If you want to enter the wonderful world of magic, skip those Harry Potter movies and catch a professional pastry chef at work!
You see, stepping inside a baker’s kitchen is nothing short of a magical experience—peculiar scents and sounds permeating the hallway; counters littered with dense recipes reminiscent of spell-books, and a string of bizarre concoctions lined in perfect symmetry across the shelf.
It’s just one incantation away from summoning the perfect dress…er, cake.
As you lay eyes on the enchanted chocolate creation, you’re welcomed by a fantasia of colors, painted by a true maestro; a bewitched baker, possessing the power to sweeten the bitterest of moments.
Before you know it, the deep, dark flavors melt into your mouth and you’re transported to a different dimension—far from home.
Between Magic & Mayhem
Professional pastry chefs are understandably lauded for their fantastical creations. But most people don’t realize how hard they work to perfect their craft.
If you’re interested in joining the ranks of the Higher Wizards of the baking world, be sure to master these small, but important skills that work like hocus pocus:
You simply can’t claim to be a baker if you don’t have this one down to a T.
“T” for tempering, that is!
Chocolate tempering refers to the process of skillfully using heat to change the texture, appearance and durability of chocolate. And believe me when I say: it’s not an amateur’s game!
To get that delectable “snap” you often find in store-bought candy, you must know how to melt chocolate without burning it, and develop certain techniques to maintain working temperature that results in a classic Willy Wonka-inspired gloss.
Knowing how to bake bread loaves is a staple for every serious baker. But there’s more to the craft than molding batter, and carving the occasional design.
Making customized goodies for special occasions like Halloween means getting crazy with patterns. As a pro pastry chef, you can’t afford to waste hours getting the shape right. Work on your technique to master the art of shaping and scoring.
Contrary to popular opinion, making candy at home isn’t just every child’s dream—it’s a basic skill that a pro baker does quite frequently!
This is an incredibly important part of being a pastry chef, and takes a lot of time and practice to perfect. Ultimately, it all comes down to precision, decoration and innovation so you know how to design stunning artworks using a mirror glaze, or convert a soft batter ball into a hard-crack caramelized sugar-coated treat!
The oldest, best kept secret in the baking world, however, is definitely using high-quality cake supplies and premium best Belgian chocolate brands.