Last week began with two more days of dessert production and plating practice, we made four different desserts and practiced a mock-service again. We even received some different orders, as we would in real restaurants, like, no nuts, gluten free, or just a milkshake please, or a chef’s dessert selection – off the menu. This was a bit of a curve ball for some, forcing us all to really think fast and know your menu. But as fun as dessert plating is, the real highlight for me last week as our celebration cakes.
The balance of the week was ALL ABOUT CAKE. A massive cake project, where, for many of us, it was our first experience with stacking cake tiers. It was an awesome week.
This is my cake that I made with my station partner. The rest of this post I’ll show you, through photos, how this cake came to be over the three days.
It was a fun cake to build and as you can see, we chose Pride 2014 as our theme since Vancouver Pride is coming up soon. I also love rainbows, and had seen the rainbow-layered cake on Pinterest before, and I always wanted to try making a cake like this.
Photos to follow at bottom of the post
[Warning: this post features A LOT of cake photos, view at your own risk]
I also did two more stages this week, one after school on Thursday at a Gluten-free bakery in North Vancouver. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed talking with the staff about their products and what it’s like to work in a gluten-free establishment. It was a shorter stage than the others, since it was after class, but I still had a good experience.
Seeing this variety of businesses, how they differ and how they are alike, have been super helpful for me and interesting.
My next stage was on Saturday, where I helped out at a high-end chocolate shop in Vancouver. It was a full day of prepping for an afternoon event they held that day. I saw how they fill delicious cream puffs with a variety of decadent flavours, like s’more, yuzu, chocolate banana, to name a few, and enjoyed working with the team there.
I also enjoyed seeing the looks on customers’ faces as they purchased frozen desserts and had a look of pure joy before they devoured every bite. That is what I love about this industry: we have the opportunity to bring joy, pleasure and new dessert experiences to people of all ages. I simultaneously love preparing the desserts and seeing them disappear in a fraction of the time it takes to make them.
But now back to the celebration cake. A couple weeks ago we were told we would be partnered up and have to create a three-tier celebration cake over 3 days. So my partner and I decided we wanted to make a Pride 2014 cake. We made some sketches and agreed on the cake and fillings. We had to map out our timeline over the three days, task lists at all, and then execute. We discussed our plan with our Chef instructors and incorporated some feedback. The night before the cake day my partner had a family emergency and was unable to come to school. Sadly, life happens. It is a perfectly real situation and the cake must go on. So on Day one, I baked the whole cake and made all the filling. It was a lot of cake, but I had a system going and enjoyed the whole process, while managing to keep us on our timeline. We also had to make all of our fondant and gumpaste from scratch. Most people buy this stuff, ready made, but we had to make it. We chose to make marshmallow fondant, I find it is easier to work with.
Day two we had to layer all the tiers and ice them. We then covered each tier in fondant and made all the decoration details.
Day three was all about assembling the cake, and stacking each tier. We used small wooden dowels to help support each tier, so the cake remains sturdy. Then once everyone’s cakes were complete, we took a lot of photos of each team’s cake and then a big class photo of all seven celebration cakes (even our Chef made a cake too).
This week coming up we have a black box event and then our final practical exam is later in the week. Only two weeks to go now. Wish me luck 🙂
And now for the photos from last week, in a random order – I don’t have time to sort them for you now (maybe after graduation). Hopefully the captions help!