The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Useful course Only started but already can see that this will be a useful course. Thank you
Date published: 2020-08-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not good- below par I have been asked to re-submit my original review b/c The Great Courses higher ups didn't like what I had to say about this course.So I am sugar-coating this so they WILL PUBLISH it. I felt this course was far below the high standards of TGC. The instructor made it seem like there were just too many things the Average Joe- like me- would not be able to handle in making these recipes. His cautions and constant references to the myriad of mistakes that are made, sent a clear message to me about making pastries and deserts that: "You are too inept to do this and you will probably screw it up... so just go buy the stuff from a bakery." Didn't like the approach of the chef, in what I thought to be an instructional course. Will never buy a course with him as instructor again. I wasted my time and money.
Date published: 2020-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Title has a clear message I purchased this produce a couple of weeks ago and found it very useful. I have been cooking for 40 years and haven't put a lot of time into making desserts except for making pastry and I liked this course because it has helped me to expand my ideas about this area of interest and in particular the versatility of custards and creams in relation to pastry and as part of other deserts. I also loved the cake making and biscuit demonstrations. To see how these are made and the methods applied has given me more confidence in my own kitchen
Date published: 2020-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This Is My Weakness In Cooking... I've never been much on baking bread, cookies, pastries, etc. With The Culinary Institute Of America (CIA), I TRUST the education they provide. First class operation / facility! I feel confident, that Chef Durfee with CIA, will be of great assistance in helping me accomplish these culinary items! :)
Date published: 2020-03-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loving it, incomplete I'm really loving this series, and while I know my way around a baking pan, I'm still learning lots of things I didn't realize, think about, understand. I would give this five stars, BUT, the recipes included in the book that goes with this series do NOT have complete directions. The oven temperature and baking time are left out! It does me no good to have a recipe booklet that doesn't include crucial information: oven temp and baking time. I guess I can Google similar recipes and guess what oven temp to use....but having paid for the course, you would think that basic information would be included.
Date published: 2020-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Six lectures doesn't seem like a lot, but this course is packed with instruction and demonstrations on all the fundamental techniques for making desserts. Baking has always been something of a black box to me personally. Not only does baking seem notoriously easy to screw up even when using commercial mixes, North American dessert recipes invariably come with dozens of ingredients and twice as many steps. Going through this course, you'll learn quickly it doesn't need to be that way. The lectures simplify everything, from the rationale behind each ingredient, to what to watch for in order to avoid problems, to presentation tricks, to ideas on how to get creative when finishing your desserts. A scale is the only thing you might be missing from the most basic of kitchen setups to take a stab at each recipe. This is a course I've gone back to again and again to make desserts for my family and friends. I can't think of a more ringing endorsement.
Date published: 2020-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An enjoyable course Learned a lot of handy little tips and I'm very happy I purchased this.
Date published: 2020-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts I bought this course to explore the exciting world of Baking Pastries and.Desserts. I am not disappointment.
Date published: 2020-01-11
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The Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
Course Trailer
Handle with Care-Basic Doughs
1: Handle with Care-Basic Doughs

Understand several basic techniques and methods you can then expand on to make a wide range of unforgettable desserts. Here, focus on organizing your workspace, methods for proper measuring, and ways to cream butter, sugar, and eggs to the right consistency. Then, watch as Chef Durfee makes cookies and pound cake and shows you what can go right-and what can go wrong as well.

36 min
Mixing It Up-Methods for Cakes
2: Mixing It Up-Methods for Cakes

Regardless of what cake you're making, they all revolve around several basic mixing methods. What are they? And what are their secrets? Chef Durfee takes you step-by-step through baking a rich devil's food cake and several egg foam cakes (a chiffon cake and an angel food cake), the latter of which helps demonstrate the right-and wrong-way to whip eggs and cool your cakes.

41 min
Blue-Ribbon Winners-Pies and Biscuits
3: Blue-Ribbon Winners-Pies and Biscuits

Here, learn everything you need to know about flaky dough, which can often be intimidating even for an experienced baker. First, gain confidence in making a buttery pie crust by learning how to mold it with your hands or pastry tools, how to blind-bake it, and even how to make an attractive latticed top. Then, explore some of the secrets to making tender, flaky biscuits and beautifully golden-brow...

38 min
Lighter Than Air-Cream Puffs
4: Lighter Than Air-Cream Puffs

Cream-puff pastry is unique in that it's a twice-cooked pastry dough. And its applications go far beyond what you'd expect. In this lesson, master the art of baking and experimenting with puff pastry and use it to create some unbelievably decadent desserts. Among these: chocolate eclairs, cream puffs, and deep-fried Mexican churros. Along the way, you'll also get tips on making pastry cream...

37 min
Simple to Elegant-Custards
5: Simple to Elegant-Custards

Vanilla-infused crème anglaise. Butterscotch pudding. Crème brulee (complete with a blowtorched sugar topping). Learn tips and tricks to wowing your dinner guests with these delectable egg-based custards, all the while strengthening your confidence in the sometimes tricky art of baking with eggs on the stovetop or in the oven. By the end of this lesson, you'll discover just wh...

43 min
Final Touches-Mousse and Dessert Sauces
6: Final Touches-Mousse and Dessert Sauces

Whip your more advanced baking skills and techniques into shape in this final lesson devoted to light and luscious mousses and creams. After learning how to make your own whipped cream, chocolate mousse, dessert sauces, and vanilla bean panna cotta, you'll watch Chef Durfee as he demonstrates the best ways to unmold, plate, and present your desserts with flair and your own unique touch-just like a...

37 min
Stephen L. Durfee

So many people are interested in learning how to bake, but they’re intimidated because they think that it is either too complicated or scientific. The truth is baking can be a lot of fun. It’s not that complicated and if you master just a few basic techniques, that’s really all you need to know to get started. 


Hamilton College


The Culinary Institute of America

About Stephen L. Durfee

Stephen L. Durfee is a Pastry Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone, where he has been on staff for more than 10 years. He is a Certified Executive Pastry Chef and a Certified Hospitality Educator. Before then, he was the Executive Pastry Chef at The French Laundry in Yountville, California. While there, he won the 1998 James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef and in 1999, he was named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Pastry Art & Design and Chocolatier magazines. Chef Durfee's extensive career includes working as a pastry chef at Charles Nob Hill in San Francisco, California, and at the Wheatleigh in Lenox, Massachusetts; and as a pastry instructor at the New York Cooking School (where he earned his certificate in pastry/baking). He also apprenticed at restaurants in Paris and ChambEry, France. Chef Durfee has also participated in and judged numerous cooking competitions and challenges. In 2007, he represented the CIA at the National Pastry Team Championships, where his team won a bronze medal. In 2010, he finished third in the World Chocolate Masters competition. In 2012, he won the position of chocolatier on the U.S. team that will compete in the Coupe du Monde de P,tisserie in Lyon, France, in 2013.

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