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Final Reflection

Yes! Final reflection!

Over these past 11 months while I have been in this program I have learned a lot. The amount of skills, and knowledge I have gained from being in the Baking & Pasty Program at VCC is innumerable. Where shall I begin? I suppose first things first.

When I started I had a totally different class. We started off our journey in Basic Methodology. In that course I learned the basics. I learned the correct way to portion, how to scale ingredients, how products should look when they are finished, the general “doneness” of a baked products, and other basic things. This course was my first feel at how life working in a bakery would probably look like. The shift from home baking to VCC, and in a way baking in the industry, baking is significantly different than baking at home. Learning how to properly use the ovens, mixers, etc. were key. I also learned about ’cause, and effect’.

In budgeting & cost control, I learned how learned how to cost items. In this course we also did our first menu design. It was fun to accomplish recipes that at that point were far in advance. Some items made were very beneficial, and the “advanced” gained knowledge could be further built on in subsequent courses. For example, one of the items I made were lemon meringue tarts, which is taught in term 3! From making those tarts I learned how not to scramble the eggs in my lemon curd, how to fix it in the event that it has lumps (robo coupe, to the rescue!), etc. I also discovered that lemon emulsion is gross.

In retail operations, we got to experience the flip side of working in a bakery, the front of house! For two weeks half the class was upstairs in the bakery, and the other half was downstairs competing the orders that were gained by the upstairs group. Then vise versa. When we were upstairs we were encouraged to go collect orders, and collect orders I did! During that course we were also paired up to do our retail project. We had to create a theme for the bakery, decorate the bakery, and create a special product (that aligned with the theme) to sell too. I enjoyed that course a lot as I got to interact with the customers, and organize the bakery (drives me nuts when it is messy in the bakery. Must………Organize……..). Selling products, such as pizza, to people was also lots of fun. I learned that it’s lots of fun working in the front of house, but buy the end of the 2 weeks, I also learned that it can be very tiring too.

I learned what it means to be professional, how to be professional, and how to be better organized when we were in the professionalism & organization course.

Ah, Fermentation! Yeast doughs! In this course I learned how to make bread, handle bread, bake bread, etc. I learned how to make all sorts of bread products (such as challah), yeast dough based products (such as coffee cakes), the works! I acquired knowledge on how to make sourdough bread, feed & take care of sour (I have an ice cream bucket full of sour in my freezer now for whenever I make sourdough bread.) and generally how to work with the dough. When making bread time, temperature, & ingredients, are all important in making successful bread. However if you don’t handle the dough correctly all your hard work goes down the drain, and you have to make your bread into something else. I am very comfortable making bread. In face, I absolutely love making bread. At the beginning of the baking & pastry arts program, I thought that I would love to be a cake decorator, man, has that ever changed! Bread Forever!!

The frying course was pretty short as it was only a week long course. It was fun to fry the doughnuts, then be able to decorate them. I learned what happens if you leave a doughnut in the fryer for too long (it absorbs copious amounts of the fat), and what doughnuts are made of.

Then came lamination…… this was not my favourite course. I learned that the sheeter can be your best friend. I also learned how to laminate dough, different folding techniques, and how to work fast so that the dough doesn’t start proofing while you are working with it. One of the folding techniques called the French Method is amazing, and much easier than the classic English method. I found that rolling the dough into a cross with a large dough square in the middle, placing the butter on top, folding the cross’ “arms” in so that it covered the butter, then rolling dough to length for 1st fold, worked much better for me.

Next came the “intro to cakes” courses. Aeration & Emulsification, and Decoration & Design were very beneficial in developing early cake skills, and improving any previous knowledge of cake making/decorating. I learned how to make mousse for the chocolate truffle mousse cake, how to make sponge cake, and learned other basic cake related knowledge such as assembling & decorating a cake. I have improved in the area of slicing a cake into layers. After this point I sadly had to depart from my class. I have seen that this current class has done character plaques for 2 of their cakes. It would have been interesting to have been able learn how to make one.

Finally, after a year of being on the wait list, spots opened up, and I was able to continue in the baking & pastry program.

