Friday, December 24, 2010


This week I made candy canes and truffles at home. They came out ok. Work is a bit crazy this week, as we are making sure we produce the items for the store and for a party that we are providing desserts for on Thursday. I'm going to work that party, so it should be lots of fun. It's a very big party and it is sorta based of the idea of snow white. I believe from what I heard it is basesd on her name or something like that. But everything we are making for this party is flavored with apple in one way or another. It all looks wonderful.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Making Croissants

Last Friday I made croissant dough to make ham and Swiss croissants today. The first ones took a bit long to bake, but the second batch came out beautiful. I learned that it is a better idea at home to only proof the dough out at room temp for a while then put it in the oven without water and ice cubes to create steam for a little while then take out the pan with the water so that the oven does not have constant moisture in the oven. But I'm learning and having fun.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A busy and sad week

Last Sunday, I baked my first German Chocolate Cake for my uncle's birthday. It was a huge hit. I tried it, but I still do not like the texture of coconut. But the cake was good.

The New Store by Lakeside finally opened on Monday, December 6th. Not too many customers yet, mostly because they haven't done any major advertising for it. I went in early Monday and helped get products ready to ship to the store, and was under the impression that I was going to go help set up the store. But it ended up that they needed me more at the bakery, so I stayed. On Thursday I had to empty out the dark chocolate tank and put in milk chocolate to make milk chocolate bark. And I found out the tank holds about 50 pounds of chocolate. That is a lot of chocolate and it made me think about how much chocolate I must go through each week. I haven't really added it up, but it must be several hundred pounds a week. Mostly we use dark chocolate, some white chocolate and some milk chocolate.

On Wednesday, I got sad news about of my doggy, Noel. He passed away and it was totally unexpected. Noel who was a 7 year old papillon, was the first puppy we added to our family. He was the sweetest and most loving puppy anybody could ever want as a part of a family. He is greatly missed.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grandpa's Cheesecake

Grandpa liked his Cheesecake with Blueberry topping.

I made my grandpa a cheesecake for his birthday on Wednesday. It tasted really good, and was light and creamy. Yum! And I made a blueberry topping, because he loves blueberries. It was a hit even though I know it could have been a bit better. I could have baked the cake a little longer or either not have used a water bath. Even though I wrapped the spring form pan in foil, water still seeped in and the graham cracker crust was soggy. I'm still learning.

Sucre's new store is not opening on Friday, Dec. 3rd. They are shooting to open it on Monday or Tuesday next week.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Baking For Thanksgiving

Well, I made two pies for Thanksgiving, a cherry and an apple. The cherry filling is not from scratch because they are not in season, but I did make the apple from scratch. After tasting them, I was disappointed in myself. I knew that the pie dough was not going to be like it should because I had put it in a container while it was still warm. So, the dough got soggy. :(
Well, the lesson I learned is to not bake when you don't have time to do everything right.

I also made a small version of my pecan peach cake at the request of my dad. Well it didn't come out the same as the last time I had made this cake. Next lesson learned is that I need to work harder on cconsistently putting out a good product.

At work I was asked to come up with a standard design cake. The goal is for the cake to suit ages 16 and older regardless of gender, with the option of changing colors as needed. The intention is for the cake to be a little fancier than a stock cake, but still be an affordable custom ordered cake, kind of the next level up. Because of the broad goal, it makes it a little difficult coming up with a new idea that fits the criteria, is easy to reproduce and is appealing to all. Maybe I'm making it more difficult then it is. After all, millions of cakes have been made so it's hard to come up with a new idea.

Our new store is scheduled to open Friday, December 3rd, if all goes as planned. I'll be working there the night before helping setup. That will be fun.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dead Dough Showpiece

Every once in a while, I look at the history of the hits my blog receives and I am surprised by the search term that leads a lot of people to my blog. Bet you can't guess?
OK, I'll tell you. It's Dead Dough.
I'm guessing that it number of hits are high right now due to Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up and people are wanting to make Dead Dough Sculptures for the table.
While I was in Le Cordon Bleu, studying to be a Patisserie Chef (I'm still working on that), we had to make a Dead Dough Showpiece.

Click below to see the post from back then.
My initial Sketch of the Dead Dough Showpiece.
My completed Dead Dough Showpiece.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Busy week and weekend!

After work on Friday I went to work at Emeril's event. The music was kicking and the food was moving. I even got a picture of Emeril and I. We served our Pear Tiramisu, which is my favorite fall dessert. Yum!

