Artists thrive on creativity. They desire to create new things. For all intents and purposes, artists are also required to be experimental. They use techniques that they learned, and the most successful artists have their own unique signature in their work. With these qualities, it is easy to see that pastry chefs are artists in their own right.
Pastry chefs understand the science of their craft. They study the behaviour of flour, how to make the different kinds of dough, needed for different kinds of bread. They also know how to make the sweets beautiful with plenty of decorations. The decorations on their own take a certain amount of skill only an artist can have. Taking it to the next level is what modern pastry chefs do.
With all the technology at their disposal, pastry chefs have gone beyond the cake. They have taken the time to make multi-layered cakes, or even chequered cakes. These artists have taken chocolate and tamed this material to be liquid, viscous, sweet, bitter, sharp, or even spicy. Making a chocolate cake nowadays has more to do with the different kinds of chocolate on the cake rather than just the chocolate flavour in the chiffon.
Besides the cakes and the chocolate, modern approaches have been used in various ways. There are ice cream cakes of various flavours, there is the drama of the presentation. There is the smokey and savory flavour of some pastry dishes. The marriage of these various flavours can be a disaster, however, with the brilliance of a good pastry chef with a delicate palate, exotic combinations have come from the oven.
The popularity of cupcakes and muffins came about because there are a lot of things that can be done in these small packages. The same could be said of the surge in demand for everything that is red velvet. There are red velvet cupcakes, muffins and multi-layered cakes. The use of coffee beans in cakes has also been seen as a significant milestone in pastry history.
If you visit websites like Things We Love, you’ll realise that there are technologies which have made the life of a pastry chef that much easier. There is the microwave oven, which helps in tempering chocolate quickly. The automated breadmaker is a miracle device that can be used to create different kinds of dough and bread, automatically and consistently all the time. The stick blender is another device, which is a great help in the kitchen. Pastry chefs have also been seen to wield tweezers to help in cake decoration. One of the absolute things we love about pastry are the endless types of goodies both sweet and savory, which are being developed every day.
There is no doubt that chefs are artists in their own right. In the realm of the kitchen wizards, the pastry chef stands head and shoulders at the myriad ways that creativity is harnessed as well as the countless tools that are at his disposal. Throughout the history of the commercial kitchen, pastry chefs have a niche of their own, or a little kingdom where they reign. For the home kitchen, there is the magic that is evoked every time a cake or a soufflé is pulled out of the oven.
Also read: What Do All Artists Have in Common?