A Spectacular Baking Experience

I was very happy when Chef Sime and Ma’am Chiara said that these were the best in class. Photo by: sir Jay de Vera

One of the best days of my life as a foodie came when I was given a chance to enroll in a baking workshop at Gourmet Bites, the culinary arm of Saint Dominic Savio Business and Technical College. Having considered myself more as a cook rather than a baker, I had almost given up hope for baking as I throw each failed batch of recipe away. One of my most disappointing attempts were baking home-made doughnuts that turned out like giant calamari, and the epic fail of the solid rock brownies.

When this opportunity came, I was really skeptical that it would do something to change my “hard hands” on these delicate baked goods. But adventure got the better of me and the week after registering, I was off to school. After I received my apron, cap and recipe folder, I immediately proceeded to the classroom and instantly drooled over the colorful KitchenAid mixers that were on top of the shiny stainless steel preparation table.

One by one, the room was filled with students until it was time for us to start. Our mentor was Chef Simone De Vera, a cute be-dimpled lady who was absolutely very gentle with us, as she explained the basic techniques that we needed to learn. Our task was to practice on one technique and turn them into three types of recipe. I could recall that as I was mixing in the ingredients together, it was getting pretty heavy, as if it could break the spatula if you are using a substandard one.

After everything was well incorporated, we had to seal it with cling wrap and put it in the chiller for a few minutes, while we laugh and exchange stories with new-found classmate-friends. Under the talk I always tell myself that something has to come out good in this. I was really that tensed that I had replayed the procedure plenty of times in my head, just to assure myself that I did what was required. The questions that kept playing in my mind was ” Was I gentle enough?” “Did I mix everything properly?” “Did I under beat, or over beat?”

From Left To Right: (1. the dough is ready to be chilled; 2: Beautiful cookies just out of the oven; 3: Voila! the finished product, and I have never been happier!)

As time passed by, I could see how the ingredients became what the recipe was telling us it should be. Until I have finished the entire thing with a big smile on my face. It was an achievement for me and I couldn’t help to be more happy when Ma’am Chiara said that these were the best batch in the class, and I have the potential to be a very good baker. That was just saving grace for me. Thank you Ma’am Chiara and Chef Sime for that absolutely redeeming experience. I just wanted you to know that it took a while for me to let the people from home take a bite of it, simply because I was happy opening the fridge to see the cookies I have baked.

And so, here is the proof of my completion! Finally a baker in training 😀





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