Chocolate was first. I learned that chocolate is very temperamental (pun intended). Tempering the chocolate can take a lot of time, and patience. Especially patience, for if you are not cool, calm and collected, the chocolate will not work. Chococolate is sadistic. I thought chocolate, and I might be friends as my hands are usually cold, but no such luck. I learned different ways of tempering the chocolate, what different types of chocolates consist of, and experienced how they work in products. I found that the marbling technique of tempering worked best for me. We never got to learn how to use spraying chocolate, or got to make jellies. Overall, I learned a lot, can successfully temper chocolate. Chocolate & I are still not friends; in fact ours is a love-hate relationship (love to eat, greatly dislike to work with).

The two more “advanced” cake courses followed. In the dessert cake course, we made a opera cakes, opera slices, various cheese cakes, & mousse cakes galore. We also got to design, and execute a signature cake. For my signature cake I made a piña colada mousse cake with a coconut gèlee. The small cakes course was basically just the dessert cakes course, except everything was shrunk down to single serve cakes. In that course, along with all the other prescribed items such as japonais, madelines, dobos pyramids, macarons, etc., we had to design, and execute a signature tart. I made a raspberry white peach tart. During both of these courses, I learned how to make a classic mousse, a bavarois, daquois, among a lot of other things. We pretty much had mousse running out of our ears! I think I am all moussed out now.

Plated desserts was our third to last in class course. It was one of my favourite courses. We got to make an ice cream/sorbet, and create our own plated desserts based on a theme of our choosing. I chose to do a Malaysian themed restaurant. My signature plated dessert was a Malaysian favourite called Cendol (my favourite!). I made the cendol (green noodle like strings) a good amount of times to try to get it to look like it should. For presentation decorated the plate with a pandan leaf, a drizzle of Gula Melaka, and fresh mango cubes. I discovered that the vita mix was very useful when I neede to crush ice for the Cendol. For my other plated desserts, I made a mango cheesecake decorated with tuille, a cannell of whipped cream, mango gel, and fresh raspberries. Also a rich dark chocolate cheesecake with fresh strawberries, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream that was made in class. My chocolate cake recipe was very “lively” so I had to be extra, extra careful when portioning out the batter, so that they wouldn’t become chocolate lava spewing volcanos. All in all I am very proud of the plated desserts I accomplished. It was fun learning how to plate desserts.

In the wedding cake course we made 3 cakes (aside from the class cake). We made a royal icing wedding  cake, a rolled fondant wedding cake & an edible rolled fondant with marzipan theme cake. I learned how to work, with royal icing, and I acquired more knowledge on how to better to work with fondant. I also learned how to make fondant, and side piping techniques which I still need to improve on. For both of my wedding cakes, I was aiming for a simple, look. My royal icing cake’s flowers were brighter than I had anticipated. It could have used a bit of simple side pipings, as it was too plain at the back. I think I over simplified my fondant wedding cake. Through doing the fondant wedding cake, I discovered/learned that working with dark coloured fondant is very hard as the fondant becomes brittle, and hard to work with when it is saturated with such with dark colours. I didn’t quite get the blue I was aiming for when colouring the fondant for the ribbon. However, my back to school theme cake turned out nicely, and I am proud of it. I refined my drawing down, and created something even better than my original drawing.

It was nice to have the catering & special orders course as a refresher on all the things we’ve done before. I was estate company to get to do breads again, even though I had to Crouton a few of my mishandled braided breads. Crouton making is pretty fun too. Slicing up mishandled bread, combining spices, and mixing them all together with melted butter to create absolutely delicious croutons! Yum! My other breads turned out better. Due to being busy with special orders, I was not able to execute/execute some items that I wish I could have done such as retrying the Chai tea macarons, or attempting a different flavour of macaron. Maybe even refreshing on something like apple squares.

And then there was one. Capstone. I decided to do my capstone on ‘healthy’ sugar substitutes. It was a lot of work, and of course when you need a device to work for you it won’t. Like my resume, my capstone looked a lot better in Microsoft Word than it does once posted on WordPress. Through researching for capstoneI learned about sugar substitutes that I had never heard of before, or only briefly heard of the source from where it comes. I know have a better understanding of sugar substitutes, what some taste like, and which the best ones are. I grouped the pictures in the ePortfolio into sections so that it would be organized.

