Monday, 27 March 2017

Teaching and Learning with Technology

My experiences throughout this course as well as with genius hour have not only helped me to discover baking as a new passion, but have also helped me to gain confidence as an educator that I will be able to effectively implement technology into my future classroom.

When I first started this course I did not feel as though I had all of the necessary skills in order to use technology effectively in a classroom setting. I knew about various tools but was unsure of how they could be used to foster learning. I now feel as though I have an invisible backpack full of resources that I am eager to use in my own classroom. I have gained experience using everything from different ways I can gamify my classroom to simple tools such as google forms.

I have also had such a positive experience with genius hour that I am looking forward to completing genius hour projects with my future students. Throughout the course I found myself reflecting on different ways I could adapt our genius hour project in my future classroom. I think that it has the potential to be an engaging and impactful project within the context of a french classroom.

I am more excited than ever to be a 21st century educator where we have the privilege of using technology to enhance our students learning and make their classroom experiences more meaningful.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Genius Hour: Week 7

Vanilla Bean Soufflé

For the final week of my genius hour project I decided to make the dreaded....soufflé!! I thought this would be a fitting way to end my genius hour project as this dessert is by far the most challenging one I have made to date. Soufflés also have a stereotype of being a near impossible dish to make correctly. Although this was intimidating it was also motivating as I wanted to see if I could beat the stereotype and end my genius hour project with a bang. 

Making these vanilla bean soufflés ended up being the most challenging and rewarding baking experience I have had to date. I am so eager to share this experience with you through this blog post! You can find the recipe that I followed through the following link


1 vanilla bean/ pod
5 eggs
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 flour
1 cup and 1 tablespoon full fat milk 
powdered sugar for sprinkling 
1 tbsp butter for the ramekins 
1/4 cup caster sugar for the ramekins 
4 ramekins 


1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit 
2. Prepare the 4 ramekins, this step is very important and if done correctly will help your soufflés rise.  Melt the butter and lightly brush the inside of each ramekin. Using the 1/4 cup of caster sugar scoop 2 teaspoons into each ramekin. Roll the sugar around coating the inside surface of each ramekin. Tap out any excess sugar. 

3. Using a pairing knife, split the vanilla pod length wise. 

4. Separate your eggs. You will need 5 egg whites and 3 egg yolks in separate bowls. 

5. Add the 1/3 cup caster sugar into the bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk together these ingredients until the mixture becomes very light yellow in colour and has a mousse like texture. 

6. Add the flour into the yolk mixture, whisking until combined. 

7. Pour the milk into a pot over medium heat. 
7. Scrape in the vanilla seeds and place the pod in the milk as well. 

8. Remove the milk from the heat just before it reaches boiling point. 
9. Discard of the vanilla pod. Pour the milk over the yolk mixture a little bit at a time whisking continuously until combined. 

10. Pour the mixture back into the pot whisking continuously until it reaches a boil. 

11. Simmer for 2-3 minutes whisking continuously. 
12. Transfer the mixture into a separate clean bowl. 
13. Using an electric mixer, mix the egg whites until airy, fluffy, and able to form soft peaks. 

14. Whisk about 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture. Do not whisk too vigorously or you will risk taking the air out of the whites.

15. With a metal spoon GENTLY fold in the remaining two thirds of the whites. It is very important that the whites are folded in gently and carefully. 

16. Fill each of the ramekins to the top, and smooth over. 

17. Wipe the edges of each ramekin so that the soufflés do not get caught on any residue as they rise. 

18. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR until they are ready. 

19. You will know the soufflés are done when they have substantially risen and are golden brown on top with white sides. 
20. Carefully remove the ramekins from the oven and sprinkle them with icing sugar. 

21. Serve immediately, and enjoy! 


I am so thrilled with the results of my soufflés, and honestly, I am very proud of myself for even attempting to make them. Keeping in mind that I had never made or even tasted a soufflé prior to today, I went into this baking experience expecting that they would not turn out. The process of making these soufflés was tedious and there were a lot of precise steps to follow. I will admit, that at time I grew frustrated through the process and making these soufflés took all of my attention. When the soufflés were finally in the oven, the waiting game began. This was probably the hardest part. I actually sat in front of the oven for the entire 15 minutes watching my soufflés rise and hoping that they would turn out. When my timer finally went off, I carefully removed the soufflés from the oven and was shocked with how amazing they looked!! 

