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sugar schoolyard: september 2010

September 6, 2010
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Here’s what’s in store for September by way of Austin dessert classes.

Central Market North Lamar

  • Sweet and Savory Breads with David Norman
    - Learn from the best! Veteran boulanger and Annie’s master baker David Norman, who has worked at such famous bakeries as Upper Crust in Seattle and the legendary Bouley Bakery in New York, will celebrate Central Texas culture by sharing a variety of bread-baking techniques.
    - Menu: Sourdough Barbecue Buns, Sweet & Savory Kolaches, Alsatian Kugelhopf
    - $50 class fee; 33 seats available. Saturday, September 18, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Rather Sweet Double Take with cookbook author/pastry chef Rebecca Rather
    - Indulge in Rebecca’s delightful fall menu, showcasing local seasonal produce and cheeses. Samples will be paired with specialty beers.
    - Menu: Sweet Potato Scones; Jailhouse Potato Cinnamon Rolls; Southern Comfort Apple Pie; Apple Spiced Layer Cake with Caramel Swirl Icing; Savory Crab & Shrimp Cheesecake with Baby Greens in Balsamic Vinaigrette; and Individual Chocolate-Dipped Cheesecake Bites.
    - $55; 31 seats available. Monday, September 27, 6:30 – 9 p.m.

Whole Foods North Lamar Culinary Center

  • Tartine: A San Francisco Classic with culinary center pastry chef Christy Hughes
    - Tartine, the beloved neighborhood bakery and café in San Francisco, is the inspiration for this baking class, which includes favorites from the award-winning Tartine cookbook. The philosophy is simple: fresh, seasonal ingredients and attention to detail will ensure great results.
    - Menu: Almond Lemon Tea Cake; Cherry Amaretto Clafouti; Chocolate Friands; Chocolate Almond Toffee.
    - $65 class fee. Saturday, September 11, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Macarons with pastry chef instructor Summer Pruett-Gosnay
    - Move over, cupcakes, here come macaroons! Learn the traditional French techniques to produce beautiful and delicious macaroons.
    - Menu: Vanilla Macaroons with Strawberry Preserves; Lemon Macaroons with Lemon Butter Cream; Vanilla Macaroons with Blueberry White Chocolate; Chocolate Macaroons with Orange Chocolate Ganache.
    - $65 class fee. Wednesday, September 15, 6:30 – 9 p.m.
  • Perfect Pie Dough Workshop with pastry chef Tracey Heffernen
    - Achieve the perfect crust to cradle your favorite pie fillings.
    - Learn to make the ultimate pie dough from scratch, then explore different decorative methods, including lattice work, braided trim, fluted trim, double pie crust and empanadas/turnovers.
    - $65 class fee. Saturday, September 18, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Pastry Workshop: Pâte à Choux with pastry chef Christy Hughes
    - When it comes to pastry doughs, pâte à choux is in a class by itself. Although the process of preparing dishes with pâte à choux may initially appear daunting, it is often much simpler than preparing dishes with other forms of pastry. In this class you will learn to make both sweet and savory pate a choux.
    - Menu: Herbed Ricotta Gnocchi; Mushroom Duxelle; Vanilla Cream Puffs; Profiteroles with Ice Cream; Cinnamon and Sugar Churros.
    - $65 class fee. Thursday, September 30, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop

  • Bake Sale! with pastry chef Andrea Leck
    - Remember those bake sale fundraisers your school would have, and your mom or dad would make their famous cookies or cake that would sell like crazy and save the day? Now that you’re an adult, is your solution to go out and buy it from a store so your kid can sell it for less than you paid for it? Fear not! Sugar Mama’s is here to help, and just in time.
    - Students will observe our teacher going over the basics of measuring, mixing, and baking pumpkin loaves, brownies, and cookies. At the end, each student gets a copy of the recipes as well as an assorted box of goodies.
    - $65/person or $60/person with a friend. Call the bakery during normal business hours to reserve your spot. Sunday, September 19, 6 – 8:30 p.m.

hot & boozy hatch bread pudding

August 30, 2010

Guess what? Yours truly is one of 14 competitors in Whole Foods’ first-ever #ATXFoodFight with Hatch chiles. I received a goodie bag with a pound of hot Hatch chiles and a $25 Whole Foods gift card; in exchange, I created a Hatch-inspired dessert recipe – Hot & Boozy Hatch Bread Pudding.

I honestly wish this were a taste test and not a Twitter retweet contest, because this is the recipe I’m most proud of. The Hatch-infused bourbon sauce warms all the way down, and the heat level is subtle. The further into the bread pudding you get, the spicier it gets, thanks to the candied Hatch studded throughout. I like to think of this as my feisty Southern belle of a dessert.

So if you haven’t already, please cast your vote by retweeting me before midnight tonight. The winner with the most retweets (per unique Twitter handle) wins $100 – enough for me to make many batches of Hot & Boozy Hatch Bread Pudding for each of you who voted!

Hot & Boozy Hatch Bread Pudding
Makes 8-10 servings

Hatch chile-infused bourbon:
375 ml bottle of bourbon whiskey
4 roasted Hatch chiles (hot), diced

Candied Hatch chile:
½ c sugar
½ c water
2 tbs Hatch chile from bourbon infusion

Bread pudding:
1 loaf French bread, at least 1 day old, cut into 1” squares
1 qt milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c sugar
2 tbsp vanilla
1 c raisins
Candied Hatch chile
¼ tsp allspice
½ tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Bourbon sauce:
½ c (1 stick) butter, melted
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 c Hatch chile-infused bourbon

Bourbon infusion:
Dice four roasted Hatch chiles and place in glass jar with tight-fitting lid. Add bourbon and infuse to taste, or about 20 hours. Strain liquid back into bourbon bottle; reserve Hatch chiles.

