Although I have not posted in almost two months, I do want to share my last three weeks with you as they were very fun and different from all the other weeks of the program. Week 14 was spent making Petits Fours which are basically desserts that can be eaten in less than three bites. We made tons of different kinds including: "Exotic Cake" made from passion fruit puree and lime juice (my favorite!! and unfortunately Jared's because he ate quite a bit of them); hazelnut and sweet cherry bites; macarons (not a macaroon, see picture above); chocolate cakes; almond bread cookies; butter cookies with an almond center; lemon cream tarts (D-licious in an Annie voice and with her inflections); almond apricot tarts; chocolate sugar cookies; chocolate mousse, coffee struesel, caramel whipped ganache inside a dark chocolate cup; strawberry coulis, banana, and green tea mousse in a white chocolate cup. I had boxes of treats that I brought home and then brought to Jared's apartment as my final goodbye goodies. This last week was incorporated because a lot of times people will want a small dessert table at their wedding and so now I can provide that.
On Wednesday and Thursday of Week 15 (out of 16), we were given 3 hours a day to work on a team project. We were assigned a partner in week 7 and from there we had to plan and coordinate our final project cake. The theme was Sweet 16 and we were given creative liberties on it all. I was partnered with a guy named Eddie whose family is from Mexico, and as some of you know, the first place I really lived was Mexico. Random I know, but Chef Nicholas was doing a technique called the "Mexican hat" and then it hit me.....WE SHOULD DO A SOMBRERO CAKE!! And what a great idea. I really liked the cake we designed and it turned out spectacular. Eddie was a fantastic partner and really made the cake look great. He did the piping sombrero, the small cake, and the 16. He is extremely talented and so it was good to know that I could delegate certain tasks and know that they would be completed with precision. I designed the cake and was mainly in charge of making the sombrero, the blanket base, and the blown sugar maracas. Here is the final product!
After finishing up on Thursday we were given two hours to start on our Final Project Wedding Cake. We did this cake on our own and I designed the cake. We had to incorporate certain techniques but other than that, we had creative liberties. The theme was Winter Wedding and so some students decided to do an extreme Christmas theme while I just kind of left it simple but still slightly wintery since I wanted to focus more on the wedding aspect than the winter. So on the lacy part on the second tier and on the crosses on the top and bottom tier I used a shimmery dust. We had to do a monogram and since my mother was the one who introduced me to the idea of baking, I used her initials to dedicate the cake to her. I love you, Mom! Friday, Monday, and Tuesday we were given 5.5 hours to work on the cake. Friday I spent the entire time making the hyacinth flowers. I made nearly 75 of them and did not have enough of the right size to cover the cake in the end. Monday and Tuesday I worked really hard on all of it and I finished right at the end of class on Tuesday leaving me done an extra day early. I had an entire time sheet filled out with everything that I would do, how long it should take me, what day I would do it on, and what was its priority level for that day, and then my favorite part....the checkmark box at the end so that I could feel accomplished after completing a task. I thought mine was really detailed until I saw another girls and she broke it down into every five minutes, making sure to include a few minutes for her to wash her hands which I
would not stop making fun of her for. Obviously I was over generous with how long things would take me since I did not use the last 5.5 hours. Then graduation was on Friday and Jared, Father Carlson, and Helene came and celebrated with me. To my utter enjoyment, the reception after had about 5000 desserts, breads, chocolates, and cheeses of every kind to satisfy my palate, in fact, oversatisfy my palate. It was great to have them there to meet some of the people who have been baking and decorating alongside me or teaching me the fabulous skills I have learned. It was such a bittersweet day as I really wish the program were longer but it meant that I was getting out into the real world of baking and continuing my education. My New Year's Resolution was to always keep educating myself now that my formal education is done. I want to challenge myself with new skills, learn new tricks of the trade, and become the best cake artist that I can be. And for those in my classes, I learned that in life or at the FPS, you may succeed but you will never excel, because learning never ends.