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It’s official. I’m taking the plunge into the land of cakes, doughes, custards, fillings, icings, sauces, desert plating, garnishing, cookies, and cake decorating. That’s right… I’ve signed myself up for a Baking Boot Camp! It’s a 3-day intensive baking course offered by The Chopping Block, a cooking school here in Chicago that caters to (haha… play on words!) culinary hobbyists and enthusiasts. It’s a little pricey, but I’m incredibly excited about it. I discovered it listed on their course website on Monday, had an internal financial debate with myself Monday night (I mean… Kirk and I are trying to save money for our wedding… do I really need to be spending money on cooking classes right now? YES!), and signed up for it yesterday (Tuesday). It runs November 13 – 15, from 10am-4pm. This of course also means that I’m taking a personal day off of work to do this – but what the heck – why not? It will hopefully be well worth it in the skills that I’ll (again… hopefully) develop for making delicious breads, croissants, cakes, cookies, and all manner of sweet things to accompany my baked creations. Yay!

The bare-bones schedule looks like this:

Day 1 (November 13):  Yeast Dough; Pie and Tart Dough; Brioche Dough; Croissant Dough; Devil’s Food Cake; Linzer Cookie Dough; Lemon Cookie Dough.

Day 2 (November 14): Pastry Cream; Mousses; Chocolate and Caramel Ganache; Buttercream; Pate a Choux; Creme Brulee; Flan; Raspberry Jam.

Day 3 (November 15): Day Three: Shaping and Proofing Doughs; How to Frost a Cake; Bake and Assemble Cookies.

Whew… it seems like I’m going to learn a lot. Maybe this will bring me one step closer to my dream of one day owning and managing and cute little bistro/cafe/boulangerie/patisserie on some quaint tree-lined street in a small New England town where the leaves are always in full-fall foliage and the people enjoy sipping on their hot espressos (or a nice glass of wine) and eating my flaky pain au chocolate. Ahh… doesn’t that sound delightful?

….But for now, I need to snap back to reality and figure out what the heck I’m going to make for dinner tonight….

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