You guys may recall my participation with the Taste of Home Cooking School several months ago when I had the opportunity to join the Southern casino circuit for the brand and honestly, it was a ton of fun. Tiring, but lots of fun. I’ve now been to four different shows and the enthusiasm the culinary specialists bring every single time is really something to partake in if they are ever in your area.
Unfortunately for me, a quick glance of the show locator reveals that they won’t be back in Louisiana anytime soon so I was super intrigued with the launch of the all new Taste of Home Cooking School online. Now, whenever I want I can hop online and purchase the course I’m interested in and bring one of their specialists right into my home.
Currently, they are offering:
Weeknight Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less
Slow Cooker Favorites
Everyday Healthy Cooking
Comfort Food Classics
Tips, Tricks & Techniques From the Test Kitchen
and a free mini class; Big & Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies
For a small fee (I’m going to extend a special discount at the bottom of the post!) you can access the course you purchase as many times as you’d like. And in your yoga pants if you prefer!! While it doesn’t replace the excitement of being at a live show, you get the same information, tips and tricks. And, you get the culinary specialist right on your screen demonstrating the recipes and offering advice. Even better? If you don’t hear something, you don’t have to raise your hand and ask a question in a room full of people, you just hit the back button.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, 9 days to be exact, I recently sat down with the Comfort Food Classics course to get my wheels turning for the holidays. Before I show you what I created here’s a few things to keep in mind as you set out to join one of the courses of your own.
First, know that these courses are comprehensive and not your typical youtube video lasting a mere 5 minutes. Each class is set up just like an online course- with an orientation, course overview, ingredient list, equipment needed, recipe instructions, video, and a question and answer area where you can communicate with the specialist and other members of the class.
With that in mind, approach it as you would if you were actually attending the class in person. Set aside some uninterrupted “you” time.
What I did, and because it was indeed “my” time, is scan the menu selection of the course I choose and went ahead and pulled out all the ingredients. I found that if you watch the videos, then hone in on one of the recipes and immediately recreate it, there’s a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes along with learning something new. And when you serve it up later that evening, the look on your special someone’s face validates the money you spent on the course.
Each course will take approximately 1- 1 1/2 hours to complete so just plop down with your computer, a favorite notebook and a cup of coffee and kick back and relax.
If you find a tip or trick you particularly find interesting, take a screen shot of it and save it to a folder labeled with the course name. You can also use this folder to house the masterpiece photos you create following the class!
Or, if you’re like me and you want to remember how to easily invert a cake….screen shot that, too!
Speaking of cake…..
I took on the Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting included in the Comfort Food Classics course.
With the addition of sour cream in the homemade devil’s food cake batter, this cake is light and moist with an indulgent frosting. The frosting, though is where I ran into some issues. I’m not sure if it was the humidity here, or the fact that I used 2% milk rather than whole milk as the instructor indicated, but my frosting was a tad too creamy.
Devil's Food Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting
- ½ cup butter (softened)
- 2¼ cups packed brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate (melted and cooled slightly)
- 2¼ cups cake flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup 8 oz. sour cream
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup butter (cubed)
- 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate (chopped)
- 3¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and cooled chocolate. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream and water, beating well after each addition.
- Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
- For frosting, in a small heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes. In a large bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating until light and fluffy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake.
Rather than panicking, I simply rewinded the video to see how our frostings varied. It was there that I learned I probably added my chocolate while it was too warm, too.
Nevertheless, I frosted my cake and set it in the refrigerator to set and all was still right with the world.
(PS: I added a little whipped cream and chocolate shavings to my cake)
That’s the beauty of the online classes. If you had messed up your frosting you learned to make at a live show, the show is over and you’re left with a recipe card. Unless you’re going to email the instructor you’re left to figure it out yourself.
Now, you can just watch the video over and over and see where you went wrong.
How do you feel about online courses? Are the online cooking school courses something you’d be interested in?
If so, I have a special $10 off discount code for you!
Simply go to the Taste of Home Cooking School Online website, select your class (currently only $14.95!) and enter Tenoff for $10 off your purchase!
Now is the time to try it if you’re at all curious- $4.95 is seriously less than the price of a Happy Meal.
I have the Slow Cooker Favorites up next because with all this cold weather we’re getting something warm and ready when I walk through the door is right up my alley.
Drop me an email if you have any questions and be sure to let me know which classes you’re trying!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Taste of Home. The opinions and text are all mine.