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.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Decorating Workshops

Today I had my two cake decorating classes at Hunter Community College, Cupcakes in the morning and Working with Chocolate in the afternoon. It was an enjoyable day, but unfortunately I had a splitting headache by the end of it. With everything I’ve had going on over the last few days, I’ve been up very late the last two nights, and lack of sleep plus being so busy finally caught up with me. It took a while for the painkillers to kick in, but my brain is finally functional again!

We decorated four cupcakes each in the morning class, covering them with ganache and fondant, then adding various decorations. Marilyn, our teacher, walked us through making the ribbon rose and monster cake, and showed us how to cover the heart shaped cake in fondant. The decorating on the heart and the last cupcake was entirely up to us. I wasn’t impressed with the ribbon rose, but the class leaned toward showing what could be done without specialist cake decorating equipment. Time constraints meant that my monster didn’t have the full mouth of teeth that I would have liked, and my last cake had to be a fairly simple cut-out. Out of the four, I was happiest with my “hearts & flowers” cake.

Lunch break, the bring on the chocolate! First we made up our modelling chocolate, then made ganache to cover the cakes, added chocolate collars, and lastly made roses and leaves from the modelling chocolate. Again, things were a little rushed at times due to the three hour timeframe. I was one of the last to get my chocolate collar on, and there were a few breaks and cracks where the chocolate was spread too thinly. I was happy enough with my roses for a first attempt, but I ran out of time and had to make the leaves later at home. By this time the modelling chocolate seemed much firmer and easier to work with, so I’m looking forward to trying roses again when I don’t have to worry so much about the clock.

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