Use A Little Practical Sense!

The end of the spring trimester and the end of any culinary lab means one thing: practicals.Not only does a student in a lab have to take a written exam, but also a practical, or a physical demonstration of the skills learned in the class.

Most of the students on the culinary side have it a little easier with their practical only taking up one day, and usually only a few hours.Although, a baking and pastry students gets to enjoy the stress of a two or three day practical that starts from when you step in the class and does not end until class lets out at the end of the day.

The Easiest Difficult Time I Ever Faced
Each practical is designed to be stressful, and that you will make mistakes and struggle throughout the entire process.When I was first handed the piece of paper that explained what we were to do for our practical in Advanced Cake Decorating, I was hopeful and felt that this would be the easiest practical that I even did.But, once I actually started going I found that while the tasks were simple, it was getting it done in time and making the final products perfect the difficult part.

On The List
Every person had to make two marzipan showpieces, one of fruit and one of animals.On top of the showpieces we had to make two cakes, one was glazed in ganache and the other was decorated with fondant.Being the perfectionist that I am, getting all of this done in three days was a real test of my skills and speed.

It wasn’t bad that I had to make all of this in the time allotted but that fact that I had to work around everyone else in the class made it that more challenging.Now don’t get me wrong, I think everyone in the class is very talented and I would be happy to work with these people at any business, but when its time for practicals it seems that common sense goes right out the window.Simple things like forgetting to shut the oven door and leaving out a key ingredient in a batch of buttercream can ruin your entire practical, leaving you with a bad grade.

Here are the pictures of my final products:

Chocolate genoise cake with raspberry buttercream.Covered in a chocolate glaze marbled with praline ganache, decorated with chocolate crescent moons’ and Chantilly cream.

Vanilla chiffon cake with raspberry buttercream and covered with fondant.The theme was “Under the Sea” complete with fondant whale, octopus, and fish.

Marzipan cutting board showpiece.The knife is a full size replica, although the fruit is not quite following suit.

Marzipan lagoon scene showpiece.Again, the size ratios are not quite even but I like the overall look.

Thankfully for me everything went just according to plans.After racing against the clock to finish, I was happy with the result.Of course with any product I make I can see ways that I would improve in the future but I am happy that I achieved the arduous task of achieving an ‘A’ in the class!

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