How to become a pastry chef

When you work in a pastry shop it’s common to see looks of wonder on people’s faces. In some, however, I see a spark: I realize that what they admire isn’t only the possibility of satisfying their sweet tooth in that moment, but also the work involved. Those are the people who ask me “ Nilde, how does one become a pastry chef?”

Today I want to reveal my answer to you all!

The basics for becoming a pastry chef

Let’s start by saying that each person must follow their own path and put aside their prejudices: it doesn’t matter if you have a long history of family pastry making, if you discovered your passion for cooking as a child or as an adult, if you can attend the most prestigious courses or you start learning via library books and YouTube tutorials.

What matters is wanting to become a pastry chef and then doing the job with hard work for you and your future customers.

Now that this is clear, I would like to suggest some pivotal points on how to become a pastry chef.

A true passion for pastry making

Maybe you have already understood: to me, passion in pastry making is fundamental. This is what pushes you to find the strength to do everything else, so look inside yourselves and measure your passion for creating sweets: if it is truly strong, you will feel that this is the only path you want to take and you will do anything to follow it.

Furthermore, you should know that passion rises like dough! Yes, if you let it set inside of you and you feed it with interesting stimuli, your passion for pastry making will rise ever more and then you can say that you are truly a pastry chef.

Practical training

I want to be honest, as always: having great passion for pastry making isn’t enough to become a pastry chef, you need to acquire the techniques and you will need to get your finger in the pie, so to speak. Thus dedicating time to training is fundamental, uniting theory with practice.

Knowing your ingredients

I will repeat myself: don’t think you can stop at just one theory lesson because in the world of pastrymaking, practice is everything!

Knowing ingredients will open the doors to experimentation: it is only by knowing the ingredients that you can understand how to use them and with how much taste and structure they can enrich a dessert.

Continuously staying up-to-date

All done? No, in reality training and experimenting are never finished! You must stay up-to-date and keep looking for new ideas to keep your passion alive and to offer healthy and innovative products to your customers.

This is the recipe that led me to cultivate my talent in the kitchen and see it bloom professionally.

Take advantage of these tips and you will be ready to become pastry chef too!

The perfect sponge cake

It’s simple and light, but it takes very little to make it heavy. What am I talking about? Sponge cake, one of the most used dessert bases.

Do you want to go beyond the usual recipes and discover the secret to the perfect sponge cake, like in a pastry shop? Keep reading my advice!

The more technologically advanced of you will search the web for a basic sponge cake recipe while the more traditionally inclined will jealously safeguard an egg and flour marked recipe card with your grandmother’s list of ingredients.

And both types will ask themselves why they aren’t able to achieve the results they had hoped for even though they followed the recipe to a tee.

Today, after many years as a pastry chef, I want to reveal what your grandmother didn’t write on that recipe card and what that YouTuber doesn’t know…tips for a perfect sponge cake.

Make sure the eggs are room temperature before beating them with the sugar and never add them to the ingredients if they are straight out of the fridge.

Substitute part of the flour with potato flour, this will help the ingredients to blend together better, making the batter softer and avoiding the typical “I can taste the flour” effect.

Sift the dry ingredients so as to avoid clumps and ensure a homogeneous batter

Preheat the oven 20° more than what the recipe calls for so that the cake enters the oven at a stable temperature and guarantees even baking.

As you very well know, sponge cake is one of the most versatile cooking basics and you can have fun with creative ideas- and your sweet tooth- in decorating and icing it with any type of cream, ganache, fresh fruit…the more you have, the more you add.

Try making your perfect sponge cake with these tips and let me know how it goes!