Recommended Tools and Equipment

Chef’s Knife

  • 8-inch blade
  • high-carbon stainless steel
  • molded plastic handle
  • substantial but lightweight
  • comfortable grip
  • Try before you buy — what’s comfortable for me may not be best for you

Wusthof Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife

Global 8-inch Chef’s Knife

J.A. Henckels 8-inch Chef’s Knife

Paring Knife

  • 3-4 inch blade
  • comfortable grip

Wusthof Classic 3.5-inch Paring Knife

Global 3-inch Paring Knife

J.A. Henckels 4-inch Paring Knife

Serrated Knife

  • 8-12 inch blade

Wusthof Gourmet 8-inch Serrated Bread Knife

Sharpening Steel

Wusthof 10-inch Sharpening Steel

Cutting Board

  • I prefer plastic
  • The bigger the better — at least 15″x20″
  • dishwasher safe
  • You want it to have some weight so it stays on your counter and doesn’t scoot around

OXO Good Grips Cutting and Carving Board – 15″x21″

Bench Scraper

OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Stainless Steel Scraper and Chopper


Microplane 46220 Premium Zester/Grater



Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Perfect Peeler


Jungle Jim’s German Baking Class Notes

Facebook Group

People Who Love to Eat is my Facebook Group exclusively for students from my classes. If you have questions from class, need help with a recipe, or just want to chat, it’s the best place to get ahold of me. I hope everyone will join and participate. Please post photos of what you bake, share great finds, and ask questions. Anything food, cooking, or baking is fair game! Click the link below and request to join via the button on the right side of the screen.

Click here to join the People Who Love to Eat Facebook Community


Baking with a Scale

The best way to become a better baker is to start using a scale and measuring your ingredients by weight rather than volume.  The following photo is a link to the scale I had in class. This is my favorite scale in terms of durability, functionality, and affordability. I recommend ordering it from Amazon.


Baking Cups to Grams Conversion Chart

I created a chart that gives you the conversions many of the most used baking ingredients. This is a handy tool to print out and keep in your kitchen. You can download it by clicking the box below and following the prompts.

Click Here to Download the Cups to Grams Baking Conversion Chart



Black Forest Cake

One theory is that the Black Forest Cake was inspired by the traditional costumes worn by the women in the Black Forest region of Germany. The whipped cream represents the white blouse, the chocolate shavings represent the black dress, and the cherries represent the hat.



Proofing Dough in Cambro Food Storage Containers

Cambros are my favorite containers for proofing bread and dough. They are also great for storing big batches of soup, granola, etc. There are all different sizes and shapes but I think 4-6 quart containers are pretty good for proofing dough.


Lebkuchen Hearts

Here’s an example of the lebkuchen hearts sold in Germany for Oktoberfest and Valentine’s Day




You can use any Kirschwasser but here’s a photo of a bottle I purchased at Party Source recently. It was the smallest, most affordable bottle and I was happy with the quality. It’s made in Oregon, not Germany, so I was still breaking German Law. I know there are some authentic German versions available at Party Source too.


Desserts Around the World at Cooks’Wares – Class Notes

Facebook Group

If you want to join the Facebook group, you can click this link and I’ll approve your request to join. You can post questions, photos of anything you made, or links to interesting articles. The name of the group implies that it’s just about dessert, but it’s really a place to discuss anything cooking related. I hope to see you all in the group!

Baking Conversion Chart

In class, we talked about baking with weight, as opposed to volume. I mentioned that I have created a handy conversion chart. If you are interested in downloading the chart, you can do so by clicking here.

Recommended Ingredients and Tools

Here are links to the products we talked about in class. I have them linked on my site for easy access but I’m not selling them personally. Amazon has an affiliate program where I will get a few pennies of commission if you buy something using the link from my site. Woo hoo!

I’ve just added this shop feature to my site, and as I have time, I’ll continue to update it with my recommended products and ingredients.

If you buy guava paste and are looking for other ways to use it, here’s a list of ideas from The Kitchn.