My Aunt brought my Peach Pecan Cake to her church on Saturday for the Pecan festival. I put my cake in the best use of pecan's category. Later after dinner I went with my aunt to see what happened to my cake. I didn't win. :( I lost to a younger kid's cake that was absolutely covered in pecans and was in the shape of a cornucopia. I was very proud of my cake, and I think I went for more of the taste of the pecans throughout the cake than decoration. Come to find out they didn't even taste the cakes. It was all about looks. Duh? But I got to bring my cake home and I have to say that this was the best tasting cake I have made yet!

Today I went and worked for Joel's catering company. I helped put food on platters and plates to be sent out to serving stations. It was different and a lot of fun! The most important thing is that I got the opportunity to learn. Whew! Working seven days in a row this week is a first for me. But it was fun.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Home Baking

Tonight I did a little baking at home. I actually baked the cake earlier in the week and tonight I decorated them. The first two pictures are of a Peach Pecan Cake. This cake is for a cake baking contest at the Pecan Festival which is held at a local church. It is a pecan cake with Swiss butter cream, peaches and candied pecans in middle, and toasted pecans on the outside. The top picture is the finished cake. The next picture shows the peaches and candied pecans in the middle.

Next I baked my cousin Anne a birthday cake. It's a white chocolate cake, with poached pears in the center, and a whip cream outside.
This weekend will be busy for me. After work on Friday, I work a function for my boss. It will have a few celebrity chefs and I'm excited about working it. I'll tell you more about it afterwards. One of owner's of Sucré is Joel Dondis who owns Joel Event Catering. I'll be working an event for him on Sunday from 2pm till 9pm. I'll tell you more about it after I work it. I'm excited about this as well. I figure anything I can work provides an opportunity for me to learn. Oh, yeah, the added bonus is that I get paid. Sweet!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Marshmallow Test and Work

Top left: Cookies n Cream Marshmallow, Top right: S'Mores Marshmallow
Center: Lime Coconut Marshmallow, Bottom: Mint Chocolate Nib Marshmallow

This week I helped Tariq test three different marshmallows; Cookies n Cream, Mint Chocolate Nib, and S'mores. He coated the Mint Chocolate Nib and the Cookies n Cream with chocolate, and half-dipped the S'mores in chocolate. My favorite is the Mint Mint Chocolate Nib. It has this really nice minty cooling effect on your mouth and the nibs give it a little crunch. It reminds me of yummy mint chocolate chip ice cream. I was also allowed to come up with a marshmallow flavor myself and make it too. So, I came up with a lime-coconut marshmallow. Boy was it good, and I'm not even a fan of the texture of coconut. The best thing was that Tariq was impressed and really liked it. YAY! :)
I forget which day it was, but I went to pull a plug out of the receptacle, my hand was a little wet and I accidentally touched the metal part of the plug. Yep, you guessed it, I got a little shock. Oh Fun! My fingers felt weird. I won't make that mistake again.
This week I have also been working on a huge order of truffles for a new customer. It's starting to get real busy at Sucré. We have a new 2,000-square-foot-store opening Thanksgiving week at Lakeside Mall in Metairie. The store is outside the mall next to Bravo Italian, near the intersection of Veterans and Severn Avenue. I've heard they expect to open locations in Houston and Dallas by the end of 2011.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Aunt's Birthday

I made my aunt a birthday cake, and boy was she excited this past week about it. She told everybody that her niece (me) is making her birthday cake. She was like a little kid excited about going somewhere. It came out good, only I would liked the cake to have been a little moister. It is a white cake, with a strawberry and raspberry gelee, and a whipped chocolate ganache. It was good! Next time I think I should pour the gelee on top of half the cake then put the other on top so that the cake doesn't slide around.
Work was good, I made and cut some marshmallows, and unmolded chocolates and boxed them. I love our marshmallows they are so light and fluffy. They are melt in your mouth good!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Finding my Externship

Did you ever wonder how I found my externship? Externships for Culinary or Pâtisserie students are typically required by all schools. For the Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) Pâtisserie and Baking Certificate Program, a 6 week externship is required. I set my sights on searching for restaurants or bakeries that would let me do a 12 week externship. Although 6 weeks would satisfy the requirements for my LCB certificate, I felt 12 weeks would look better on a resume and I would learn more. Face it, you only learn so much in the school.

Externships are usually unpaid. Since I was looking to work somewhere for free for 12 weeks, I looked in Atlanta (where I lived) and New Orleans (where I had family to stay with). One of these two cities were the best choice for me to save money.

