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.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Modelling

After the 'useless paste' disaster in my class, I've finally managed to get some modelling done in the last few days. The paste still took a bit more modification, but at least now I've made some decent progress.  I tried warming it in the microwave to make it easier to knead, and then I added some glycerine, which I'd hoped would soften it.  It seems to have worked, but if I'm starting with a large piece of paste, I still need to warm it in the microwave again to make it workable.

Rudolph was first cab off the rank.  I had a picture of a fairly caricaturish reindeer that I found somewhere-or-other on the net that I was trying to sort-of copy, at least for the basic body shape, anyway.  He's turned out to be a fairly crudely modelled, generic looking animal with a red nose, but at least the pre-made antlers worked well.  I cut them out of rolled-our flower paste and let them dry so I could just make slots in his head and poke them in.  The antlers are about the only feature distinctive enough to make it actually look like he's supposed to be a reindeer!

I had a much happier time making my Santa than I'd thought I would.  For my first modelled person, I think I've done a pretty good job!  The only thing I really got wrong is that I made the head too small in proportion to the hands and body, but thankfully it's Santa, so I figured I can pad out the head with his hair, beard and hat.  He just needs a hat now and he'll be finished, and Rudolph only needs to have his harness painted with gold lustre and another couple of trimmings and he'll be ready for action too.  I'll hold off with the photos until they're finished.

I've also adapted the sketch I made of Marilyn's chocolate mould to suit the shape of my sleigh cut-outs, which I hope to start working on tonight.  I still need to make a sack, some presents, and hopefully some toys and candy canes if I get time.  Oh, and cover a board... and bake, cut, shape and cover a cake.  Still so much to do, less than two weeks until I need to have everything ready to put together!

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