Monday, April 11, 2016

Chipmunks bakes a cake

If you read my story about Chipmunk a couple of weeks ago...there have been developments. He reached out one night and I invited him into the restaurant to do dishes. That led to us talking and him showing me a picture of a tiedye cupcake he had made.

It was all boxes mixes (which he didn't care about), but he wasn't happy with the results. I asked if he wanted to learn how to make professional cakes and he did. So I invited him to come back the following Sunday (closed day), and to bring his best friend (for safety).

I knew he was more interested in the finish work than the baking and such so I pre-made the cakes which included 3 layers of Pierre Herme's cocoa cake, soaked with caramel sauce, and alternating with peanut butter cremieux and caramel ganache. Those were all encased in a dark chocolate mousse. The flavors were his choice.

With him and his friend we made the finish - a miroir glaze and we were supposed to create a tie dye effect. I flubbed that but we'll fix it on the next attempt.

The 4 very large individual cakes were meant to be teen boy size:
I have two things I'd like to share. First is that long ago I learned that adding flaws to pastries made them more accessible to people. You'd think that a person would want the best, most perfect pastry, but experience has shown that they want the croissant that has a slight tear, or the pie that has the broken shell.

Why? I don't know. I've hypothesized that it has to do with not feeling worthy of perfection, or that a perfect pastry can look fake. But time and time again, this has proven to be true.

The second is that Chipmunk is obviously reaching out for someone to love him/pay attention to him/care about him...he's not getting that elsewhere in his life. I'm just the chef that he happens to be using my wifi, but I don't want to be another adult that isn't giving him what he needs in his life. Its basic youth development. There is risk having another adult's child in your kitchen, but there are precautions that can be taken - I made him bring his friend along.  I'm looking forward to them coming back next weekend to learn how to make the mousse...we're going to work backwards until he can make the dessert all by himself.

On a side note, my cookbook is now available for pre-order at It releases in September and I get final page proofs next week which I'll share here if anyone wants to see them.


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