Next I considered that if I was going to do some on-the-job training, I wanted to learn from a Pastry Chef who was among the best in the industry. So how to find one. Well, can you say Yep, I just started searching. I looked for pastry chefs, bakeries, restaurants, food reviews, contest, etc., in each city. I read everything I could about each Pastry Chef. I looked at the restaurant or bakery websites. I read reviews for deserts on foodie websites. I looked for menus which listed the desserts they made. I narrowed my choices down and selected 6 places to send my first set of resumes and cover letters. Out of the 6 places, I really only had two places that I really wanted. One was in Atlanta and the other was in New Orleans. Out of the 6 places, I received 3 responses within a week, which surprised me. The other 3 places never responded at all. Choice number 3 was a bakery in Atlanta, which is high volume, has a good reputation, but to be honest, I wasn't impressed with the taste of the pastries. So I had to decide between the other two places.

Hmm! Which to choose. The Pastry Chef in Atlanta is nationally known and is very talented. It was probably a 20 mile drive one-way with a lot of traffic. Not my idea of fun, but I would have done it to work with that Pastry Chef. The Pastry Chef in New Orleans had a great reputation and the bakery was very cool. They had great reviews and the pastries were interesting and looked great on the website. The bakery was only 12 miles from where I would live and no traffic. One more thing, New Orleans is a food town, Atlanta is not. There are not very many great food towns in the United States, but New Orleans is one of them. If you have read my bio, then you know I'm partial to New Orleans and I love the food there. So I picked Sucré in New Orleans and planned to do a 12 week externship. I started my externship on August 16th. As it worked out, they hired me full time after my 6 weeks required by LCB. It couldn't have worked out better for me. If you are searching for an externship, I hope my story helps you plan your search.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Tonight I was taken to Corks n Canvas for my birthday present from my Aunt Adrienne. My two cousins, Anne and Sarah also came. Corks n Canvas has classes on how to paint. You pick a night that they a teaching a specific painting you are interested in doing. A bottle of wine can be brought in to drink while you are painting. We had a great time and I was happy with my painting. You can easily pick me out in the picture above as I'm the short one.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

20th Day of Work

Well, last week I got told that I would only be working on chocolate. YAY! They hired two people to do just macaroons. I've been very busy with work, but I'm thoroughly enjoying every moment. Sucré just put out their fall desserts. Two of them that struck my interest the most is the Pear Tiramisu and Pumpkin Chai Dobash. Yum, yum! :) And the garnish for the Pear Tiramisu is a bird's nest made out of chocolate. I get to make these by putting strips of tempered chocolate on a frozen metal sheet, and at just the right time you move them and form it around your fingers to form the nest. It's so cool, but messy.

Also last week, was the cake decorator's birthday, and as a joke they bought a cake from a grocery store. (see picture below) It was quite funny. Now, I guess you may be wondering why we thought it was funny. Remember, there are many pastry chefs and cooks working here and instead of baking this girl a cake, they gave her a production made sheet cake.

Just today we found out that Whole Foods Grocery stores in Louisiana are going to be carrying Sucré's chocolate bars. I get to make them! :)

Click here to see the chocolate bars without the wrappers.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

French Macaroons Recipe

Want to know how to make French Macaroons? One recipe is posted on the Sucré website.
Click here to see the recipe.

There is a cool video on how to make French Macaroons,
Click here to see the video.
When watching the video, after the macaroon is baked, you'll see the final assembly of the macaroons. After the macaroon is cooled, we match the halves so each half are approximately the same size and pipe the filling and put them together. During this final assembly I can do about 350 per hour.

Monday, October 4, 2010

5th Day of Work - Macaroons

I would have to say that by far the toughest things I have done at Sucré is lifting the 40 qt. mixer bowl in order to pour out the marshmallow on the sheet pans. The second toughest to do is all the leaning over required in working with the macaroons. I think it is the height of the table tops and the distance that I have to reach over the table while piping.

On part of Thursday and Friday, I matched and piped the filling in about 2,000 macaroons in a little more than 6 hours. This is much faster than when I started doing this. Averaging around 333 macaroons an hour is a very respectable rate of production. I was impressed with myself and am quite proud of picking up the pace.

