Masterclass- Joanne Chang, Bake Like a Pro

Now, this is how you learn!

O, previously I’d been a bit critical of Masterclass, questioning if people could actually learn from the platform. But now I’m here to apologise, to apologise for jumping to those conclusions after sitting through only a handful of classes. As to that point, I hadn’t experienced ‘Sessions’.

For those who aren’t familiar with Masterclass, most recently they have introduced a subsection of Masterclasses called ‘Sessions’, here instead of just sitting back and watching lessons like any other TV show, now you play a more active part in your learning.

For example, you’re no longer able to just cast the content to your TV, but you must watch it off a device where you can interact with the Masterclass’ website. And that’s the first thing you’ll notice, as you attempt to cast the content, so you can just passively learn, all of a sudden there isn’t a cast option!? So, suddenly we had to pull out our laptop, and set it up at the dining table, where we usually consume our medias whilst having dinner. It’s super romantic!

The second thing you’ll notice about Sessions, is that you can’t just binge all the lessons, like you’d previously been doing- not moving a muscle for hours, as the lessons automatically play themselves. I remember after completing the first series of lessons, the site didn’t allow us to progress to the next lesson until a full 3 days had passed! That’s a crazy concept hey!? A streaming site blocking you from consuming more and more of its content! So, it took us an entire week to loop back around to the next instalment.

And once you’re up and running again, you’ll also notice that your interaction is required to enable you to progress through lessons. For Joanne Chang’s baking lessons, you had to actively check the boxes in an ingredients list, to confirm that you’ve acquired the necessary ingredients to construct the recipe. So it feels a lot more like an e-learning module.

And as you complete the lesson, you’re encouraged to upload pics of your baked creations, where you can also browse through the pics of others who had also made and uploaded their pics. So, you can be encouraged by (or shamed by) your virtual community.

And the last thing you’ll also notice about Sessions, which differs from a regular Masterclass, is that the lessons have been designed for you to follow on while you’re watching. In the Masterclass with Gordon Ramsay, he was filmed prepping and cooking, but we didn’t see the entire cooking process. But in sessions when Joanne told you to mix your cookie dough for 8-10 minutes. You actually watch her electric stand-mixer mix the cookie batter for 8-10 minutes, as you’re meant to be mixing along with her. But thank goodness we weren’t made to watch her oven bake for 45 minutes though…… So, each Sessions lessons are much longer than the standard Masterclass lesson.

And after 30 days (Sessions are designed to be completed in 30 days), you’ll be done with the class, and I must admit- after the 30 days you’ll be more likely to have had acquired new skills!

The Session we went through was Joanne Chang’s class, ‘Bake Like a Pro’. For those who aren’t familiar with Joanne, she is a Taiwanese American based in Boston, the owner founder of Flour, a popular Bakery in Boston Massachusetts. But for us, we were only familiar with Joanne, because she was one of the judges on the Netflix reality TV show ‘Baking Impossible’. In her Session Joanne shares of her back-story, how she got into Baking and then proceeds to teach us the basics of baking. A bit into the science, a bit into how to organise yourself, and how to stay in the moment whilst baking.

In her Session, we learn how to bake cookies, pies, brioche buns, and cakes! And I was impressed in how calm and confident Joanne seemed in her lessons. Super clear in her delivery, totally engaging, and super easy to follow on in her instructions, either by showing you or by describing it to you.

Sure, when we had to sit through 8-10 minutes of watching her stand-mixer mix batter, that was a bit boring, as we weren’t baking along with her. But I can see what Masterclass is trying to do here, as you’re meant to feel like you’re actually a part of her physical class, doing as she is doing.

So, although we currently don’t have a working kitchen (our oven broke down over 3 years ago, but we have put off replacing it as we need an entire kitchen renovation), we have a real motivation now to get our act together and stop talking about a kitchen renovation and go and do something about it! So, if the desire to live in an apartment with a nice new kitchen isn’t motivation enough, now we’re motivated by the promise of being able to make our own gooey chocolate cookies, over-stuffed strawberry pies, fluffy-fluffy brioche buns, and multi-multi layered cakes!

So, if previously I’ve raised my dubiousness if anyone is actually learning from Masterclass- I take it all back! With Sessions, you can really walk away from a class, with genuine skills and experiences that you can build on. Now I can see how you might be able to develop into you’re Masterclass instructor. In this case, so we could in theory, bake like a pro just like Joanne Chang!

To check out Masterclass Sessions, click HERE!     

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