Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Portuguese Baking Class with Jeremiah Bakes

Once upon a time, I was watching The Great American Baking Show and I noticed that there was a lovely baker from Sacramento on the show.  What's one to do other than open the Instagram and immediately start following JeremiahBakes?  I, obviously, did not see another alternative.  (You know my history with Instagram stalking?)  Over the last year or so, Jeremiah and I would chat on Instagram and we met up for coffee.  I was thrilled when he invited me to join his baking class!

I have a complex relationship with baking.  Me and cooking are cool.  We're friends.  I can go in the kitchen and whip up some food and 95% of the time, it's a success.  Me and baking are frenemies.  Sometimes I can bake just fine and sometimes I do the exact same thing and my baked good turns out horrible.  This is why I was super excited to learn from Jeremiah!

Jeremiah hosts his baking classes in his home in Sacramento and he was a lovely set up where you can watch from the barstools at the counter as he demonstrates recipes.  There's also a hands on part where you help make the desserts.  In the class I attended, I got to learn to make: Pastéis de nata - custard tarts, Bolo de bolacha - Maria cookie and coffee buttercream cake, and Tarte de amêndoa - almond tart.

I've always loved the idea of learning about the food of a different culture from a person of that culture.  It was so interesting to learn about Portuguese baking from Jeremiah!  He told me how many of the recipes were developed by nuns with leftover egg yolks since they used egg whites to starch the laundry.  I also learned about how Japanese cuisine was influenced by Portuguese traders in the 16th century.  The Portuguese Tarts also influenced Chinese Egg Tarts.

In the class, I go some great tips on how to shape the puff pastry into tart cups and got to shape my own.  I learned how to make buttercream.  Get this Jeremiah even taught me how to use a piping bag and I even piped an entire cake all by myself!  That's quite the feat for me!  He also taught me tips on how to decorate a cake without buttercream and fondant which are things that I'm not great at.  It's always nice to be taught alternatives so I don't have to force myself to do something I don't enjoy.

It was such a lovely day and I learned a lot.  I got to take a box full of delicious treats home to my family.  My absolute favorite part was standing in the kitchen enjoying fresh from the oven custard tarts with a little sprinkle of cinnamon.  Jeremiah was almost giddy when taking a bite.  After probably making them hundreds of times, his joy still filled the room and that's why you bake.

You can find a listing of Jeremiah's classes on this website.

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