Pie Dough Tutorials

If you go to my blog, I have full tutorials on how to make my pie dough. Here are the links:

All-Butter Pie Dough: How to Mix the Dough

How to Roll Out Pie Dough

Passionfruit Puree

We didn’t use passionfruit puree in class, but I had someone ask me about it. the brand I recommend is Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. Unfortunately, their shipping is crazy expensive too. Most of these purees come frozen, so they have to overnight them. If you know anyone with a restaurant, you could ask them to check with their purveyors and get them for you. I do know you can easily find passionfruit juice. It’s listed here on Amazon but I’ve also purchased it at Whole Foods. You could also check with Jungle Jim’s and see if that’s something they carry or could order for you.

Coconut Cake

Last night I was asked if I have a good recipe for coconut cake. I don’t have a go-to, but here are some ideas:

Seven-Layer Coconut Cake from Frank Stitt

The Ultimate Coconut Cake from Add a Pinch

Coconut Layer Cake from The New York Times

Something to Watch this Weekend

Has anyone seen Cooked on Netflix? It’s a Michael Pollan documentary and it’s a must-watch. Let me know what you think.


I thought it would be fun to share a few photos that relate to the desserts we made last night…

Here’s me learning how to make tarte tatin in Paris. I wrote a blog post about the experience which you can read here.

Paris Travel Journal-15

So perfect… The key is using very small, similar sized apples. But remember, it’s meant to be a rustic, country dessert… so it doesn’t have to look perfect!!

Paris Travel Journal-17

These are some desserts from a cake in Budapest. The dobos torte is on the right. The other dessert was called a Kreme and it was made from layers of puff pastry and a custard cream filling.


Close up of the dobos. Notice the sprinkles on the edge so the sides don’t have to look perfect? Dobos_Torte-2

Remember the Hungarian tradition where the bakers compete to win ‘cake of the year’ and then all the bakeries have to sell their cake? The amber colored cake in the middle was the 2015 winner.  It was made from caramelized peanut, apricot schnapps, cocao butter, apricot cream, milk chocolate mousse, and peanut and caramel topping. It was actually gluten-free and made with almond flour. I had the chance to try it and it was a very interesting flavor combination but quite good.



More Hungarian desserts…


And now for some photos from my baklava tour experience…

I snapped a few photos from the CEOs office. Aside from the awards you can see, the walls were covered with photos of the CEO with famous people and dignitaries from around the world.


This is the CEO. The company has been in his family for years.


The first of many photos with him…


In the baklava production room. That’s an entire cart of pistachios.


Like I said, we took photos to show every part of the process.


This is one of the master cutters. His only job was to cut the trays of baklava. They were perfectly straight and even every time.



Another type of baklava with a pistachio cream filling.


A vat of clarified butter


The rolling room. All of the dough is rolled by hand.


Very powerful ovens..


Vats of hot syrup



This man’s job was simply to pour the syrup on the baklava




The finished baklava


Baklava for sale at their store


Don’t forget the Turkish people!!

I hope to see everyone at another class soon, and in the meantime, stay in touch by email or in the Facebook group.

French Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

The French Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart on a decorative cake stand

I have a tendency to overdo it when I travel. I get excited and want to do everything. The more guidebooks and blogs I read, the more plans I make. My friends and family remind me that “You can’t do everything” and I politely ignore their advice.

This was the case during my last trip to Paris. By the time I left for the airport, I had something planned for nearly every minute of the six days I was staying in the city. The trip started off well and every meal, tour, and experience was beyond my expectations. I was on a traveler’s high but eventually, the jetlag and exhaustion from going non-stop set in and I hit a wall. That’s not a good feeling when you’re in the first few days of over a month of non-stop travel.

By the fourth day of my trip, I was exhausted. I stayed out way too late (blame it on Anto!) and was planning on ‘calling in sick’ to the cooking class I had scheduled for the next morning. I had visions of sleeping in, getting room service, and taking it easy.

Luckily my fear-of-missing-out kicked in and I got my butt out of bed and headed up to Montmartre for the Cook’n with Class Morning Market Class. Although my head hurt and I was running on 3 hours of sleep, I wasn’t about to waste a precious day in Paris.

The French Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart next to a slice of the tart.

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