Days Seventy-Five & Seventy Six

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
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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. 

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He prepared a salmon, crème fraiche, and dill tart, and a chocolate, bourbon, pecan tart made with Nielsen-Massey Vanilla. 

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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!

15 comments on "Days Seventy-Five & Seventy Six"
  1. Those cookies are adorable. Very clever.

    How good does it smell in a vanilla factory?

    1. I forgot to mention that. It smelled great! Like vanilla. :)

  2. Those cookies are awesome, and I love the tile back splash in that kitchen.

  3. That is so awesome you got to go there! And you got samples, which is even better since that stuff isn't exactly cheap :)

    1. Hey if you ever need any...
      Are you going to enter the brownie thing?

    2. I can't decide...are you? It's far away again! I think tomorrow is the last day to enter, so I'll let you know what I decide.

  4. We used to live about 5 minutes from there, but we never went. We did call to see if they had a retail shop there too but they said no. That would have been awesome! I found a great deal on a giant 32 oz bottle though. I love that vanilla!

    1. You did?? Online? Oh I know! I love that vanilla too!

  5. Your class rocks! Keep trying your best and I know you'll get the hang of making the flowers in no time. You always rise to the top!

  6. Love the Gingerdead men. Did you decorate them free-hand?

  7. omg Eric Lanlard!! He's well-known here in the UK. I'm jealous...
    I have a gingerdead man cutter too, I love it ;)