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Catering & Special Orders

Last in class course!! Wooooo!!!

These last 3 weeks have been a refresher on what we have already learned in all the past courses. We got to choose what we wanted to make based on what stations we were at each week.

The stations were: Yeast doughs, Barista, Orders, & General baking. I think the course was organized well, and since I didn’t really have any expectations going into this course, I suppose you could say that they were very easily met. The amount of tours that came through surprised me, I don’t really mind tours, so it didn’t really bother me.

During this course I encountered some challenges such as over baking the Barista peanut butter cookies. They are kind of tricky to bake as when they are done, they still feel soft as if they aren’t quite done. If you leave them in longer, they will get over brown, and when they cool they are pretty hard. I overcame this challenge by learning (by experience) how they feel when they are done.

Skills that I have improved on vary. I have honed my Italian buttercream making skills, communication skills, and organizational skills. I think I have improved most on my hard skills.

At this point I feel quite prepared for work experience. I am looking forward to working with people, and maybe even learning some more tricks of the trade. I am also looking forward to hopefully being able to work with more bread products.

As far as the ITA exam goes, I would highly reccommend MOODLE!!! I would suggest that a student use moodle to study as you can take the quizzes as many times as you’d like. Reading Gisslen (and Rudolph is also good I hear) is also good, but if you are all “textbooked out,” read as much as you can, and use Moodle to help you! Don’t underestimate Moodle’s helpfulness!

Currently capstone is coming along fine, and am fairly certain that I will be finished on time. I will probably be looking for books, as I may need them for further research on my topic. A challenge I am currently facing is how to compile all of my research so that it doesn’t look listy. I will approach this coming challenge by asking my “study buddy,” (and probably friends, & family) for advise. I will do this by sending/showing them a draft, and seeing what they have to say about it. I will be seeking advice/support from my “study buddy” via email.

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Plated Desserts (Part 2)

These last 2 weeks have been on plated desserts. We have worked with sauces, garnishes, components, and even some ice creams, & sorbets! Overall, I have enjoyed these last 2 weeks, and I might even go as far as to call it one of my favorite courses so far. There have definitely been some interesting, exciting, and very entertaining moments in this course; some definitely to learn from. In this course I learned about pairing sauces, and garnishes, and components to the main dessert. I also learned how to extinguish a stove fire (use salt), and how to plate better, and how to “mould” tuille. Also that crushed ice melts quite fast even when all your components have been cooled, and your glass/bowl have been chilled in the freezer. Other things that I learned is that cendol (the green jelly like strands) won’t keep, and thus always has to be made fresh the day of. There weren’t really any costs that affected my choice of ingredients, or design; but since my restaurant is a Malaysian one, all my desserts had ingredients that you could find, or are grown in Malaysia. Some of these ingredients include pomegranates, pineapple, pandan, coconut milk, mango, etc. I learned that all ingredients needed to make Cendol are pretty cheap. I made Cendol for my signature dessert. It took a few tries to perfect the cendol but worked well in the end. The first time I made Cendol, I wasn’t too sure how exactly to cook it. I followed the recipe’s instructions, but it didn’t turn out as expected. I inquired about getting a ricer, expecting to receive a small hand held one, but received a giant ricer (crank kind) that belonged to culinary. I didn’t realize the ricer was going to be so big, and so I resorted to using a piping bag. I didn’t know to strain the ice before using it, and it made the Cendol look very watery. The second time I made cendol, I was lent a small cylindrical hand held ricer (crank kind), it was golden (made of rustable material, I’d assume, as it was only to be washed with soap & water, no bleach, and had to be dried right away so that no water would be left sitting on it), and possibly antique. It worked well to create the required strands of cendol. I tried to make crushed ice the best I could using the VitaMix, but it didn’t always turn out as hoped. During these times my Gula Melaka was quite thick, and even when it was thinner, it got thick, and sticky when placed over the ice. The third time I made it, I just made more cendol, and used up the left over coconut milk, and Gula Melaka that I had left over from my second attempt. At this point my cendol was still not as I would have wanted (light ish green, and you can see some starch flecs in it). I had watched many cendol making YouTube videos at home trying to obtain the trick of making my cendol the way I expected it to be. When making cendol on my third attempt, I applied my gained knowledge from the videos, but it still was about the same even after adding additional water to try to make it better. When I made it for the presentation, I made a full recipe of it (minus 5 grams from the mung bean starch, and from the rice flour), used cold water in an attempt to try to dissolve the starches, and chilled it in the freezer while I made the pandan juice. I cooked it till I thought it was almost done, then added a single drop of leaf green food colouring to boost up the colour a bit, and to hopefully do away with the starch specs that happened in my first 3 attempts. It worked, my cendol turned out as expected!!! I strained it to make sure there wasn’t any water left befind, crushed some ice, strained it, and continued. My Gula Melaka was nice, and syrupy (I think it made a difference when I made the full recipe instead on using the scaled down version), and my coconut milk was good too. All the components came together very nicely when completed. I don’t think there is anything that I would have changed, I would only have the ice to be more crushed as most of the ice was crushed, but there were the odd pieces of uncrushed ice here, and there. I chose the flavor profiles, and combinations I did to go with my Malaysian restaurant, that was created because I wanted to make Cendol (my favourite Malaysian dessert). My choices went well with my restaurant as they all featured ingredients/fruits that can be found/is grown in Malaysia. When costed it came out to $15.53, which is $3.25 each. I think that they could be sold for about $7 each. The most expensive ingredients were the Gula Melaka, and the pandan.

