Home Home Home Home Home Home Home


Olive oil coconut macaroons


Unicorn Love: the Eating Disorder Recovery Blog


 Buy my brilliant books!

Buy my new book!

Buy my first book, too! 

CakeSpy Online Retail!



Fantastic appliance for cake making on DHgate.com


Craftsy Writer
« Guest Post: How To Make Gelatin Bows by Nellie Cakes | Main | Awesome Overload: 50 Moments from the Sweetest Week Ever »

Sweet Profiles: Wendy Sykes of Four and Twenty Blackbirds

If you're a professional CakeSpy, basically when it comes to anything sweet, you always want the backstory. So when Wendy Sykes (AKA Four and 20 Blackbirds) entered her prize-winning Rhueberry Pie in the Cake Vs. Pie faceoff, basically I had to know more. Turns out, she's not only a tremendous baker, but has recently launched a business where she will teach you how to make delicious pies, too!

Here's a bit more of the story, directly from the source!

I've always been an big baker, but my entire professional life was spent as a journalist/public radio producer. (most recently at Marketplace, but Seattleites might remember my first show, Rewind.)

Recently, I was between jobs (like sooooooo many) and I was baking and entertaining and cooking a lot.  Friends kept asking me questions about the things I made, how to do this and that - but they seemed especially befuddled by and intimidated by pie crust.

I gave a few classes for fun, to a group of friends and it just spread from there!

I really like it - it's a great fit for my personality (as it turns out, teaching is not so different from producing) and I love seeing how proud people are when they make their own little pie!

I teach the classes out of my home in Ravenna and keep them small (8-10) so everyone gets hands-on instruction. I really think that's key - you have to feel and touch the pastry dough to know how it's supposed to be. So many people in class say, "Ohhhh - that's how it should feel!"

The setting also makes for a really fun, relaxed event - it's more like having your friend teach you something, rather than learning from an "instructor."  Since I'm not a trained professional (I joke that I went to The Culinary Institute of My Mom) people seemed more apt to ask questions, joke around, be silly.

The most important thing that I want people to leave class with is confidence. I want them to know that they can do this at home. Confidence is key - because pie crust is just like dogs and horses - it can smell fear.

I have some class descriptions on my blog as well on my site; I do the pie classes, (also one for parents and kids) and then cookie classes as well. I've been making this certain sugar cookie forever and decorating them. I teach people all the little tricks to ice the cookies as well.  The cookies are so good - which is important to me, cuz sometimes those really adorable decorated sweets taste just ungodly - they're made more for looks than taste.

Want yet more? You are urged to visit fourand20blackbirds.com.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (1)

Thanks for doing a post on pie. It's really a proud feeling to have your "own little pie", and that lattice crust looks pro. I don't have an oven for now, but when I do I'll by flying pie. :P Apple with thick slices is my favorite so far, but there should be more experimentation with pie flavors...like bread, it's very very versatile.
Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.
© Cakespy, all rights reserved. Powered by Squarespace.