My Experience with Pastry School

cooking school - cooking classes

Have you ever thought about going to cooking school or attending cooking classes? If you’re a regular reader, you know I love cooking…and eating! I always have, and I always will. Years ago, I decided to enroll in pastry school. This wasn’t one of those expensive pastry schools that you have to fly to France to attend. This school was right in my own home town, and it was inexpensive. I had to make the 20-mile drive a couple of times a week for several months to complete the pastry school course. I found the whole experience to be fun, educational, and a great investment of time and money.

I guess this was more of a cooking school short course than it was a full-fledged pastry school. My sister-in-law attended, also, so we rode together for the several weeks that the pastry school course lasted. We had a good time together. I wasn’t interested in becoming a professional pastry chef. I just wanted to be a better baker and cook. I also wanted to learn to make cakes and pastries that were as pleasing to the eye as they were to the palate.

The cooking school started off well. The instructor was a professional baker, and she was nice and patient. We learned about different types of crusts and about different baking and cooking techniques for pastries. The pastry school instructor touched on different fillings, but I wish she had gone into more detail about this topic. She seemed to be in a hurry to get to cake baking and cake decorating.

We baked all kinds of cakes in pastry school, including different shapes and sizes. I learned the importance of removing the crumbs from the cakes after they had cooled. We used a small brush for this. I also learned how to make the icing on a cake perfectly smooth by dipping the case knife in very hot water before smoothing. We next went on to decorating.

I used a cake decorating kit for this purpose. It included pastry bags, couplers, and lots of different metal tips. I learned to make stiff icing for decorating and got a lot of neat ideas for unique cakes. One was the doll cake that you bake in a dome pan. You then insert a small doll torso in the top and decorate the cake part to make it look like a full ball gown skirt. Since I had little girls at home, this was a big hit with my family. I also learned that this same pan can be used to make a tipi cake, a football cake, and a bikini cake.

A really neat cake I learned to make in pastry school was one for a baby shower. First, I made a sheet cake and iced it with white frosting. I added trim and roses in blue or pink, depending on whether it was for a baby girl or a baby boy. Then I used cupcakes to make a pair of baby bootees to go on top of the cake. It took three cupcakes, with one cut in half. The results looked just like a pair of crocheted bootees, complete with ribbon ties.

We learned other skills in pastry school, too, and I took them and ran with them. I turned out a lot of delicious, beautiful cakes for the next few years, all based on what I’d learned in this special school. I’ve also been able to transfer many of these skills to decorating other types of foods that I’ve served at numerous parties and receptions.

If you have an interest in becoming a pastry chef, or just in increasing your culinary skills, I highly recommend attending pastry school. Your local college might offer a few cooking courses. You can also find private pastry school classes taught by professional pastry chefs and bakers.

I’ll warn you though – you’re likely to pack on a few pounds during and after the cooking school classes. Food is very tempting when it’s beautifully presented, and in practically any pastry school class, you’ll learn this procedure and get ideas for lots more!

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Comments 34 comments

mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

This is the first hub of yours that I have read, but I certainly will be reading more. I like your style, perhaps because I also taught English. I rated you up.

bearclawmedia profile image

bearclawmedia 6 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

It is not my first hub, or my first love, but I love Habee. She is a well regarded and talented writer with wit, charm and integrity. Have not been around on the pages much lately because of work, but always seem to have time to stop in and see what Habee has to say.

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I enjoyed reading this story. Your are such a prolific writer and great cook. I think I run out of medals.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Now we're talking real comfort food! Hmmmm!

G L Strout profile image

G L Strout 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

Wonderful hub and great, tempting photos. I am working on my cookbook and I have the problem of eating the food i cook to test the recipes and still try to follow my Weight Watcher probram. It is tough loving food and following Doctor's orders!

Thanks for a lovely article.

Wife Who Saves 6 years ago

Your pastries look delicious. I copied the recipe for the Georgia peach pie. Thank you for sharing.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

I'm not a big sweet eater but your recipes are always so tempting.

ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

OO so naughty but nice

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Yikes - swim aerobics and now I have to think about what I can make this week when the kids and hubby get here! Thanks for the visuals though - I'm gonna have to crank it up - although my daughter says they want to eat 'healthier' now...I'm sure though there is some pastry or some cake in there SOMEWHERE. I actually have a terrific hankering for NY Cheesecake but in this heat it is probably not the best thing I could think of! I'm actually thinking of making ice cream sands with light almond cookies and ice cream! Not quite pastry but sounds divine at this moment.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Mystery - Yay! Another English teacher!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

David, I've really missed you! Glad you're back and okay!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

HH, you're such a good friend!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Oooohhh, yes, Mickey! Southern comfort! lol

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

GL, I've had many requests for a cookbook, but I don't seem to have the time to write one.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Wife, hope you enjoy the GA peach pie!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

thanks, Suzie! Nice to see you here!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Eth, that describes me perfectly! lol

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Buckie, that sounds like a winner! I could eat a couple right now!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Habee, I loved your story and we all know you are a marvelous cook. I think I gained weight looking at your pictures. I think i will copy a couple more recipes. I've done that a lot lately Rated up!

vaguesan profile image

vaguesan 6 years ago from Osaka, Japan

I recommend dispersing those pictures through out your hub instead of having them all at the end like that. Other than that well done! and yum!

judydianne profile image

judydianne 6 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

A very good hub. Reminded me of my Wilton cake decorating classes. I'm not very good at it but my family appreciates it, as I'm sure yours does!

Ann Lee profile image

Ann Lee 6 years ago

Very useful information. Have you ever used your pastry baking skills for a business, such as catering or providing to restaurants?

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

Love you style and I think your pictures are great. Thanks for sharing you experiences.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Pam! I think I gain weight just looking, too. lol

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for the suggestion, Vasguesan!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Been there, Judy!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, Ann. I've sold cakes and have helped with catering.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Many thanks, KKgals!

nancy_30 profile image

nancy_30 6 years ago from Georgia

Thanks for sharing your story. Now I want to go to a pastry school so I can learn all these interesting things. My sister-in-law joined a cake decorating class and has made some beautiful creations. I wish she had let me know before the class started so I could have went with her. Maybe next time.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Nancy, I think you'd enjoy pastry school!

elf_cash profile image

elf_cash 6 years ago

Habee, I'm enjoying your pastry school!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Elf, I think you've read all my pastry school entries! Thanks!

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

I am bakery-aholic if there is such a thing. I am addicted to anything sweet and especially anything with chocolate. Cinammon buns Yum! Spice cake Yummier still, strudel or strusel can't be beat,fruit pies I'm there Butter tarts or lemon tarts or mincemeat tarts you couldn't hold me away, Triple Chocolate mousse cake, look out your in my way.

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Dave, you're making me hungry!

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