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Malaysian Escape

Malaysian Escape is a semi-fine dining experience. We serve authentic Malaysian cuisine that is affordable, but still has a classy element to it. As a medium-sized restaurant, we aim to serve a varied clientele.  Our dessert menu is Malaysian, but with a twist!

Cendol                                                                                                                                                     $7

A favourite among Malaysians, it’s no wonder it was declared a Malaysian heritage food by the Malaysian Department of National Heritage! Cendol features green jelly like strands under a generous amount of shaved ice, coconut milk & delicious gula melaka. It is accompanied by a pandan leaf, fresh mango cubes along with mango and coconut pearls.* A true delight!

*Mango & coconut pearls served when available

Mangolicious Cheesecake                                                                                                                   $8

A mango cheesecake to rule them all! Served with mango sauce, fresh raspberries, a dollop of whipped cream, chocolate decorations, and a spiral tuille. Needless to say, it’s incredibly tasty!

Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Cake                                                                                                   $8

Pomegranates are widely grown, and cultivated in the dryest parts of Malaysia, and a few other countries. So, if you take the humble, yet tantalizing pomegranate, and add dark chocolate, magic happens! Rich, moist, and slightly dense dark chocolate cake surrounded by a dark chocolate ribbon, & topped with fresh pomegranate arils. Served warm with pomegranate coulis, chocolate decorations, and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Decadence at it’s finest!

Pineapple White Chocolate Mille Feuille                                                                                             $8

Even though mille feuille is of French origin, you are still able to find it in some bakeries in Malaysia. Delicious pineapple mousse sandwiched between layers of white chocolate sheets. Accompanied by fresh pineapple, a sprig of mint, chocolate decorations, and a dollop of chantilly cream. Perfect for if you are feeling extra classy today!

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Dessert Cakes

These last 3 weeks have been all about dessert cakes. What kind of dessert cakes you may ask? All sorts of dessert cakes! Some of the cakes that were made were Concord cakes, Cheesecakes, Mousse cakes, and cakes such as Sacher, & St. Honorè!

Part 1:

In this course I learned that sometimes simple decorations are the best. I also learned how to make different types of cakes, such as baked cheesecake, tiramisu, Sacher torte, etc. In addition to that, I also learned how better to make a bavarian “cream.”

In relation to costing, I learned that some things are really expensive in terms of how much of the item is actually usuable. There were no costs that affected my choice of flavour or design.

I choose the Piña Colada flavour combination mostly because a Piña Colada is a very summery drink, and it is currently summer.

I think that my cakes came out well, the 6″ reminds me of a wedding on the beach. As for the costing, the 6″ is priced too low, but the slices are priced accurately.

