Students learned how to bake a triple chocolate date torte, a lemon polenta cake, almond chocolate chip cookies, and ginger snap cookies with pecans during the Alternative Sweeteners class, the third class in the Sitka Kitch’s three-course Baking With Betsy series, held July 17 at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen.
The Sitka Kitch class series is being taught by professional baker and culinary skills instructor Betsy Peterson Sanchez of St. Charles, Ill.
In addition to the Sweet Breads class, the other two classes were :
- Savory Breads (Pretzels, Bagels, Crackers) — held on Tuesday, July 3
- Sweet Breads (Cinnamon Rolls, Coffee Braids, Brioche) — held on Tuesday, July 10
Betsy comes from a long line of people who love to cook and that passion has been passed down to her. Although Betsy considered a career in music, she happily decided to go into what she loved the most, baking and cooking.
Betsy headed for New York and attended the Culinary Institute of America, receiving a degree in culinary arts. Then it was off to Chicago to work as a pastry chef in several different establishments. Baking is Betsy’s first love, particularly yeast breads.
After a career as a pastry chef and raising her family, she went back to school. Betsy attended The French Pastry School in Chicago for a certificate in French Pastry as well as a continuing education course in Artisan Breads. Currently, Betsy teaches in a Culinary Program at a community college in Glen Ellyn, Ill. She is a member of The Baker’s Guild and a Chef Mentor for Fox Valley Food For Health, a non-profit providing healthy meals for families going through devastating illnesses.
Betsy is so excited to be spending part of the summer in Sitka, where she plans to spend as much time as possible with her daughter, Claire Sanchez, and enjoy the beauty of Alaska.
Classes in this series had a reduced food/supply fee thanks to a donation from Sea Mart Quality Foods.
The next Sitka Kitch class is being held from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, in conjunction with the Sitka Seafood Festival, when Beak Restaurant owner-chef Renée Jakaitis Trafton will teach people how to fillet a salmon. This class costs $30 (no food/supply fee), and each student will receive a new fillet knife.
A slideshow of scenes from the alternative sweeteners class is posted below.