Candied Hatch chile:
Cook sugar and water over medium low. Simmer and reduce by 1/3, or until thin syrup consistency. Finely mince 4 tbs of Hatch chile from bourbon infusion; add to saucepan. Lower heat and cook 2 hours. Strain liquid, reserving candied chile.

Bread Pudding:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Soak bread in milk in large mixing bowl. Press with hands until well mixed and all milk absorbed.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, and spices together. Gently stir into bread mixture, then add raisins and candied Hatch chile into mixture. Pour butter into bottom of 9”x13” baking pan. Coat bottom and sides of pan well with butter. Pour in bread mix and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to one hour, until set. Pudding is done when edges begin to brown and pull away from the edge of the pan.

Bourbon Sauce:
In saucepan, melt butter; add sugar and egg, whisking to blend well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. (Do not allow to simmer, or it may curdle.) Whisk in Hatch chile-infused bourbon. Remove from heat. Whisk before serving. Sauce should be soft, creamy, and smooth.

Serve bread pudding with bourbon whiskey sauce poured on to taste.

coolhaus ice cream sandwiches

August 26, 2010

Say goodbye to plain old vanilla and chocolate – and hello to Los Angeles transplant CoolHaus. Opened in Austin just a week and a half ago, this custom ice cream sandwich trailer offers ice cream flavors like balsamic fig & marscapone and brown butter with candied bacon. And then there are the cookies, like snickerdoodle or ginger.

I was torn between the lambrusco ice cream (red-wine reduction with cinnamon and pepper) and fig & marscapone, so they offered me samples of both. The fig ice cream was truly incredible with hunks of fresh fig, but the lambrusco hit the spot.

Here’s my sandwich: ginger cookie and lambrusco ice cream ($4). The ginger was wonderfully balanced against the peppery, earthy red wine, and warmed by a touch of cinnamon. Oh, and they serve these desserts in an edible wrapper! Bonus points for zero waste.

Matt’s ice cream sandwich combo: oatmeal cookie and brown butter with candied bacon ice cream. This was what was left of it by the time I managed to snap a few photos of mine.

I’ve got to say, CoolHaus’ trailer is by far the cutest trailer I’ve ever seen. If I could somehow wrap my arms around it to hug it, I would. Shamelessly.

Here’s how it works.

CoolHaus roams Austin, so follow them on Twitter to see where they’ll be next (look for the tweets that begin with “ATX”). They were at Mueller the day I tracked them down.

Stay tuned for an interview with CoolHaus creators Christine and Nathan.

mama’s cake doughnut from gourdough’s

August 20, 2010

Although probably akin to stating the sky is blue, I’m throwing it out there nonetheless: Gourdough’s is awesome. What’s not to love about a made-to-order dessert trailer? With big, fat doughnuts at that.

I’ve ordered my fair share of Gourdough’s creations over the past year or so, but I keep coming back to Mama’s Cake ($3.25) for a reason.

Imagine the best birthday cake you’ve ever had.

Then imagine it served warm, the buttery yellow cake batter filling dripping with chocolate fudge icing, and comforting in a way that only an ungodly amount of deep-fried carbs can be.

You had me at “made to order,” Gourdough’s.

Gourdough’s, 1219 S Lamar Blvd (in trailer park with Odd Duck), Austin. Sunday 10 a.m. – midnight; Monday – Tuesday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.; Wednesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Friday 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 a.m. Follow Gourdough’s on Twitter. Credit cards accepted.

cupcake smackdown 2.0

August 18, 2010
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Are you stoked about this Saturday? ‘Cause you have every reason to be. It’s Cupcake Smackdown 2.0, which involves everything from an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records to unicorns to a cupcake cannon.

Jennie Chen‘s Cupcake Smackdown is already well promoted, so I’ll direct you to Relish Austin and Challenge 52 for all the details.

This is an event after my own heart. I’ll be there. Will you?


Cupcake Smackdown 2.0. Saturday, August 21, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Located at Le Cordon Blue (3110 Esperanza Crossing Ste 100) and The Westin (11301 Domain Dr). Bring cash and leave Fido at home.

deep-fried twinkie at 219west

August 13, 2010

This week’s deep-fried friday: the Fried Twinkie from 219West. Kind of like deep-fried cake, especially with the creamy filling and strawberry dipping sauce.

219West, despite its frattiness, is still my favorite place in Austin for a fried Twinkie. This dessert is gussied up with powdered sugar and presented beautifully for what it is. And there’s something about the jammy strawberry sauce that makes it feel slightly less like caloric suicide.

Here’s the golden dessert in all its glory.


219West, 219 W 4th St., Austin. 512.474.2194. Food served Monday-Wednesday 5 – 11 p.m. and until midnight Thursday-Saturday. 21 and up after 5 p.m.

sour cream cookies

August 11, 2010

When I came across the recipe for Sour Cream Cookies many months ago, I had to cut it out of the Wheatsville newsletter. My boyfriend loves the sour cream doughnuts at H-E-B, and I hoped this recipe would be the cookie equivalent.

Ultimately, these glazed cookies are too lemony to be comparable. But this dessert’s light and unbelievably moist – and I may or may not happen to know they’re superb for breakfast.

Sour Cream Cookies


  • 3 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest


  • 3 c powdered sugar
  • 6 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Read more…


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