April 17th, 2012

First ever Coco&Me baking lesson!

www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco & Me - baking course London - Z & Tamami

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Hello~hello~hello~ dearest readers!!!!! So sorry for not writing often on this blog…! Hope you’ve all been well. Is life treating you sweetly? And I wonder, are you looking after yourself well?

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I’ve been ultra busy with God-knows-what, just a bit of everything mounting to one big busy-ness I guess, I feel my mind’s cluttered up that, if I was to compare this situation to a computer, it’s overloaded & hence the system is running slowly. Basically not achieving as much output as I ought to. Does this make sense??? Lol. Sometimes I don’t know anymore.

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Anyway, the idea is to do ‘one-thing-at-a-time’ isn’t it? So here’s a write up about what happened (ahem,) all the way back in December 2011.

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Actually, no, it was October 2011, I received a special message through this blog by F, a guy wanting to organize a one-off baking lesson as a Christmas gift for his girlfriend Z. And that he wants it to be a surprise for her. (Ladies, one-two-three! “Ahhhhhh…!” How sweet!)

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On first reaction, Hm, I thought. Not sure.

I mean, I can’t even strike up a courage to go to cinemas alone, so how would I feel going to a strangers’ house? But the message read that they are regular customers of mine at the market. I thought back to all the customers that I can remember & I couldn’t think of any weirdos…

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I emailed back hinting that it would be best if he could come to the stall so that we could discuss it further. (Although the actual secret intention was to see who this F was!)

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It turned out he can’t until November as he has to be out of town. – Hm… decisions… Oh, go-on, let’s do it then. Perhaps there must’ve been something in the waters that day, (or maybe I glimpsed a Nike ‘Just do it’ logo!?) but I thought yeah, new experience, new opportunity & all that. Just do it? Yes, I’ll do it! My heart was pounding as I wrote back to confirm, because I was still totally not sure, but I thought (sorry F) I could always call it off if I didn’t like the look of F when he comes to the stall in November.

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Come November, F dropped by my stall. Turns out he is a charming, likable bloke. With great relief, I chatted with him about our surprise plan. He then came back to my stall with the unknowing girlfriend Z to pretend to browse the cakes. The real intention to secretly introduce her to me. Did I do well with my poker face F?? Lol! :)

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December. Knowing who they were was a huge plus. On the baking day itself, I was not as nervous as I’d thought I’d be. Giddy, oh yes, but in an excited way. With a small suitcase full of ingredients, pots n’ pans, & with a heart pounding fast like a small animal, I rang their door bell. F opens & signals me to quietly go to the living room. I hear Z in the other room asking who’d come. She definitely senses something is up. Aw, I hope she likes this surprise… What if she hates this or hates me? Even worse not recognize me!?

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Very pretty girl Z peers in to the living room. One look at me &… big big smiles & little shrieks. So natural, so sweet. I instantly knew that we’d get on absolutely finely.

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F & I spilled the beans of our secret. How F had been planning months ahead, how F took Z to my stall… The surprised look on Z…, & her smiles & laughter as she listened, so adorable.

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So! It’s a 3 hour baking course, I explain. We’ll be making tarte tatin, chocolate truffles, creme caramel & homemade vanilla extract!

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Like a team-work, we peeled braeburn apples, cored them, arranged them in the caramel/vanilla pan… On went the sheet of puff pastry, not forgetting to tuck in the edges… 40 minutes in the oven. Hey presto, tarte tatin.

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www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco & Me - Tarte tatin - upsidedown apple cake pie - creme caramel - vanilla - baking course

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Following that, we made ganache for the truffles. This was in tandem with making vanilla extract as the ganache needs to cool before piping, then more cooling after that so that it is firm enough to roll, coat in melted chocolate & finally rolled in cocoa powder. – Finally it was on to making the Creme caramel which was a doddle, & we finished almost exactly 3 hours of lesson time.

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Like I said, we had this amazing team-work thing going on, & I felt that it was rather more like two girl friends having fun baking & chatting. Sure, I’d be peppering in baking tricks & know-hows, & answering baking questions, but it certainly didn’t feel like a strict teaching setup. And I much prefer it that way.

