Newcastle, NSW, Australia
I’m a former industrial chemist, and after deciding on a career change while at home with my two young children, I’m now a qualified pastry chef. In 2009 I started taking some classes in cake decorating and other pastry-related cookery, and taught myself many more decorating techniques from books and internet resources. In 2010 I started a pastry apprenticeship, studying Retail Baking (Cake & Pastry) Certificate III at TAFE, which I completed with Distinction in 2012. I completed my apprenticeship in December 2013, and am now working as a full time Pastry chef and Cake Decorator at 'Exquisite Cakes by Lennert' in Cessnock, NSW.

Friday, August 21, 2009

All Dressed Up

I walked to playgroup today, two kids in the double stroller and sixteen gingerbread passengers in a container underneath. It’s the first time in months that I’ve walked any distance with the stroller, and even now, I still feel completely buggered. It wasn’t until I was about to get Rebecca’s dinner ready that I realised I still haven’t posted photos of the finished gingerbread people. So here they are (or should I say, as they were… they’ve all been eaten now!) dressed up and ready for playgroup…

Okay… if you look at them as an extra-fun morning tea treat for the kids, then they’re great. However, my real reason for making these biscuits was for piping practice. Sure, they might look good at first glance, but if you look at them closely, it’s stating the bleeding obvious to say that I still can’t pipe to save myself.

Rolling dough between two sheets of baking paper, good… using baking paper cones with snipped tips as plain piping bags, BAD. I didn’t like using them at all. I used paper cones for most of Cameron’s birthday cake, but I still slipped piping nozzles inside them. I just couldn’t get consistent lines out of the snipped cones for love nor money. The tip openings seemed to stretch, as the lines became thicker and thicker as time went on. I also sometimes ended up with a “ribbon” instead of a cylindrical line from where the scissors must have squashed the tips flat.

But, piping disasters aside, my gingerbread people were a hit at playgroup. They tasted fantastic, and even though the kids wouldn’t have appreciated how much work had gone into them, the mums certainly did. And we often learn by trial and error… although I seriously can’t see myself doing much more multi-colour piping unless I invest in a bunch of plain nozzles.

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