On Saturday, I helped make the macaroons for breast cancer month. They are pink and beige macaroon shells, and are filled with a toasted almond butter cream and strawberry jam. They are yummy. My first week as a paid patisserie cook went really well.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

1st Day of Real work

I've done it! Last Saturday was the final day of my externship. I have sent in my last time sheet and journal to Le Cordon Bleu. After 144 days of school and 30 days of externship, I have completed my Patisserie & Baking program at Le Cordon Bleu. I will still have to attend the graduation later.
Today at Sucré I made candied pecans and worked in chocolate world. Then I heard the good news for the day. They realized that I have completed my externship and so now I am going to be paid five days a week. Meaning I have my first full time job. Yay!!!! :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday - Day Off

On Thursday (Externship Day 28) and Friday (Day 29) I got to work in the chocolate world again. I like getting to work in chocolate world. The two pluses are that the room is cooler and it is quieter. The Executive Pastry Chef, Tariq, pulled me aside on Thursday to talk to me, and told me they are going to start paying me three days of the week filling macaroons. Yes, it’s not the most amazing job but it is something that really needs to be done. I’m not complaining. The other two days I will help out in chocolate world. This really made me feel good and I feel like he must appreciate the work that I'm doing. I still want to work on my speed and I'm confident that I'll get much faster. Also, I now get two days off in a row as before my days off were split apart. Yeay!
On Sunday I made a Roasted Poblano Pepper and Cheese soup. It came out really good. This was the first time I had made a soup from scratch. I made it for dinner on Monday night, to have with my grandparents, uncle, aunt and a cousin.
Sunday evening, my brother and I went to John Besh’s restaurant August in New Orleans. The dinner was my birthday present from my parents. The food was good. I would have to say my most favorite part was the gulf shrimp pot stickers. Mmmmm….. those were yummy! For dessert I had got their version of a napoleon. It had a chocolate cake, then a chocolate nougatine, on top a chocolate mousse, another nougatine, and on the very top was a scoop of salted toffee ice cream. It was yummy!
So today is my birthday and I'm just getting better.

My brother Stephen and I getting ready to go to August for dinner.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day Off

Today was my day off. I had my hair cut today and cooked dinner for my grandparents and aunt. I've been cooking dinner for them every Wednesday and today I cooked Chicken Parmigiana. It came out terrific. Today I'm posting a picture of the chef jacket that Sucré gave me. Also there is a close up picture of the embroidered Sucré logo on the jacket.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

27th Day of Externship

3025 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115

Today I made more BAC dough, scaled out cake mix and other stuff for Tariq. I made some interiors for desserts, an order for a restaurant (customer) and then 50 pecan squares. So I was busy all day. Even though it's work, I get a great sense of accomplishment from doing it.
I thought I would just include a picture of the Sucré store front. I don't work at the store location. I work at the Confectionery (kitchen) which is much larger and a few miles away from the store. There, the baking, chocolates, gelato, etc, is done. Also internet orders are fulfilled from here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

26th Day of Externship

Boy am I working hard. I come home so tired. By the time I lay down in bed at night, I'm out like a light bulb. Last week we had huge orders of cupcakes (because of our Saints Cup Cake that we sell), and a huge order for a hotel. I got to work in the cake world for a change on Friday. I covered two square cakes with fondant to make them look like presents. They came out beautiful. Then I put together a Doberge cake (on a large scale to be cut into smaller pieces). After I put it together and let it cool, it was time to cut and Tariq said, "No you can't use that b/c of the slant." The problem was a flexible sheet pan, so as a solution I looked for the flattest sheet pans I could find to bake the cake on Saturday morning. When It came to butting it together I used a fiberglass sheet pan (it doesn't flex like the metal pans can in the center). Also Tariq showed us how to make the icing level even if one part of the cake is to thin the icing can be thicker. Well, I knew how to do that but I listened, because there is always an an opportunity to learn new techniques. On the cake I did Friday, I did do the icing correctly, but because of the metal sheet pan flexing down in the middle, well it only looked level. Once I took the cake off the sheet pan and put it on a flat surface, the cake was bowed up in the middle. After the lady cut the new one there was only a slight slant so I came close to being right. Next time I'll get it perfect. I was also presented with a new chef jacket with Sucre embroidered on it. So cool! This week I was given an evaluation from my Sucre supervisor so it could be sent to the Le Cordon Bleu externship coordinator. The review was excellent and I was so proud of myself. I will keep putting 110% into my work.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

