The Magic of Baking by Marsha Thompson (The Harried Cook)

After the immense success of the first part of Introduction to Baking, organized by CFG with Crimson Chakra and of course, the principle baker, Marsha Thompson aka The Harried Cook, the second part was organized and unlike most movie episodes, the second one was better, tastier and superb. While I love to cook as well, baking has always been a challenge for me and watching Marsha bake and get everyone of her recipes perfect, I could not help but title this post, the Magic of Baking.

The workshop started off with Marsha talking a little (ok, a lot) about baking, it's challenges, it's history etc and with almost every participant having questions, she handled them with ease. Her knowledge of baking, the products, the ones available in India, what to get when the cousin comes down from the US etc were quite amazing. And in the process, she did have a second or two for the camera.

And so the process of beating up the butter started. If you have not baked, you might wonder what the butter did, because that is how it was beaten, and not to forget the egg. And the beating up process was proudly shown off to the camera as well.

After quite some beating and mixing and what not, a little gooey batter was made which was even more proudly showed off.

And then it went into the oven for sometime and viola, this is why I call it the magic of baking. The batter that went in came out as cupcakes.

No, I was not allowed to taste them yet, I was told that they had to be cooled before the icing can go on it and so, I, well, waited with hunger. But the participants did not seem to mind as they got into the next recipe to learn, the oat meal cookie. The process of beating and mixing went on for another few minutes and another form of batter emerged. It looked the same to me, but they said that this was a cookie batter this time around. Again, it was proudly showed off.

And the same thing happened again.

They started making the chocolate mousse, and that did not have to go to the oven,but the refrigerator so it was quick. I still did not get to eat anything. Marsha then deftly showed how to ice the cup cake and the participants were in all attention.

And then they did it.

And then finally my role as Chennai Foodie arrived. Tasting, slurp. The cup cakes were a vanilla flavor with pink icing. I loved it. The oatmeal cookie was just like the ones I have at Subway and I wish I had signed up for the course as I could just bake them over a weekend and have them all week along, but the best dish was the chocolate mousse, superb flavor, perfect consistency and immensely tasty.

While they were baking their stuff, I was whiling away time with Nikhil from Crimson Chakra and of course, Ali the CFG chief and we were discussing very important issues for the welfare of India and we hope to implement them soon. I have a lot of respect for Marsh, for using natural products for baking as much as possible, something I believe in and being a wellness physician who works with so many people to keep them healthy, good food and good health are not mutually exclusive. You just need to know how and you can stay wonderfully healthy with all the butter and ghee and the likes.

And then, the graduation picture.

Those two smiling men there, did nothing while the workshop was going on and they are the two I was talking to about national integration. But then, Nikhil of Crimson Chakra gave us the space to run, did all the prelim work and is a pillar of support for all of CFGs events, while Ali on the right, takes all the effort and pain to bring this event together and I just eat and write about it. A big thank you to Marsha for conducting the workshop in a fantastic way, and congrats to the participants for graduation. (Yeah, they got a certificate, don't laugh, God Willing, we might soon have a CFG University).

Look out for more events.

- And hey people, if you enjoyed reading this, please share it.