If I were ever to do this cake again, I’d add more sugar to the coconut layer because the coconut layer isn’t sweet enough, & I’d make a full recipe of mousse instead of reducing it, so that I can fill the cake all the way to the top, and to be able to add a little more space between the 2nd cake layer, and the coconut layer. I’d also try to make sure that there were no gaps in the sides of my cake.

Piña Colada Mousse Cake Recipe – Makes 1- 8″ cake, & 1- 6″ cake

Jelly Roll

Eggs, Whole – 450g
Sugar, Granulated – 263g
Flour, Pastry – 175g

Use Plain Sponge Method
Pour onto tray lined with parchment, and spread evenly out evenly
Bake at 220°C (430°F) until golden brown (7-9 minutes)
When cool, cut out 1- 7″ circle, 1- 8″ circle, & 2- 6″ circles.
Cut down the 6″ circles so that one is a bit smaller than the 6″ cake ring, and the other is smaller than the first. Cut down the 8″ circle so that it is a bit smaller than the 8″ cake ring
Set aside

Pineapple Mousse

Milk – 450g
Egg Yolks – 5 (100g)
Sugar, Granulated – 80g
Gelatin Leaves – 10 (20g)
Purée, Pineapple – 450g
Whipping Cream, Whipped – 450g

Use Bavarian Method, make sure mixture is heated to the Rose Stage
Place in ice bath to cool it, but not yet set
Fold in whipped cream, use immediately

Coconut Layer

Coconut Milk- 400g
Medium Coconut – 80g
Coconut Meat – 100g
Sugar, Granulated – 20g
Gelatin Leaves – 5 (10g)

Heat Coconut Milk, & shredded coconut
Add in gelatin, still completely dissolved
Pour into molds, place coconut meat mixed with sugar into the mixture
Freeze till solid
Once solid, cut one disc down to fit into the 6″ ring (disc should be smaller than the ring)


Purée, Pineapple – 88g
Miroir – 135g

Bring to a boil, then pour over cake


Make a collar around the cake rings
Line rings with acetate
Place jelly roll cake circles in the rings
Lightly drench cake circles with Malibu Rum drenching syrup (Malibu Rum mixed with simple syrup)
Pour on a layer of mousse, then place coconut layer, & press down firmly.
Add next layer of mousse, then last layer of jelly roll. Use remaining mousse to fill to the top
Pour miroir on top
Decorate with Pineapple wedges, toasted shredded coconut, & toasted coconut ribbon

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Part 2:

At the end of week 2, we went on a field trip to some local bakeries/patisseries. We went to Ganache, Small Victory, Faubourg, & Thierry. While we were at Ganache, I noticed how small your work spaces can be. Peter Fong gave us a small tour of the facility, talked to us about the business, and aboutanswered our questions. Neither Thierry nor Faubourg had anyone to show us around, but that was ok. My favourite place on the field trip, was when we went to Small Victory. It has more of a layed back atmosphere, and I like it. At Small Victory, the employee’s work space looked larger than all the rest of the other bakeries we visited.

Overall, I think my plan worked out really well as I achieved what I had set out to do. However, I changed a few things about my cake, but they were for the better. I changed some of my decorating plans.

One of my proudest moments was when I took my cheesecakes out of the oven, & saw that they weren’t cracked! Some of my other proud moments include the decoration on my 6″ Signature Cake, & my finished Tiramisus


The theoretical understanding of concepts that I have gained helps me be more successful in the lab by knowing how to fix things when things go awry. It also helps me perfect products without many mishaps.

Two cakes that I hope to improve on/would work well in a small version are the opera cake, and tiramisu.

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Chocolate & Confections Part 2: Chocolate Businesses

Thomas Haas: North Shore [North Vancouver] Store: Unit 128, 998 Harbourside Drive, North Vancouver, BC, V7P 3T2 Kitsilano Store: 2539 West Broadway Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6K 2E9

Similar Products: They sell a product called Dark Bark which is really just a really bug chunk of Knackerli. It is kind of different as it has nuts & dried fruits inside the chocolate as well as on the outside, whereas Knackerli only have them on the top, and are limited to one of each kind of “topping.” The Mango Coconut truffle is made of white chocolate, & looks almost the same as the Lemon Truffles we made, except that it contains hints of coconut and contains a mango ganache instead of a lemon one.