20th Day of Externship

Sorry, I have been busy this week. Last Saturday I got my first burn at work, then I got another one on Tuesday, and then again today I burnt my fingers again. It is not too bad though, I will live. This week I worked more on making parts of desserts so that they could be put together not only for the store but for a wholesale order. The Saints played on Thursday. It was their first season home game. And in honor of the big day Joel and Tariq made us amazing hamburgers. The buns were even made fresh (I guess you would figure that at a bakery). Also on Thursday, Joel showed me how to cut a pineapple the right way to save as much of the fruit as possible. I can't wait to go to school and learn knife skills and tricks of the culinary world. Today, I was alone by myself, at least as far as the task I was doing. There were other people there in other areas. I took pictures of the six types of cupcakes that I was making at Sucré. They are really good. Especially the chocolate salted caramel cupcake, also known as the Saints Cup Cake. I am learning a lot and having loads of fun.

From top left to right: Chocolate/Chocolate, Vanilla/Lemon, Chocolate/Salted Caramel. From bottom left to right: Chocolate/Caramel, Vanilla/Chocolate, Vanilla/Strawberry. (cupcake/frosting)

Monday, September 6, 2010

16th Day of Externship

Well, the past few days I started working in chocolate world (that's what I call it). I worked from start to finish twice on the gingerbread chocolate candies for the Christmas holiday season. It was fun, and my arm is sore from how I have to hold the chocolate mold container. I also did more macaroons, and finishing touchs on some desserts. I baked off some more BAC's. Which turned out right today. YAY! :) The only downer, that I'll live from, was burning my forearm on the hot sheet pan when pulling it out of the oven.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

14th Day of Externship

Well, today was fun. I got to work in chocolate world all day. I made two different ganaches and completely made some molded chocolate candies, except for the foot that I will put on tomorrow. It kinda felt like it ought to be Friday the 13th. When I was spraying the the molds the air compressor fell down three times. First it fell off the the plastic bin it was sitting on that was near the table, but it was okay. Next it fell behind the plastic bin and severed the power cord. Wow, did that give me a scare, even though I know it wasn't my fault. The air compressor vibrates around on its own. So I showed Tariq and we striped the wires and put it back together. Yay! It worked again! Then it fell down again. So Tariq moved it to the bottom of the table. The next thing to go wrong was the electricity went out in the building, but only for a few minutes. Thank goodness. (Apparently we are located on a weak power grid, so it happens often.) Then when I pulled the chocolate macaroons they were purple. So, I was told not to work with them and wait till Tariq looks at them. On my way home, when I went to go fill up my gas tank. The gas station was running low so all I got was 5 gallons. I'll have to go back and finish filling up another time. What a crazy day.

Monday, August 30, 2010

11th Day of Externship

Today was fun. I matched and filled macaroons. Then I got to work in the chocolate world for the first time today. First I spread the molds with gold colored coco butter. Then I filled the molds with milk chocolate to make a shell. Tomorrow I get to put the foot on the chocolate. The Lady that showed me, filled the center with a gingerbread ganache filling. It's a holiday flavor. On the way home I got to experience my first time driving in BIG puddles of water on the road. To people in New Orleans, deep water on the road is a common occurrence. What fun!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

10th Day of Externship

Sorry, the past two days were pretty much the same as Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday I got so tired of the BAC's and the feeling of not doing anything right that I had a break down. I put too much pressure on myself in trying to make a good impression at Sucre. Which led me into only failing myself. So, today I went in with a smile and a positive attitude, and ended up having a better day. The BAC's finally came out right. YAY!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

7th Day of Externship

Well to start off I forgot to mention that I met Joel (the owner) yesterday. When he came up to meet me he wanted to shake my hand and of course my hands were all dirty. I wasn't sure what to do and he told me it was okay. I didn't give as firm a hand shake as I usually do because I felt so bad about my hand being dirty.

Today, I made chocolate caramel, cut marshmallows, and scooped BAC's. Fun Fun! Tomorrow is my day off, and I'm going to make pizza for my grandparents and my aunt. Thursday I might get to work with chocolate. Yay!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

6th Day of Externship

Well, today was much of the same as last week. Baking off BAC's, storing baked goods, and other miscellaneous tasks. When I started cutting chocolate caramels, the assistant pastry chef said it was all wrong. I felt horrible, but I was doing it the way I was being shown by another girl in the kitchen. The assistant pastry chef told me not to take it personal, but I can't help it because I take my work seriously. Also, I believe I fixed the problem I've been having with the BAC's because the recipe told me dry then wet, but in school it was always wet then dry with the creaming method. So, when it came time to make another batch of BAC's today, I asked the assistant pastry chef, about the correct method. She confirmed that I had learned correctly in school and should do it that way. And so I did what I thought was correct and the batter looked like cookie batter. So I will see how that bakes off tomorrow. After that, I did another batch of chocolate caramel's for the store.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

