May 15, 2014

pastry arts spotlight
Charity Blair and Jennifer Brown, Pastry Arts Graduates

Recently, I was going through photos of some of our past Pastry Arts students’ work and I came across one of my favorite cakes in the process. Here is an interview where I spoke with two of our mid-shift Pastry Arts students, Charity Blair and Jennifer Brown, about their three-tier cake project and their experiences in the classroom:

Escoffier: So, Charity and Jennifer, tell me about this project.
Charity: This is our three-tier cake project and we decided to do a cake that was very elegant. Some of our classmates worked on a beach themed cake, others did a very traditional wedding cake with red roses and a sash, and one more group did a more contemporary wedding cake in purple with bows.

Escoffier: How did you get inspiration for your cake?
Charity: We used the Internet to do research and got some ideas from Pinterest. We saw several different cakes that had themes and textures that we liked, so we kind of chose our favorites and came up with this design.
Jennifer: We had just learned how to make gum paste flowers in the class before, so we were really excited to use those on the cake.

Escoffier: I noticed that your cake had a different color or texture for each tier. Was that part of the assignment?
Charity: The assignment was pretty open. We had to do a three-tiered cake and it had to have a cohesive theme. So we ended up doing gum paste flowers covering the bottom tier, and then light pink fondant on the middle, and a quilted pattern with pearls on the top. We made the border with fondant pearls and there are flower accents in several places that are made of gum paste.

Escoffier: How long did you have to work on the cake?
Jennifer: We had 2.5 days in class.
Charity: Yeah, so it was about 18 hours start to finish. It went pretty fast! We knew the project was coming up, so we researched and came up with the idea a week before.

Escoffier: You guys just started and you’re already making these beautiful cakes! That’s impressive! So, with several groups of students working on this project, was there a lot of competition in the classroom for this project?
Charity: There was a sense of competition for sure. But it seems like more of a motivation because it makes you want to do better when you see your classmates making something beautiful. I think it’s really encouraging to look over and see what your classmates are doing and to want to do better.
Jennifer: Yeah, it’s a good kind of competition. We all want each other to do well. And we all want to do better and learn from each other.