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Thank you F for setting up this most amazing, valuable experience. I’m really glad I said yes. And thank you Z, I’m so happy that my first ever baking student was you! ♥

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www.cocoandme.com - Coco&Me - Coco & Me - baking course - eating in kitchen

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25 Comments »

  1. How wonderful! :)

    Comment by Jonquil - April 17, 2012 3:56 pm

  2. Jonquil, cheers!!!!!! :) xx

    Comment by tamami - April 17, 2012 4:15 pm

  3. Hi Tamami, good to see you back in action. Thanks for sharing, congratulation on your baking lesson. Keep up the good work.

    Have a nice week ahead.

    Comment by Amelia - April 17, 2012 4:59 pm

  4. What a great boyfriend! Where do I sign up for your next course? :) I would hop on a flight to London if you start giving classes! Hmm tarte tatin..my favorite!

    Comment by Caroline - April 17, 2012 5:13 pm

  5. Thanks Amelia! :)
    It feels good to finally upload something! Have a great week too Amelia! xx
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    Caroline! Wow, that’s a lovely comment! Thank you! – I feel honoured. – I really enjoyed the one to one class, so if anything I’m sure it’ll be a similar set up! If I ever do decide to take this route further, I’ll definitely let you know via this blog! Cheers! xx

    Comment by tamami - April 17, 2012 5:57 pm

  6. Like Caroline above, I will also want to sign up lessons from you ! I have been reading your blog for a long time and I really like what you make. and there is the added bonus of meeting you and spending time with you too! :)

    Comment by Louise - April 18, 2012 8:36 am

  7. Louise! Wow, that’s so lovely of you! Thank you very much! – But y’know, I haven’t planned any future lessons …! Maybe I ought to… I’ll have a think… xx

    Comment by tamami - April 18, 2012 10:49 am

  8. Hello Tamami! I think you should open a regular workshop. You have fans (like me!) I think it will be great success! Please think about it! And keep up the good work! :)

    Comment by Kat.E - April 19, 2012 8:47 pm

  9. Kat.E, o.m.g, You’ve just made me smile. Thank you for your kind words. – I will have a think about it! xx

    Comment by tamami - April 19, 2012 9:34 pm

  10. Hi Tamami!! Congratulations on your new experience!! I visited London with my two teenage boys from April 10th to 14th (we live in Geneva, Switzerland) and I had definitely planned to come and visit you on Saturday morning!!! I was so excited at the idea of finally meeting you, talking to you and taking a picture with you!! But, eventually, the two stubborn teenage boys wouldn’t accompany me or let me come to the market….. So it will be for another time! I’ll keep reading your blog, though. Always interesting and sparkling with your positive attitude to life. XXX Lucia

    Comment by Lucia - April 20, 2012 12:44 pm

  11. Hello Lucia!!! Oh my God, you know what? Your boys have actually saved you a trip, because I wasn’t there at the market on the 14th anyways…!!! Luck was definitely on your side.
    (I write the latest schedule/plans on twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/coco_and_me) so it’s worth checking on it first to see if I’m there):)
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    Nevertheless, shame I missed out on seeing you…!!!! – Hope the weather in beautiful Geneva is good – here in London, it’s been rainy all week & I just heard a roaring thunder nearby… I hope the rain stops by when it’s school pick up time…!
    – Take care & hope to hear from you again soon! xx

    Comment by Tamami - April 21, 2012 12:55 pm

  12. Oh my, this is such a cute post, made me smile. This is the first time I have ever heard of anyone organizing a baking lesson as a gift, how absolutely delightful and innovative. Wish my husband would arrange one for me…:)

    Tamami, I really hope you start organizing work shops on a regular basis….you seem to be such a loveable person and you will be spreading so much joy, just think about it :) If you ever do, I’ll be your online cheerleader…

    Love
    Poornima

    Comment by Poornima - April 23, 2012 5:36 pm

  13. 素敵なレッスンだったんですね。
    うらやましいな。
    レッスンをまたするときはぜひぜひお声をかけてくださいね。

    Comment by Aya - April 23, 2012 6:19 pm

  14. Tamami, what an adventure! I should think it would be fun to teach someone who is so appreciative. It may also give you inspiration on things you could do in the future that are creative and still have flexibility for family responsibilities. Very nice indeed!

