop and creative cooking classes (there are also special classes for kids). We came to the Maslenitsa pancake baking class by Алена Спирина, a Russian food writer and blogger on LiveJornal. She teaches weekly classes in the school.



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When I entered this huge hall I realized Half-a-teaspoon also runs corporate team buildings and one of them was taking place that evening along with our baking class. Many people were passionately and loudly doing something I couldn't see behind their backs.

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Our class was also slowly gathering. Алена, busy in preparations, was welcoming each guest in person. A delicious Far Breton she made in advance was there to save the starving students. Finally around 8 guests came and the class started. The idea was to make several pieces of pastry. All different, but all made of similar "pancake" butter. The recipes found their owners based on first come - first serve basis and we started cooking.

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My brother chose to make Clafouti (another French dessert made of cherries baked in thin batter). My dad was helping him and taking pictures.

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Three young men next to me were trying hard to make Tarte normande (French apple tarte, which was one of my favorites while I was living in France). They felt very strongly about slicing so many apples. I even thought of proposing some help for a moment.

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I got the Crepes Suzette though, so I felt really busy. These are flambe thin French crepes in special orange sauce. I made these crepes before but was not too happy with the outcome, so I thought why not try Алена's way?

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Stella was making Dutch baby and Маша was busy with popovers. Things were crazy mixing, baking and getting ready while students were getting hungry surrounded by all these colors and aromas. When I found myself done with the crepes and Алена flambéed those, most of the beauty was already waiting on the table.

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Surprise, the marzipan snowmen got fire on the table - that was the end of Maslenitsa week. We rushed to eat! Baby Dutch was gone somewhere while we were still cooking. The slightly burned snowmen were great, sweat and almondy. Then tender sour-sweet Clafouti.

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Nutty and buttery Tarte Normande.

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Incredible salty soft popovers.

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Crepes Suzette were gone immediately. This time I liked them much more than ever before, so my next post will be about making them. I also have cravings for Tarte Normande now, so I hope it follows soon in my kitchen.

Related posts and pages:

Crepe Suzette is burning!
Half-a-teaspoon: how to make meringues
Pastry & Cakes
Crepes & Pancakes
Recipes

Moscow cafes and bakeries guide