Get Some Class

HRM Cooking School Experts help you find some lovin' from your oven



Ron Ben-Israel of Food Network Fame

Class, grab your forks and take your seats. The Hampton Roads Magazine Cooking School is once again in session.

With the upcoming visit of Food Network’s Sweet Genius, Ron Ben-Israel, to the Mid-Atlantic Home & Garden Show on March 3 (more details are in the Local Flavor column in this section), we have baking on the brain.

So we went to the experts—the folks who will be competing at the home/garden show in the Tiny Temptations Cake Competition (which Ben-Israel will be judging)— and asked them some common questions when it comes to all-things pastry. Here are their answers:

How long baking overall? 34 years
How long baking professionally? 34 years
Favorite baking tool? long blade spatula
Are white sugar and brown sugar interchangeable in a recipe, and why or why not? Sugar can be interchangeable, but using brown sugar adds a hint of burnt caramel to the pastry.
Why do recipes call for toasted nuts, and how do I toast them? To bring out the flavor in the nut; toast (on a cookie sheet in a single layer) in an oven at 350F until you smell the toasted nut aroma (stirring occasionally, about 8–10 minutes).
What is the best way to store a cake or cupcakes to keep them freshest longest? Wrap just as it cools and store in the freezer.