May 26, 2016
Brettschneider’s Baking & Cooking School is founded by Dean Brettschneider, the brain behind local artisan bakery and foodstore Baker & Cook. Known as the Global Baker, Dean is internationally recognized, with twelve award-winning cookbooks and a history in TV presenting.
He works with a team of dedicated chefs and cooks to offer a variety of classes to students of all abilities, whether advanced learners or beginners. (We were definitely the latter.) With different cuisines and techniques, I’m sure all eager learners will be able to find something that suits them.
The facility has an open concept, with a kitchen area where classes are conducted and a dining area for students to sit and enjoy a meal.With little to no talent in the kitchen, we were slightly apprehensive. Thankfully, the cooking school welcomed us with its bright, airy spaces and a delightful selection of cookies and chocolates to nibble on.
The school is styled in white and silver for a modern, sleek look. I was quite impressed with their provision of state of the art culinary equipment, from multi-coloured Kenwood Mixers to utterly amazing non-stick SCANPAN cookware, that made cooking more efficient and a great deal less laborious.
A brief introduction to our chef of the day, Terri-Anne is a modern Superwoman, who has managed concurrently to run a popular blog, Carrotsticks and Cravings, pen a cookbook of the same title AND raise three young children. Her recipes are healthy and delicious, with no compromise on flavour.
We attended her Healthy School Snacks class, which features recipes for nutritious meals and snack ideas for children.
We started our class by learning how to prepare Chia and Kale Tortillas from scratch, with a plethora of fresh ingredients provided by the school.
Terri-Anne gave us a clear, detailed demonstration of the steps to perform before letting us try our hand at making the dough, so her class was easy to follow and simple enough for such a klutz as myself.
I felt that Terri-Anne’s incorporation of Chia Seed and Kale juice into the dough was an ingenious way at boosting the nutritional value of an otherwise plain carb. Perfect for parents who need to hide veggies in the meals of picky children.
The end result were eight beautiful balls of tortilla dough that we let rest while we moved on to more delightful creations.
The next thing we whipped up were Nut-Free Granola Bars. I was rather excited about these because I enjoy granola, but have always resorted to store-bought boxed granola as I’ve never considered making some on my own.
The classes at Brettschneider’s Baking and Cooking School also come with printed, step-by-step recipes, great to take home for practice.
I was surprised to find that making my own granola could be as simple as blending the wet ingredients of banana, honey and coconut oil, mixing them with dry oats, seeds and coconut flakes and baking them till golden-brown and beautiful.
For an extra indulgent touch, Terri-Anne melted down some dark chocolate and coconut oil, and we drizzled this onto our freshly-baked granola bars.
The result? Totally photo-worthy, crisp granola bars which I sliced up and took home with me, to the delight of my family. I must say these were my favourite bake of the day.
The final item we made was the Jaffa Energy Balls, a quick yet tasty no-bake recipe. Terri-Anne told us how this recipe was inspired by McVities Jaffa Cakes (mini orange-jam-filled cakes coated in chocolate), which she adores but avoids because they aren’t exactly the healthiest snacks.
I didn’t mind getting my hands dirty for this recipe, soaking Medjool dates and mixing them with cocoa powder, oats and orange zest. In fact, it was quite fun.
We even coated them in desiccated coconut. Biting into one of these was almost like having a truffle — sweet and chocolatey, although slightly grittier and definitely more nutritious.
Nearing lunch time, we returned once again to our Tortilla dough balls to prepare ourselves a healthy lunch.
We were taught to roll them out and dry-fry our tortilla dough, which is precisely when the non-stick pans were put to good use.
We had our wraps with a simple Chicken Breast filling, and ended our class officially with a hearty meal that we’d prepared ourselves, served with a side of juice or glass of wine.
In all, I’d say Brettschneider Baking and Cooking School’s lessons are a great experience. The whole lesson is interactive and engaging, and gives one the opportunity to learn and practice in a fully-equipped kitchen.
Their classes may be slightly pricier than other cooking schools, but I find the disparity quite justified by the premium ingredients used in their recipes, such as Avocado Oil and popular superfoods like Chia and Flaxseed, as well as the top-notch appliances available for use.
If you can’t find the time to attend a class but still want to prepare great food for yourself and your family, you can always get yourself a cookbook such as Terri-Anne Leske’s Carrotsticks and Cravings here.
Expected Damage: $180/pax for a Healthy School Snacks class, though prices differ based on class length and type.