Baking and Pastry Week 6


If you noticed, I skipped posting anything about week 5. I’m more than half way through this quarter and have dealt with way more sugar, eggs and flour than I ever thought was possible. I am still having fun and learning a lot, but I’m reaaaally ready to move on to the savory side of things.

Week 6 was all about cakes and was actually one of my favorite weeks. We made tiramisu and strawberry bavarian cream cake. Both were equally time consuming but the end result goes to the top of the list for visual appeal. The tiramisu was ah-mazing. I’ve been pretty good about not eating too much of what I make but I wasn’t going to let that go without having a slice. I brought it into work and I think it was demolished by 9 a.m.

I have a few technical things to improve on when I make tiramisu again. My cakes weren’t completely soaked through with the coffee, which meant that there were some dry parts of the cake. The sponge cake on its own is pretty bland and flavorless, so it’s really important to make sure the cake is soaked all the way through. However, there was plenty of the mascarpone filling to make up for it.

The conclusion of week 6 also brought the conclusion of desserts. For the remaining 4 weeks, we will be making bread. A venture I’m not totally sure I am excited about, but I guess just like the pastries, having a few bread skills isn’t going to hurt me!

Strawberry Bavarian cream cake
Strawberry Bavarian cream cake

I am frequently asked what I’m going to get at the end of this program. This is not a degree program, so the simple answer is a certificate from an excellent culinary school and experience and skills far beyond what I can teach myself. Will I go work in a restaurant when I’m done? Very likely not. The truth is that I’m not really 100% certain what I want to do with this. I enrolled in the program because I wanted more in-depth, professional instruction to build up my foundational skills. I can take it from there.

I’ve also received a lot of generous offers from friends to make connections with folks they know that are in the industry. This has been extremely encouraging and exciting because I know I have a network I can turn to once I figure out what I want to do with this if I decide to take things beyond cooking at home.

Although this quarter hasn’t been what I’d been looking forward to most, I’m still really happy that I decided to enroll in the program. Even with the late nights and lack of sleep, I wouldn’t second-guess this decision for one minute. I’m also humbled by the compliments I’ve received from those that have had a chance to sample what I’ve made. It really reinforces why I love cooking so much – creating something that people can enjoy!


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