They were golden brown on the top, white on the sides, and they had risen just as much as the ones pictured in the recipe I followed! I was over the moon! I quickly took photos, sprinkled the icing sugar on top, and plated my desserts. During this process I also frantically called my mom into the kitchen to show her my soufflés before they started to deflate. I had overcome the soufflé stereotype...but now it was time to taste them. My mom and I both tried a soufflé and the decision was unanimous, WE LOVED THEM. These soufflés were honestly sooooo delicious. The butter and sugar that lined the ramekins had caramelized to make the outsides crisp and sweet. The insides were light, fluffy, and full of a delicious vanilla bean flavour. Needless to say we both finished our soufflés very quickly. 

I am so proud of what I have accomplished with these soufflés and throughout my entire genius hour project. Baking has truly become a passion of mine, and I will continue to embark on new baking adventures even as this project comes to a close. Thank you for following my journey with genius hour! 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Genius Hour: Week 6

Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Butter Cream Frosting 

For week six of my genius hour project I made lemon cupcakes with blackberry butter cream frosting. I used a recipe from a blog I found on Pinterest. I was excited to try out this recipe, however I was not expecting it to be as challenging as it ended up being. The recipe said that it should take around 1 hour start to ended up taking me 2 1/2 hours to finish these cupcakes by the time everything was made, had cooled, and was decorated. Although my genius hour project this week turned into a genius two and a half hour project, the cupcakes turned out pretty well!  

In case you have some free time and would like to try out these cupcakes for yourself, I have documented the process below so that you can follow along.

Ingredients: Lemon Cupcakes 

1 3/4 cups flour 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream 
1/2 cup milk 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
2 large egg whites (room temperature) 
4 ounces unsalted butter (melted) 
1 cup granulated sugar 
Zest from 1 lemon 

Instructions: Lemon Cupcakes 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper liners. (I found really cute easter cupcake liners in my kitchen so I decided to make mini easter cupcakes using the liners).

2. Separate your egg whites and let them sit aside until at room temperature. As you can see in the video below this took a couple tries for me to perfect...its harder than they make it look on tv!!

3. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, milk, vanilla, and egg whites.

5. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar. (This helps to rub the flavour from the lemon zest into the sugar).

6. Beat the melted butter and sugar together until combined.

7. Add in the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, beat until combined.

8. Add in the milk mixture and beat until combined.

9. Fill your cupcake liners with the batter. Bake for 16 minutes. (10 minutes if using mini muffins like I did).

10. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before icing.

Ingredients: Blackberry Butter Cream Frosting 

1 cup blackberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
8 ounces unsalted butter (softened) 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
4 cups icing sugar 

Instructions: Blackberry Butter Cream Frosting 

1. Place the blackberries and lemon juice in a pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir constantly until the blackberries mash easily.

2. Using a strainer push the puree through the strainer to catch any seeds or larger chunks. Let the mixture cool.

3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until completely smooth.

4. Add the blackberry puree into the butter mixture and beat until combined.

5. Add in the icing sugar one cup at a time beating until combined and smooth.

6. Ice the cupcakes and finish off with a blackberry on the top!


The cupcakes turned out very well and they tasted good too. The lemon flavour from the cupcakes worked well with the blackberry frosting. However, I wasn't as keen for the texture of the butter cream frosting. I had never previously made or tried butter cream frosting and it is not my favourite, simply because of the buttery texture. I think that these cupcakes are very taste specific meaning that some people will really like them while others may find them too sweet or rich. The majority of my friends really liked the cupcakes and my roommates ate multiple in one night. 

I probably won't make these cupcakes again simply because of how time consuming they were. Waiting for the cupcakes to cool, and then waiting for the blackberry puree to cool before I could continue with the frosting took up a lot of time. 

This genius hour process has helped me to realize that I do have a passion for baking and that it is something I will continue after this course ends. That being said, I have also realized that I need to be in the right mood to actually enjoy baking. Tonight I came home after a long day at school, going to the gym, and working on assignments and really didn't feel like baking. Unfortunately, this made the process of making these cupcakes feel more like a chore instead of something to enjoy as I had throughout the previous weeks of my genius hour project. I am relieved to be done week 6 and I am planning to set aside uninterrupted time next week to complete my final genius hour baking project so that I can enjoy it!!