Monday, November 21, 2011 is good!!

Our petit fours' teacher, for this week, is: Chef Kristen Ryan.

As she said so many times, the right ingredients in the right application, make this job a true art. We got to combine flavours that some of us were afraid to even try; and we had the opportunity to learn how to play with textures as well.

Chef Kristen, it was a true pleasure to be your student... I just hope I have another opportunity to share a kitchen with such a brilliant Artist, and remember once again that "Life is Good"!

Have a sweet one,

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I know, I know... This is kind of an unpronounceable word, but I didn't make it up... I swear!! ..That's how chocolate translates in "Nahuatl", and it means "bitter water".

This week we learned all about chocolate... Were it came from, its properties, how to play with it, how to temper it.. And so on.

I must say that the most important lesson learned during this week, was how to resist temptation. Because let me tell you, having delicious chocolate all around, for 6 hours, and not being able to have even one bite (since eating in the kitchen is big no-no at school), was the most dificult test I have ever had to pass... Of course, I failed... That's all I can say...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stream 5

That's how we are called at 5..

Although it's true that we spend the whole morning between demos; rolling out fondant; conditioning gum paste; mixing; cooking sugar.. And so on.. It's fair to say that, as we perform all these tasks, we still have tons of fun. We really get along well, and although there's sometimes drama, {yesterday, for example, two students bumped into eachother, and the final project of one of them "died" in the fatal accident..}.. we still manage to laugh together..

This relationship that is growing as the days go by, is what makes this experience so rich.. We are definitely learning much more than just cakes..

I love you Cakelings!!

Have a sweet one!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Royal Week...

Finally, the week I have been waiting for since the begining of the course... It's gum paste, piping with royal icing, and rolled fondant week with Chef Nicholas Lodge!!

Chef Nicholas is a true cake star!!.. I mean, he made one of the cakes for Princess Diana and Prince Charle's royal wedding... Do I need to say more??

The most incredible thing, is that he doesn't have an ounce of arrogance. In fact, he is really humble and generous, he's shared with us every single tip and secret he has, and he couldn't be more patient.. I am thrilled to be his student!!

Here are some pics..

Yep.. Every day, at this time, I am already having my coffee while waiting for the brown line train to theloop.. Life's tough..

Chef Nicholas, giving a demo on frosting a cake with royal icing..

Our roses...

Close up of my full blown gum paste rose..

Cake... Step by step...

Piping details of my Valentine's cake..

Me and my little baby...

Chef Scott just decided to stop by, and enjoy his favorite treat.. CAKE POPS!!!... =P ...your face, Chef... PRICELESS!!!

Have sweet one!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cake building.. And a field trip..

This week's project involves baking, whipping, filling, piping... In short, it's what's better known as Cake Building.

...And Chef Josh Johnson is in the house!!...

I must say that this was the smoothest, easiest, and most relaxed week we've had yet, and I think it's because Chef Josh never hurried us, and always repeated, time after time, that we needed to explore and fail to really learn our lessons.. So, we had a fun week trying his experiments, and ours as well.. =)

Beautiful and golden Vanilla Genoise... Mmmmm.... I can almost smell it!

Chef Josh, giving a demo on piping..

One of my experiments..

Every Wednesday, we have to deep clean the kitchen, which means moving all the tables, cleaning all the drains, inside of the ovens, and so on.. It's insane!!...

By 12.45 we are ready to go!!

I had time in the afternoon to do a little field trip, so what best than visiting Magnolia Bakery??

Have a sweet one!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

What's up with the hat??

The day of the week I enjoy the most, is definitely Friday. Not only because it is the end of the week, but, because this is the day when I get to take mi piece home, and since I take the subway, the stares, and the comments are priceless!

This time, first, there was this man that took his iPhone out, to take a picture "without me noticing". Then, there was this French family, that asked me if they could take a picture of me with the cake... It was kind of awkward, but at least they asked... So, I accepted... And last, this guy, hopped into the train at Chicago station, he sitted right beside me, took a look at the cake; then at me; then at the cake again; then at me... And said... Hey, what's up with the hat??

I'm like....

THE HAT???...

IT'S A CAKE!!!...


Ok... Ok... It MIGHT resemble a very tropical BritIsh hat...

What do you think???

Our airbrush equipment, waiting for us!!

The components of my piece.. Drying..

..the petals of my pastillage flower..

Jeri, not wanting me to take this pic.. Sorry, Jeri.. =P

Team 5!!

Jessica, happy with her pastillage..

Joie {best station partner EVER!}, with her glue-to-the-offset spatula-flower.. =S

Erin, moving her gorgeous piece..

My pastillage piece... Or pastillage British hat??

Have a sweet one!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sugar.. ahh.. Honey, honey...

I guess that's the song that best describes this week's project.

Yeap.. This is sugar week!!

And we have Chef Scott Green.

Now, let me tell you about this Chef.. Chef Scott is THE sugar artist at The French Pastry School. He's competed in countless championships representing the school, and was a member of the first place winning team at the 2011 National Pastry Team Championship ... In short, he IS the person to learn from, when speaking about sugar.

Of all weeks, this was the one I was the most afraid of. Simply, because I knew nothing about pulling sugar. So, saying it was a tough week, it's an understatement. It proved myself in every possible way.. There was a point where I even felt like I wasn't any good at this sweet art. But Chef Scott pushed me to my limit, and not only taught me how to "treat" sugar, but how to focus and concentrate in getting the job done, and do it right!... Best lesson learned... Thank you Chef!!

So, I ended up winning the battle.. And here are the results..

Chef Scott, making a ribbon out of pulled sugar..

Ribbon demo...

One of my pulled sugar roses..

The right and wrong of a blown sugar swan.. Chef Scott has a distinctive way of teaching...

Rachael's swan's being born... CAW CAWWWW!!!

This is me... Making a pulled sugar ribbon..

Have a sweet one!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We not only bake.. We laugh as well!!

So, we have a new project with Chef Mark (who I happen to enjoy so much as a teacher!).. this project is a Baby Shower Cake, and it incorporates string work {which is an intricate technique with royal icing}, embossing; lots of piping; gum paste inscriptions; and a super delicate gum paste French Tulip.. I told you.. We are learning a lot!!

These "piping days", the best advise ever, that we have received from Chef Mark, is a very simple one: BREATHE! I discover that most of the times, when I pipe, I just hold my breath.. So, I have to remind myself from time to time to breathe.. Simple, but powerful advise!!

Cake about to be decorated..

Baby shower cake!!.. And French Tulip!!

The most hilarious part of these project , was when Chef Mark took a pantyhose... Yeap... You read right... A PANTYHOSE!! And covered his hand with it. He uses it to strain the royal icing, and he told us that the funniest thing was seeing the face of the cashier at the store, each time he buys
50 of those... She must think he's having quite a party!!

Cakes waiting to be graded..

Have a sweet one!!