It's been three years since Woody assisted me on a demo and he has now graduated to teaching his first class entirely on his own! As we both adore the drama and deliciousness of the Deep Chocolate Passion from Rose's Heavenly Cakes, this was one of the two cakes he chose to demonstrate.
A couple of months ago, Mary Wynne asked if I would be interested in teaching a baking class to several of her friends. A few years earlier, I had made two Woody Lemon Luxury cakes to accompany some others for her and my Sifu (T'ai Chi Master) Paul's wedding reception. Her friend offered her home in which we decided to have eight participants so that everyone could sit around the table. My training and working with Rose has shown that a baking class or demonstration is only as successful as your preparation. So the nights before class entailed baking cakes, preparing frostings, packing up ingredients and equipment, and going over my notes and outline for the class. Baking class day began with Anne Conley greeting me at her door. We unpacked and soon had my kitchen spread out on her dining room table, a second staging table, and her kitchen A cabinet soon donned all of Rose's books and the oven heating up with an oven thermometer in place and proved right on the spot. Mary soon arrived and became my aproned "second set of hands". My demonstration was making two recipes from Rose's Heavenly Cakes which gave me the opportunity to cover "Rose's Rules of Cake Baking" and some of the equipment and devices that we have been postings reviews on the blog. Our eight women students then arrived to take their seats and right away I was handed a slip with questions from a husband, which I answered during the course of the class. Mary loves coconut so we made the Southern Manhattan Coconut Cake for covering the basics for making butter cakes. And just like on television, I popped the batter filled cake pan in the oven, with my bringing back a baked ahead cake to the table which we went over how to make a buttercream frosting and apply it. A short break, to set up for making the Deep Chocolate Passion, also was time for a beautiful spread of deli foods and fruit to accompany the cakes. I made and passed around for the class to see the cake pan with a porridge thin, barely a half-inch deep batter of Deep Chocolate Passion and then enjoyed their amazement to the fully baked cake. We frosted it and finished it as Rose and I love to show in our demos~~with the glistening chocolate lacquer glaze.
We ended class with another round of cake and questions & answers which included, "when is the next class?"