Bakers Journal

Dawn draws crowd to first Baker’s Gathering

May 24, 2011
By Bakers Journal

dawnbakersgatheringMay 24, Barrie, ON – Showcasing products and sharing knowledge were on the agenda at the first Dawn Baker's Gathering.

The May 17 event brought together more than 60 suppliers, distributors and bakers at Georgian College in Barrie, Ont. Throughout the day, students enrolled in Georgian’s culinary programs joined established bakers to tour the various supplier and vendor booths and sample new products.

Several students were also chosen to serve as chef’s assistants, helping out with the demonstrations running throughout the day.

Bakers Journal sat in on some of those demos, and we’ve brought back some great tips to help you up your game.


Over the course of two Barry Callebaut chocolate demonstrations, Jospeh Montinaro (owner and head chef at Dolcini by Joseph, in Kleinburg, Ont.) shared the following helpful hints for working with chocolate.

  • When melting chocolate, keep it in temper so that you can start working with it right away. If you do bring it out of temper, don’t panic; bring your chocolate up to temperature,josephmontinaro seed and add heat.
  • You can safely microwave your chocolate in a stainless steel bowl, provided the bowl doesn’t touch the sides of the microwave. This is quicker than the stovetop method. It also eliminates the danger of steam from boiling water ruining the crystallization of your chocolate.
  • If you’ve used a food processor to transform dark chocolate callets into a pliable dough, you can begin working with your chocolate immediately; white chocolate dough should be left overnight. Both dark and white chocolate dough will harden enough to feature as an element in a showpiece.

juliebashoreLater in the day, Julie Bashore (of Lancaster, Penn.’s Julie Bashore’s School of Cake Decorating & Confectionery Art) offered the following tips and tricks to create beautifully decorated cakes during an hour-long Satin Ice demonstration.

  • Cornstarch and powdered sugar dry out fondant and can lead to cracking. To keep fondant from sticking, slather some shortening on your hands before getting started.
  • Knead the fondant into itself; kneading as you prepare pie dough introduces air and can lead to air bubbles.
  • Many hot wedding trends are inspired by awards show fashion. Keep an eye on the Oscar and Golden Globe red carpets to find out what couples will want on their special days.
  • When crafting cakes in humid weather, mix gum paste into your fondant. This will keep the fondant from falling off the cake. Bashore recommends 25 per cent gum paste, by weight. She does this for all outdoor weddings, even when there’s no humidity forecasted.

The Baker’s Gathering was the first of three events Dawn plans to host in the Ontario region this year.

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