It has been nearly a month since I finished school at NWCAV. It still feels like yesterday. Seriously. My chef jacket and uniform are still hanging up and ready to go… As much as it was annoying to wear all those layers of fabric, I do miss it. It became normal to me, all too fast. In all honesty though, I simply needed some real down time after the intense final weeks of school, and to just absorb what has happened for me this year. It has been a whirlwind of change.
But, since it’s summertime in Vancouver, and we only have a little bit left, I’ve been enjoying the nice weather and catching up with friends and family (that I nearly abandoned during school). I have also been reorganizing my own kitchen to be better able to practice recipes and, naturally, more baking! I even hung my whisks up on my wall in the kitchen. *squee*
There are many things that I miss about school though, like the other students in class. I am thankful for Facebook to keep most of us in touch. One of the “hard parts” of a sudden end to the program was not having baking around everyday! Yes, that’s a difficult problem to wrap your heads around, I’m sure. I’m not complaining, it’s just part of the transition. It was also weird not to have studying or reading to occupy my evenings. I got over that fast though…
Now that it’s all done, as I look forward to my next move, the main thing I wanted was to keep baking and practice more recipes, and other cookbooks I’ve been wanting to test out.
So I have been baking A LOT. If you follow me on Instagram (@jileblanc), you have seen some of my cakes and baking. I have been helping some friends out who need baking, which allows me to practice and have people to eat my desserts!
It’s been fun to experiment and practice different techniques and recipes I have been wanting to try. Through that experience I have realized that my apartment kitchen is way too small, and I wish I had more space! I already miss being in a professional kitchen, because it is a totally different and more efficient way to bake/operate.
I have also learned that there are two different kinds of cake eaters: the planners and the last-minute folk. Bakers need to be able to accommodate both. I prefer the option to plan, and it’s a bonus if you can help someone out at the last minute (assuming you have supplies on hand).
But the break is over, and I am now searching for work in a professional pastry kitchen. Here is my shameless plug to potential employers: If you have been following my blog and read my last post, you likely read that I achieved my goal of graduating with honours from NWCAV. It’s an achievement I am very proud of, and it was a bonus to also be the top student in my class. During my time in school I did five one-day stages (which are like one day work experiences in professional kitchens). I hope these are indicators of my strong work ethic, and dedication to and passion for this line of work. I seriously love being in the kitchen, and love to learn.
So, if you know someone who wants to hire a pastry nerd like me, please let me know (you can email me at beyondthedough @ gmail.com). Hehe
Ok, now for the food porn that you all came here for. Here are some photos of the treats and sweets I’ve baked recently! Enjoy 🙂
A quick photo summary: lots of buttercream practice, made some blueberry frangipane tarts, chocolate cookies with white chocolate peanut butter ganache filling, make some cupcakes with name tags for little kid graduating pre-school, made a cake for my friends stagette weekend, other friends’ birthdays, many fun occasions to celebrate. My favourite cake is the little pink smash cake, I just love how it turned out. The next one is the lemon cake with butter streusel crunch on the outside, I also just loved how it turned out. Of course, can’t go wrong with chocolate, so I love all of those cakes too. Who am I kidding, I love them all. Oh ya, and I made vegan bran muffins, just because they taste better than regular bran muffins! So good.
PS: Teaser for my next post: I am working on my next post already, about the wedding cake I made for my friends wedding last weekend. It was such a fun experience… Stay tuned!