    Comment by Heidy - April 23, 2012 7:40 pm

  15. Hey Poornima, your comment made ME smile! I could do with an online cheerleader!! :) As for organizing baking lessons as gifts, it’s not so uncommon in UK – just recently me & my friends booked an indian lesson for her birthday – & then went around to her place to eat what she’d made! x

    Ayaさん,めちゃ楽しいレッスンでしたよ〜!&うれしいお言葉ありがとうございます、レッスンをする事になったら、是非お伝えしますね〜!

    Heidy, yes, I was really lucky that Z was such a great person to give lesson to! ~ As for things to do in the future…, like you say, “flexibility” is the key isn’t it…. Hm, you’ve made me think… (in a positive way that is…!) I really need to sort my head out. Feel so cluttered!

    Comment by Tamami - April 23, 2012 8:15 pm

  16. My gosh, this is so, so sweet. What a thoughtful and lovely gift! The giver, the BD girl, and the instructor all got much out of the whole thing, it seems. Beautiful all around.

    I was in London by the way, 13/4~20/4. I had hoped to make it to Broadway Market, but ran out of time on Saturday! I was very disappointed. I’m completely in love with London now — I’ve been to many wonderful places, but I had never like I did not want to leave and go home when vacation was over . London has my heart. We’re heading back to the U.S. this summer, but I do hope to come back — and see you again.

    Comment by cocopuff1212 - April 24, 2012 10:29 am

  17. Cocopuff1212さん、うわ〜、コメントありがと〜!!:)うれしいわ! And o.m.g, you were in London for a week!? Shame we didn’t get to meet – but y’know, I wasn’t working at the market during the time you were here anyways! Then again, I would have loved to meet up with you elsewhere! One day, one day… we will meet again – Enjoy U.S. trip!!

    Comment by Tamami - April 24, 2012 1:07 pm

  18. Hi, I follow your blog for a long time.Is very informative,congratulations. Ihave a small business of portuguese sweets.I’m struggling to find a chocolate representative.You know where i can find?thank you

    Comment by Dulce - April 28, 2012 5:03 am

  19. Thank you very much Dulce!! :)
    What do you mean by chocolate representative? Do you mean wholesalers that sell chocolate to you?? Let me know, & I’ll try to help.

    Comment by Tamami - April 28, 2012 9:17 am

  20. Late to the party but – I loved this and I think I may have said it before, but I can definitely see you having a future as a cooking instructor… your recipes are written with the voice of a teacher (I mean this as a big compliment, I learn so much about process/kitchen science etc. from them) and I can well believe it translates beautifully to real life. If you ever decide to do group classes I’d love to take part :) xx

    Comment by Rachel - May 4, 2012 11:04 am

  21. Rachel, oooh! Thank you!! I must say, I really did enjoy teaching, & I also gained (a little more) confidence, that if there was another request, I’m more likely to say yes. If only I had an access to a workshop venue with oven…!? xx

    Comment by tamami - May 5, 2012 2:14 am

  22. Tamami, what a great experience it was and what a fantastic teacher you make. My confidence in baking has increased so much, and the chocolate truffles have become a permanent gift giving treat! xx

    Comment by Zoe - June 2, 2012 6:33 pm

  23. Zoe, how lovely of you to leave a comment here! Thank you!!! xx :) :) :) I’m so happy that you enjoyed the experience – I also thoroughly enjoyed it too! And about the chocolate truffles, it’s pretty easy when you know how now right? It was lovely seeing you yesterday – hope to catch up with you again soon!! Til then! C u! xx

    Comment by Tamami - June 3, 2012 7:44 pm

  24. Dear Tamami,
    I am a pâtissière in France (and regular reader of your blog) and would like to send you an email regarding baking lessons. Is there any email address I could use? Thank you very much in advance!
    Caroline

    Comment by Caroline - October 7, 2013 9:21 am

  25. Hi! Just sent you an email!!!!! x

    Comment by Tamami - October 7, 2013 6:21 pm

 

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