Today was a fun day; some of my class and I took an optional field trip to Nielsen-Massey Vanilla ! Their facility is about an hour bus ride from Chicago. We (quickly) toured the factory (No pictures allowed), and got to see a presentation by celebrity Chef, Eric Lanlard AKA Cake Boy. Chef Lanlard is huge in Europe; he has appeared on many cooking shows, baked for celebrities, and has his own shop and school.
He prepared a salmon, crème fraiche, and dill tart, and a chocolate, bourbon, pecan tart made with Nielsen-Massey Vanilla.
There were delicious samples, of course.
We received a signed copy of Chef Eric’s new cookbook, Tart It Up!
…and Nielsen-Massey vanilla paste and vanilla extract. I was so excited. It’s the best vanilla in the world!
Ladies (and me!) from my class.
As far as the last two days of class, well, don’t get me started. I don’t want to talk about it. We’ve been working on gum paste flowers and I’m so frustrated with myself. I’m having a hard time with it… it definitely doesn’t come naturally for me. I really want to be good at making flowers – I’m trying so hard. I’m just trying to complete everything we need to make. If I focus on trying to make everything look perfect, then it slows me way down. I’m far from perfect.
Buds, stamens, and wires.
Gum paste tools.
Lily petals, egg white, and shortening. I’ll explain more tomorrow.
I hope you have a Happy Halloween! I baked some gingerdead men for Eric’s work party-thing. I think they’re cute. And spooky.
Speaking of Ericcakes, happy 4th Halloversary! I love you!