Products I might be interested in buying: The Marc de Champagne Truffle sound really good, and looks like a powdered Timbit. I would like to try it because the description sounds really interesting, yet good (“Milk chocolate ganache perfumed with Champagne, and eau de vie from Champagne grapes.”.)

Beta 5: 413 Industrial Ave. Vancouver, BC

Similar Products: They sell hand wrapped caramels. Unlike the caramel mous, they aren’t covered in chocolate.

Products I might be interested in buying: I would like to try the Strawberry-Camomile chocolate as it sounds like it would be good (strawberry jelly with camomile infused white chocolate ganache), and also because it looks very apealing.

Chocolate Arts: 1620 West 3rd Avenue Vancouver, British Columbia

Similar Products: They have a product called Leaf. It it very similar to the flat molded chocolates we made, except that theirs is highlighted with a different chocolate (in this case dark chocolate is highlighted on milk chocolate). Their chocolate called Palette is almost identical to Knackerli, except that they don’t put pistachios on them. The Splinter chocolate is identical to the Almond Clusters that we have made, except we only use almonds in them while they use almonds, pecans, & pistachios in theirs.

Products I might be interested in buying: Cocoa bean wafer (dark chocolate with cocoa nibs, & cocoa) as it looks very interesting, and by the description sound really good. It would be like going back to the “roots” of chocolate.

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Chocolate & Confections

For the last two weeks we have been focusing on all things chocolate. Needless to say chocolate is very tempermental (pun intended).

Below are things that have surprised me, frustrated me, challenged me, & frankly surprised me from my experiences over the last 2 weeks. My overall sense of the course is that chocolate can be very mean to you. It can, and will “react” to how you are feeling. All your patience is required to get the chocolate tempered perfectly.

– I learned that the Beta 5 crystals are the “good” (stable) crystals that need to be formed in order for the chocolate to be properly tempered.

– To temper chocolate, I used a couple of methods; the Tablage method, & the seeding/inoculation method. I like the Tablage method the best. In this method, a marble slab is used. Pour out 2/3 of chocolate on to the marble, & spread out the chocolate on the marble, then quickly scrape the chocolate towards your other utensil (usually an offset spatula, or straight spatula) once “back together” spread chocolate out again, and repeat till chocolate becomes thick, & pasty. Transfer chocolate back to bowl, & stir till lumps are gone, Taking tests of the chocolate every so often is crucial to be ableto “read” the chocolate.

It surprised me that chocolate can be such a stinker sometimes. Once you fix your chocolate so that it is back to being well tempered, you notice that there are lumps. You place the bowl over a Bain Marie to melt the lumps, and discover that too many good crystals have melted, and your chocolate is back to being ill tempered. I know better now how to keep chocolate in temper so that it doesn’t create fat blooms, or sugar blooms.

I would like to know more about how to flavour, & infuse chocolate.

(Note: Due to technical difficulties, not all the pictures of the chocolates I made were able to be posted)


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Decoration & Design

These last few weeks have been on cake decorating and all that goes with it. From how to properly hold a straight spatula, how to mask a cake, how to pipe choux, to how to pipe roses out of Italian buttercream, and everything in between! I have learned so much!

I went to Gizella Bakery and met with the Production Manager, Diego Crameri. Gizella is a supplier to many places, such as Costco (across Canada)  McDonalds, T&T, IGA, & Dairy Queen, among others. Since they are a supplier, they do not have any showcases or displays.

They strictly only make cakes and desserts which are all frozen.

Their best seller is Cheesecake, which are made many different sizes from as small as 2 1/2″ – tray size.  They also make desserts such layer cakes, birthday cakes, mousse cakes, red velvet cakes, & brownies, amongst other things.

While I was at Gizella, I was taken on a tour of the factory. While on that tour, I found it interesting and new, that some of the work is done by machine, such as the swirling of cakes, & the depositing of fudge to be spread evenly.

Diego mentioned that even though the machines do some of the work for you, the principals of baking still apply. This is something I will definitely keep in mind.

When creating new cakes, it depends on the customer wants. Some of their flavours are,  Chocolate, White Chocolate, & Banana amongst others.

