I am a lucky girl in so many ways. One of them is that I have a lot of really wonderful friends who are incredibly encouraging of my love for cooking and baking. (I’m sure this has absolutely, positively nothing to do with the fact that they often reap the benefit of said hobby.) It also turns out that some of them are pretty talented in the kitchen as well, and I thought it would be fun to all get together and have a baking day with the girlfriends. Finding one day that worked for four doctors was the biggest obstacle, but once we got past that, we had a blast!
Each of us chose one recipe that we wanted to make and I must say, all the choices were fantastic! I had everyone send me their recipes in advance so I could have the ingredients and necessary equipment ready for them. Before they came over, I prepared makeshift stations with the equipment and ingredients that each of us would need.
Julia made chocolate toffee shortbread bars.
Shanon made raspberry mascarpone macarons.
Ashley made crab-filled ravioli.
And I chose these éclairs filled with mocha pastry cream.
Once everyone arrived, I served a simple lunch of fontina mac and cheese, salad, and a fruit, cheese and cracker platter. We all enjoyed lunch and girl talk, and then we got busy in the kitchen! I’m sure you can imagine my excitement at having 3(!) KitchenAid mixers working all at once. This was a super fun day and I’m already looking forward to doing it again when our schedules will allow. I highly recommend coordinating a baking day with friends – it is quality time to spend together while sharing in an activity that everyone enjoys!
And as for my recipe choice, if you think I have an obsession with pastry cream…you’d be correct. I’ve been wanting to make these éclairs for a long time and baking day seemed the perfect opportunity to try them. These totally lived up to my expectations. I mean, what wouldn’t be great about a pastry filled with a thick, smooth mocha-flavored cream with a chocolate glaze on top? I wasn’t the only one who loved them. Ben acted like I had given him the best gift in the world when I let him eat the last one :)