5th Day of Externship

Today was much better. Each day keeps getting better. The only things I made from scratch were a sugar free coconut mousse and a base for a chocolate mousse dessert. Both came out well. I packed cup cakes after I baked them. Last thing I did was fill an order for a restaurant in New Orleans. I got to watch Tariq and a co-worker make a wedding cake and a groom's cake for tomorrow. The cakes looked really nice. I'm so glad I have a day off tomorrow. I need it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

4th Day of Externship

Well, today was much better. Mostly because I didn't have to make anything from scratch. I baked off cup cakes, and the BAC's (which are yummy cookies by the way). I weeded through chocolate macaroons and filled them with caramel ganache. Well, I take back the not making anything from scratch because I did. I made a chocolate caramel that we use for the center of the BAC's. Then I packed cup cakes and the cookies.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

3rd Day of Externship

Well, today I had a tough time trying to keep the pace up. First, I had to make a big batch of pastry cream, and I burned it. I burned it because I didn't stir quick enough, and I think that maybe the flame was set to high for the speed I was stirring. I felt horrible and got teary eyed. But Tariq (the executive pastry chef) was happy to show me how to do it. That made me feel a bit better about it. Then I filled, iced, and decorated 210 cup cakes. Because I was being shown the way to make each flavor of butter cream, and how to decorate each cup cake, I felt like I was moving slow. There where six flavors of cup cakes; vanilla - chocolate, vanilla - strawberry, vanilla - lemon, chocolate - chocolate, chocolate - caramel, and chocolate - salted caramel. In between the cupcakes, I made a batch of lime curd for the Gelato chef. I also helped pack up orders for tomorrow. Today was crazy with all the different things going on, and boy did it make me tired. Also I get tired because working in a real production bakery is a lot different than working in school. When you stir huge pots of pastry cream or mix up 30 quart pots of cup cake batter, well let's just say it's a real workout for my arms. I'm sure my muscles will build up over time.

Oh yeah, I'm off on Wednesdays and Sundays. So that's why I didn't have a post yesterday.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

2nd Day of Externship

Well, today was a little better than yesterday. The first thing they had me do was to scale out a double batch of BAC cookies (which is kind of a basic cookie dough). Then they had me finish mixing the chocolate cup cake mix that I had started the day before. I then stored the cup cakes that I baked off yesterday and this morning, and put them them away. After that was done I scooped around 300 BAC cookies. Wow, did my arm hurt after scooping 300 cookies. I didn't get a chance to bake off the chocolate cup cake mix today, but a lady will do that tomorrow. I also made some strawberry mousse cakes for a hotel. When I started making the strawberry mouse and piped it out, I ended up short a few cakes. So I had to make more. Now I'm not sure if it was because I incorrectly scaled it or just that the recipe didn't make enough. I boxed xocolate's for another day. I also boxed some pecan rolls for a well known restaurant in New Orleans. Apparently we do wholesale orders for many other businesses as well as our own store.

Today I met Tariq Hanna the Executive Pastry Chef of Sucré. Tariq is a very pleasant and laid back man. He asked me a few questions, like where I am from, and why I chose Sucré. Tariq found it funny that I didn't want to travel the hour or more to any of the bakeries in Atlanta, but that I wanted to move to New Orleans to bake. I told him it was for the experience, as well as his and the shop's reputation.

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day of Externship

When I got to the bakery this morning, my supervisor showed me around the shop and gave me an apron and two towels. Then I went strait to work on matching up macaroons by size and filling them. It was a bit time consuming, because the bakery just got a new machine to make the macaroons instead of doing it by hand (in order to make the macaroons faster) but unfortunately, the machine was having problems keeping the size consistent. After that, I scaled out a huge recipe for cup cakes and mixed it in a 30 qt. mixer. Boy was that heavy! When it came time to put the mix in the cup cake pans they had this machine that pumped out 4 cup cakes at a time. It helped make the process move quickly. The top of the machine where I had to pour the mix in was high up and the bucket of mix was too heavy for me to lift all by myself. So I had to politely ask one of the guys in the shipping room to help me for a quick second. Next, I started with the chocolate mix they had made the other day, but when I went to pour it in the top of the machine, I made a mess. Oops! :( I was embarrassed. I thought I could handle it myself since it was a much smaller batch of mix. I should have thought through the situation before diving in. I won't do that again. I baked off half of the cup cakes and had to save the rest for tomorrow because I didn't have time to bake them off today. After storing them, I cut up one pan of vanilla marshmallows and coated them with powdered sugar. I was not given too much to do, but I felt like I was moving to slow, and a burden on the other three workers. But I guess everyone has a first day. We all have to start somewhere. The one nice thing is that they have a dedicated dishwasher, but of course you still have to wash the small things when it's needed more than once. All things considered, my first day was not so bad.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Orleans

