Holy Cannolis, the Finished Product

In Adults, Apprenticeships, In the Press, News, School Leavers, University Level, on the 12th, March 2015

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Mixing it, Tomas Wood prepares his cannoli mixture

A CATERING student is preparing to take the biscuit after challenging a global phenomenon to a trans-Atlantic bake-off.

Darlington College student Tomas Wood is honing his recipes as he prepares to take a life-changing trip to New York on March 24.

The 17-year-old apprentice, of Eggleston, Teesdale, will be among a party of 42 catering, media, games design and art students travelling to the Big Apple.

His study trip will see him and 18 other Level 3 patisserie and confectionary students visit Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey, the home of the legendary ‘Cake Boss’, Buddy Valastro.

Since 1910 the Carlo’s bakery has been creating pastries and desserts including the popular cannoli biscuits, a cylindrical pastry with a creaming filling.

With the help of Darlington College journalism student Karl Simmonds, of Richmond, Tomas has sent a video to the bakery challenging Buddy to a UK v US bake-off during their five-day trip.

“Buddy is a complete legend, a God of confectionary,” said Tomas, who works at Eggleston Hall. “I have all of his TV programmes and books.

“If he accepts the challenge I would love it if we could both make a batch of cannolis and see which ones customers like best. It would be like meeting your hero and I would be lost for words. I would love to get a job over there one day or have my own bakery.”

Inspired by Buddy’s book, ‘Baking with the Cake Boss’, Tomas has perfected his own recipe and has sold more than 1,000 of the tasty treats to finance his once in a life time trip.

Catering students will visit one of several Carlo’s Bakeries in the US as part of an ambitious programme that will also see them tour Mast Brothers chocolate factory, the Antique Bakery, Fiore’s, Lisa’s, Grimaldi’s and Empire Coffee and Tea.

Students have adopted a travel companion, a stuffed bear, which they have called Buddy in homage to the popular baker.

Darlington College catering tutor Donna Joyce said: “This is the first international trip we have staged in almost a decade and the students are incredibly excited.

“Tomas has done really well baking more than a thousand cannolis to raise enough money to go on the trip. He has the drive and ability to take on Buddy and the whole experience will be an inspiration to us all.”

Panel1 – Tomas’s cannoli recipe


3 cups of flour

¼ cup of white sugar

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon shortening

1 egg

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar



ricotta cream or mascarpone

½ cup of icing sugar

4oz flavouring such as chocolate, apple and cinnamon or toffee



Who is Buddy Valastro?

Bartolo “Buddy” Valastro, Jnr is an American celebrity chef, entrepreneur, and reality television personality who is the owner of Carlo’s Bakery, as well as the face of event company Buddy V’s.

Best known as the star of the reality television series Cake Boss, which premiered in April 2009, he also has starred Kitchen Boss, The Next Great Baker and Buddy’s Bakery Rescue.

Born in Hoboken, New Jersey to Buddy Snr, and Mary Valastro, he grew up in Little Ferry, New Jersey and Hoboken, starting work at his family’s business at the age of 11.

Carlo’s Bakery currently has locations in New Jersey, New York and Las Vegas.

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