All of the desserts at Gizella are kept elegant, professional and clean, which is what I need to continue to improve on. Simple is usually better than a loud, wild cake, it is also visually more appealing and appetizing.
Since they make such large batches (300-600 kg), they cannot sweat the small stuff like we do here at VCC. I will also keep this in mind.

Sticking to the things that I have learned such as, keeping the cake elegant and clean,  keeping it simple, and using colours (in reasonable quantities, and shades) when needed, with produce flawless cakes time and time again.


Below are some of the deserts that they make. As I was not allowed to take pictures, these pictures were given to me.

Green Tea Cheesecake


Black Forest Cake

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More Cheesecakes!


Unlike most stores where the picture on the box doesn’t always give you an accurate portrayal of what the product looks like, at Gizella’s, the box and the contained dessert are usually identical




Thank you to all my classmates! It has been a privilege to work, study and ‘chill’ with you. I will miss being in class with all of you greatly.



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Aeration & Emulsification (a.k.a. Let Them Eat Cake!)

In this course, we have made a lot of cakes! Angel food cakes, jellyrolls, sponge cakes (both chocolate & white), jaconde (decorative sponge), layer cakes, etc.

For this, I have chosen Angel Food Cake.

Angel food cakes are very light and airy cakes. They are leavened solely by air and contain no fat in them. Like most cakes should be, they are also moist, and have uniformly small air cells. Angel food cakes also happen to be white (partly hence the name).

To make angel food cake:

– Use the “Angel Food” method

– Set your oven to 190°C

– Do not grease your pans as if you do the cake will pull away too much from the pan and cave in on itself.

– Always scale ingredients accurately & sift dry ingredients

– Ensure that your ingredients are all at room temperature, this will create a nice homogenous cake batter for you to work with. Room temperature egg whites will create a nice light and airy egg foam.

– Combine & sift flour and first part of sugar together, this helps prevent lumps from forming in your egg foam.

– Whip up your egg whites then add the salt and cream of tartar

– Continue whipping and slowly add in the remaining part of sugar until soft peaks form. Beware of the stiff peaks, you only want to whip till soft peaks, not stiff peaks. If there are favourings to be added, add them now.

– If you over whip your egg whites, you will create overly big air cells which will expand, but as they do, the egg white proteins won’t be able to stand up in the oven when being baked. Which in turn will a cause your cake to collapse.

– Once you are done, you are now ready to add in the flour mixture. Gradually and gently use your hand like a paddle to incorporate the flour into the egg whites by folding them in. Do not over mix as you will deflate the foam.

– After panning them, bake immediately to avoid deflation.

– You will know when your cakes are done by their nice golden colour, and when you poke it, it quickly springs back up.

– Invert your pans the moment they come out of the oven to avoid them collapsing due to gravity.

– When they are entirely cooled, only then may you depan them.

– Decorate, freeze or both! Or even better, decorate, take a picture then EAT it!!

Be careful as you make your angel food cake, in order for them to turn out correctly and without collapsing.

When Karen and I made our angel food cakes, they turned out very nicely as we had applied all of the above steps to achieve a good lift and nice small uniform air cells.

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Lamination – Proofing & Baking

As we continue our tour of the the Lamination Station,  we come to the part about how to properly proof and bake off our processed laminated doughs.

Some challenges that may be encountered when proofing laminated yeast dough are,  the dreaded weeping of fat, and the formation of a skin on your dough if  proofed at too low of a temperature.

When proofing laminated yeast doughs, a good practice to put into practice is to proof  them at room temperature. This is so that it won’t be too warm (fat will melt), or too cold (the yeast will retard). When doing this, it is also a good practice to put a cover over your items (or a jacket over the rack where they sit proofing), in order to prevent a skin from forming on your products.

When dealing with frozen Danishes & Croissants,  you should first slowly thaw them in a fridge overnight. If  wanted, you could also thaw them at room temperature, but you must ensure that they remain skinless at all times. Once it has thawed,  proof and bake as usual (like if it had never been frozen).

You may bake off still frozen puff pastry immediately! However, baking time will increase.

Next stop: Aeration & Emulsification

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