Today I arrived in New Orleans. After unloading the cars, we had to have some Fried Shrimp Poboys and some Fried Shrimp plates from Bobby's Seafood on Jefferson Hwy. Afterwards, I drove to the Sucré Confectionery Studio to make sure I knew the route to get there and then back home. I can't wait to start work on Monday. My family and I rode to the Sucré store on Magazine street. My brother lives here in River Ridge where I'm staying and so he was with us also. It was probably the first time I had to actually parallel on a little narrow street. But I made it. Magazine Street is actually bustling with activity. The are many little restaurants, stores and shops with people all around. Sucré was very busy. We tasted many different chocolates and purchased quite a few to bring home to family. We also purchased some pastries to bring home. My mom and dad had a vanilla malt which they loved. On the way home, my sister and I stopped and each had a snowball. Yum.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 144 - Last Day of Class

Today is my last day of class and my final practical. I made the pulled and blown sugar sculpture above. I was able to go in to class early today so I could get on the road heading to New Orleans. I'm excited to be finished school and I'm even more excited about starting my externship at Sucré.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 142 - Geisha

Today was more practice with pulled sugar. I made a Geisha girl holding fans.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 141 - Pulled Sugar Fish

Today was more practice with pulled sugar. I made a fish, sea shell, and stand.

I also made a crab but I didn't get time to air brush it with the other colors.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 140 - Making Fruit

Today I fiinished up my Fruit made with blown sugar. The fruit is sitting on a stand which is casted sugar.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 137 - Blowing & Pulling Sugar

Today I was blowing and pulling sugar. The snow woman was what I made while practicing blowing sugar. It was a little difficult blowing the white balls. A hand pump was used to blow up the balls. The difficulty was keeping the sugar hot at the correct temperature and keeping the thickness kind of uniform so that it would blow up evenly. I was just being funny making the snow woman wear a grass skirt. I also gave her a little bow for her head. I had a great time doing it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 136 - Pulled Sugar

Today I had fun pulling sugar to make the flower pictured above. I wore three pairs of latex gloves and it was still very hot to work with. It was a lot of fun working with it. We will be doing more pulling sugar the rest of this week and next week.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 135 - Chocolate Box

Today I finished my chocolate box and candies for my practical. Above and below are pictures of what I turned in. I guess I was satisfied with my second attempt. I wanted to do a better garnishment on top but I had difficulty tempering the white chocolate.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 134 - Chocolate Box Practical Day 1

Today was day 1 of a two day practical. I made the box and lid above using chocolate. Also I made the six molded chocolate candies to put inside the box. The two disc are made from caramel and will be cut into small squares to be placed in the box as well. On Monday, I'll finish up and take some pictures before turning it in the a grade.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 133 - Chocolate Box Practice

Today I was practicing making a box out of chocolate. I also was playing around making garnish out of chocolate.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 132 - Chocolate Candies

This is our first week of of our Advanced Techniques Module. I've been making chocolate candies the last three days. Above is a picture of some of the truffles I made; Lemon, Mimosas, Salted Caramel, Banana, Coffee, and Rochere.
Above are White Cherry Fudge, Caramel Pecan, Praline.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 131 - Honors Student

Hooray! Today I received my blue cravat for having a 4.0 GPA during the program. It was awarded during an Honors Society meeting today.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wedding Cake Revisited

I was playing around with the wedding cake I made on Friday. I wiped off the Fleur De Lis that I had painted with silver dust. I then used black royal icing and piped some Fleur De Lis around the sides of the cake. I did some scroll work around the Fleur De Lis with the silver, but it didn't show up well in the picture.
On Monday, I start my last three week class at Le Cordon Bleu. This class will be the Advanced Technique Module which is chocolate, truffles, and sugar. After this class is complete, I will move to New Orleans to serve my externship at Sucré. Yippee!

