As the end of the fall quarter approaches the Baking & Pastry students in the European Cakes & Tortes class are getting ready for their final project. In preparation, today they prepared a cake buffet tasting in groups of two with six cakes each per group of bakers, to showcase the skills they have learned in the last eight weeks.
Mint chocolate mousse, tiramisu, opera cake, raspberry & lemon roll cake, were only a few of the cakes that we had the pleasure to judge and indulge in. Our student bakers had been working on these cakes for the past few weeks and they prepared for 3 hours this morning to present their beautifully-displayed cakes to the public for judging.
During the European Cakes & Tortes course, students learn to make and present traditional European-style cakes. Our instructors put a lot of emphasis on techniques for creating and perfecting different types of mousses, sponges, and buttercreams.
“There are cakes with so many different types of sponge, cakes with laminated dough, cakes with all kinds of mousse, different types of buttercreams, battercakes and sponge cakes… that it is so important for students to learn the proper techniques for all these and to .” Says Chef Colleen McClean, chef instructor of the European Cakes & Tortes course at LaSalle College Vancouver.
Students are also required to learn to develop their cake décor skills including proper decorating techniques such as tempering chocolate, chocolate spray, and glazing and piping. For today’s projects students were graded on not only taste and texture but also presentation and technique of their cakes and tartes.
Most of the students in the European Cakes & Tortes course are in their third or fourth quarter of the Baking & Pastry Arts diploma program. Advancing to the next term, students will need to further develop their skills and challenge their techniques with the Advanced Pastries course.
The buffet tasting is a great experience for the students as we believe that it is very important to help students develop skills that are needed to succeed in the industry. This also includes how to take criticism, answer questions on the spot and experience firsthand pressure from facing a group of potential clients. Our instructors also often share their real life experience in the industry with students to prepare them for any challenges they might have to overcome in their future workplace.