I recently signed up for a pastry program to prepare for the big master exam. The course takes place in a pastry school two days a week. One day for four hours and the second day for 8 hours. So they basically try to teach you all the basics you need to know about the world of baking.
The first day was just a lot of organization and we learned about hygiene protocols and started learing about sugar. It was really a whole lot of information stuffed in these few hours. Most of the information is rather easy to understand and honestly it should be known by everyone. But there are other things you can only learn from the books and have to know by heart.
The second day was basically a whole day of learning all there is to know about sugar. We had to remember the sugar chart by heart. For all of you who don´t know what that is – there are a lot of different terms for different temperatures you cook sugar. Each and every temperature that cooked sugar gets has a different name and therefor different features. The viscosity changes and you are using the sugar for different things.
Here we put red food color into the sugar.
After heating it up properly we poured it into a so called “rubber noodle” and a cake ring to make a sugar stature out of it. We let it harden and afterwards we could take out the pieces, that would by the way look like plastic, and put them together as we pleased.
One thing that was a lot of fun was putting together powdered sugar, water, powdered egg whites and a little bit of corn starch to make a sort of royal icing. This can be used to write on cakes or even to decorate them beautifully.
One of the hardest things was propably making the fondant ourselves. The recipe is rather easy but the process of making it was not. It is very physically exhausting as you have to constantly move the mass that, by the way, keeps getting thicker and stickier by the second.
This was just a tiny little insight into the professional pastry program. And after 8 hours of constantly being fed with more and more information my head felt so full and heavy that I couldnt even process all this.
Next week we will learn all about how to make a proper dough, that´ll be fun I hope.