Wedding Cake

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 129 - Wedding Cake

Today was my practical on making a wedding cake. Above is the picture of the wedding cake that I turned in for a grade. The cake is really just Styrofoam disc. I covered it in fondant. The black bands are fondant with some black royal icing piped above and below each band. I put super pearl dust on the black and that didn't work so well, as it made it look faded. On the sides I used silver dust/vodka mixture to paint the Fleur De Lis, but I put too much vodka and they we very light. On the top layer I used black royal icing piped to make my initials. I really lost a lot of time this week making the flowers. I had planned to put roses and peonies on the cake. The rose I was comfortable with. The peonies were new to me and I was not satisfied with what I made. Instead of the peony, I made a few tulips to add to the roses. This was certainly a learning experience. I learned a lot but was not satisfied with my execution. I just didn't have enough time to produce what I had planned.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 127 - Flower Sprays

Above is a picture of some flower sprays I made for class and they will be graded. These are meant to be placed on wedding cakes, but I will not be using these on a cake. These flowers and leaves are made out of gumpaste.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 125 - Great News!

This past week, I nailed down where I am doing my externship at. Last Monday I mailed my cover letter and resume to six places I would like to serve my externship. Three places responded quickly. Two of the places where my top two choices. By Saturday, I had made a decision, then firmed up plans to go to New Orleans and extern at Sucré. I had read about the Pastry Chef, Tariq Hanna, in several places and was very impressed by his skills and success. Also all of my family is basically from New Orleans and N.O. is one of the great food towns in the country.
My externship requirement is for 6 weeks and then I will be finished with the Patisserie and Baking Program at Le Cordon Bleu. But hopefully I will continue working at Sucre for 6 more weeks. The required six weeks is just not enough time to learn very much in my opinion. I am very excited and can not wait to start on August 16th. Who knows where this could lead, the sky is the limit.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 122 - Fondant and Piping Practice

We haven't been doing a lot of things that I can actually take a lot of pictures of lately. So I just threw this picture on the blog to show you some of the practice that I've been doing. This was to learn to use fondant and to practice different techniques of royal icing piping. This was not for a grade. Actually, on the other side of the cake, I practiced different piping techniques but I don't have a picture of it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 120 - Pastillage and Marzipan

Here is my sugar sculpture made out of pastillage. Pastillage is a sugar dough used for modeling. The white sculpture you see in the pictures is pastillage. The minature fruits you see are made of marzipan. Marzipan is basically made from sugar and almond paste. The sculpture wouldn't be good to eat, but the marzipan fruit would taste good.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 117 - Croque en Bouche

Today I made a Croque en Bouche in class. I had fun pulling the sugar to make the bows and ribbon. The sugar is very hot to handle but it is manageable. Just think about jumping in your car on a hot summer day and grabbing the very hot steering wheel. That's about how hot the sugar feels. But it's fun.
If you are wondering about the lack of post to my blog, we had a school break all last week and on Monday of this week. But we are back at it now.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Baking Practice

I baked a birthday cake for some practice. The request for the little girl's cake was for a pink cake with maraschino cherries and snow white on top. The cake filling had chopped up cherries. I wasn't real happy with the results. The pink color was not to my liking. The snow white design was hard to pipe due to the detail and being small, mainly the face. I probably spent way too much time working on it, but I'll build up speed with practice. This was the first time I used an 11" cake pan. Each time I make cakes, I learn a little more. It's frustrating when I have an idea in my mind but then I end up being less than satisfied with the results. But I still enjoyed the challenge. It's great to have a real purpose for making the cakes, so I'm very thankful for the people that allow me to make cakes for them. I love the feed back I get as it helps me improve.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 115 - Plated Dessert

Here is a dessert I had to plate for class today.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 114 - Practical

Today I plated the dessert shown above for a practical grade. It's a Pear Walnut Tart with caramelized pears on the side and caramel sauce on the plate. My grade was a 93. I thought is was good. The worst part was the uniform color.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Extra curricular baking

Friday night I baked a couple of cakes and today I decorated them. These cakes are for the first birthday party today for the granddaughter of a lady that works with my mom. I made yellow sheet cakes, filled and decorated with chocolate ganache. I decorated the top with designs I made with butter cream. Because of the number of people attending the party I decided one cake would would not be adequate. I could have made a smaller additional cake but decided to go ahead and just make the same size again, but I didn't bother doing the figures on top. I'll have another order from the same lady to make another birthday cake for July 2nd. It will be different cake, icing, shape, and decoration design. I'm having fun getting the opportunities to make more cakes.