Author Archives: linguina

About linguina

For most of my life I've loved to read and to make stuff. My mother says I taught myself to read when I was 4, and I never looked back. I also liked fooling around in the kitchen, but my mother wasn't really into cooking, so I learned a lot of that on my own, too. My sister and I had the Betty Crocker New Boys and Girls Cookbook (1965), and naturally I had to make the Enchanted Castle Cake. I learned how to bake bread when I was 14, and I bought a copy of the Joy of Cooking when I was 17. My aunt and uncle gave me Mastering the Art of French Cooking for my 19th birthday, and the first thing I made was soufflé. I've always been more of a baker than a cook, though. When our niece used to visit us during her breaks from college, she'd get me to show her some cooking things (including soufflé, of course!), but I kept having to tell her, "This is just how I do it. I have no idea if it's the right way." Finally, I took a basic cooking class, and that changed my life. After that class, I signed up for a 4-day baking class at King Arthur Flour. That's when I knew I was really a baker. Now I'm taking the professional pastry program at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. With this training, I'll become a pastry chef.

Field Trip: Taza Chocolate

Taza Chocolate, a local producer of Mexican-style artisanal chocolate, is now offering tours, and the school arranged a tour for students and staff. About a dozen of us took advantage of the offer. Alex, one of the founders, conducted the … Continue reading

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7B: Petits Fours Demi-Sec

Petits fours demi-sec are cookies, but they’re not quite dry. For example, madeleines are moist cookies and macarons are filled cookies. Madeleine plaques come in two formats: tinned steel or silicone. The advantage of silicone is it’s nonstick and flexible, … Continue reading

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7A: Petit Four Sec

Petits fours are bite-size treats (specifically, no more than two bites). They can be sweet or savory and can be served as a snack (e.g., tea cakes), appetizers, or dessert. Anything you can do in pastry you can do in … Continue reading

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ServSafe Exam

Over the last three weeks, the Tuesday seminars on food safety have been preparation for the ServSafe exam. ServSafe is a certification program administered by the National Restaurant Association. It’s based on the current FDA food code, and it’s updated … Continue reading

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External Event: Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home is a fundraiser for the Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund (CHAF). Pastry chefs from the Boston area give out samples of dessert, and people pay $50 to get in and taste everything. This was the third annual event. … Continue reading

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6B: Custards and Bavarians

In this class we made fillings to go with the extra meringues we made in week 5 and turned out two cakes. The history of custards—no surprise—is long and complicated. Ancient Roman cooks recognized the binding properties of eggs; they … Continue reading

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6A: Jams, Jellies, Preserves, and Spreads

In this class we canned delicious combinations of fruit and we made fruit candies (jellies). I vaguely remember my mother and some of the other women in the neighborhood doing canning, so that part wasn’t completely novel. The jelly candies … Continue reading

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