INTRODUCTION TO BAKING TECHNIQUES AND INGREDIENTS, PART I
The program begins by giving students an in-depth understanding of the ingredients, techniques and procedures they will use throughout the program:
• Identification and discussion of the essential ingredient groups: sugar, dairy, fruit, flours and chocolate.
• Weights and measures, culinary math, food safety, sanitation and equipment identification.
• Introduction to basic decorating skills, the use of a pastry bag and making and utilizing cornets.
• Techniques for preparing fruit-based desserts, including paring, poaching, roasting, macerating, drying and candying.
• The theory and practice of sugar cookery including the preparation of sugar syrups, glazes, fudge and caramel.
INTRODUCTION TO BAKING TECHNIQUES AND INGREDIENTS, PART II
All well-executed desserts rely on a mastery of fundamental techniques. In this course students begin the journey toward that goal by learning:
• The basics of egg theory as they prepare egg-based desserts like crème brûlée, bread pudding, soufflés, mousses, meringues and éclairs made with pâte à choux.
• Preparation of additional egg-based desserts such as soufflés and meringues.
• How to prepare a variety of cheesecakes along with classic pastry cream.
• Production of frozen desserts such as ice creams and sorbets.
BREADS AND OTHER YEAST-RAISED DOUGHS
Bread is at the crossroads of the culinary and baking arts. At the heart of this deceptively simple food is some of the program’s most challenging material:
• The technique and theory of working with yeasted doughs: fermentation, dough hydration, temperature control, kneading and shaping.
• How to calculate and utilize bakers’ percentages, with application in sponge, sour and straight dough formulations and more.
• Application of this theoretical knowledge by baking a variety of breads, including braided, rye, olive and sourdough loaves along with brioche, bagels, baguettes, foccacia and pizza.
Mixing, rolling, turning and forming: these are the essential skills students master as they learn to prepare the wide variety of doughs that are the basis of so many pastry items. Included are:
• The trio of classic doughs: pâte brisée (flaky), pâte sucrée (sweet) and pâte sablée (cookie) to make individual tarts and pastries.
• Laminated or layered doughs, including puff pastry, croissant and Danish doughs, both by hand and with a commercial sheeter.
• Proper rolling techniques for preparing tarts, galettes, pies (single-crust, two-crust and lattice), palmiers, mille-feuille, fruit strips, pithiviers croissants, pain au chocolat and a variety of Danish specialties.
• Specialty pastry shop items including phyllo, donuts, cannoli, sfogliatelle and handstretched classic strudel.
CAKES, FILLINGS AND ICINGS PART 1
From the humble pound cake to the classic génoise, students go beyond the recipes to explore the theory and technique of cake making and expand their abilities to create original cakes. Students will learn:
• Butter-based and egg-foam cakes including layered and rolled versions.
• The theory of batter balance as they prepare cakes using various mixing techniques including: one-stage, high-ratio and creaming method. Cakes prepared include carrot, pound, white, yellow, crumb and chocolate along with muffins. Egg-foam cakes such as angel food, chiffon and génoise are also included.
• Icings and fillings such as curds and ganaches as well as both Swiss and Italian meringue-based buttercreams.
• A wide variety of piped, dropped, molded, bar and sheet cookies including biscotti, brownies, madeleines, macarons, spritz, Florentines and rainbow cookies.
CAKES, FILLINGS AND ICINGS PART 2
Batters produce more than the familiar cakes we often see: more complex techniques give us an international assortment of cakes and plated deserts. Covered here are:
• Complex layered baked goods including plain and chocolate-nut sponges, génoise mousseline, biscuit joconde and pain de gênes.
• A classic assortment of cakes, including opera, miroir, tiramisu, crepe, mousse and charlotte royale.
• Our plated dessert section includes theory, preparation and presentation of multi-element, contemporary plated desserts. Students recreate and prepare recipes by award-winning chef and ICE Creative Director, Michael Laiskonis.
Of the various mediums used by pastry chefs to express their vision, none is more seductive than chocolate. This comprehensive course takes students beyond the basic techniques and allows them to experience the joy of creativity as they produce and assemble a chocolate showpiece. Students will learn:
• Chocolate production, theory and tempering methods.
• Dipping and enrobing.
• Preparation of fondant, truffles, butter crunch and nougatine; molded, dipped and filled chocolates; and the highlight of this section, showpieces.
• Advanced methods including piped and framed centers, and isomalt casting.
Cake decorating represents the ultimate fusion of art and craft. Students’ effort and practice in prior classes is rewarded as they take their skills to a new level by preparing tiered cakes. Students learn:
• Buttercream flowers and borders, royal icing and fondant (draping, crimping and ruffling).
• Gum paste flowers, including azaleas, lilies, roses and more.
• Floral arrangement and tiered cake assembly including splitting, filling and crumb coating and the usage of marzipan for covering cakes and making flowers, fruits, vegetables and figurines.
• Finishing techniques like petal dusting and tier assembly. This course culminates in the creation of an original two-tiered wedding cake.
Learn more about ICE's Professional Cake Decorating program.
At the end of their in-class training, all students are assigned an externship. While the Institute of Culinary Education recommends that students extern in restaurant kitchens, they may request venues such as hotels, catering companies, pastry shops, bakeries or test kitchens in order to meet their professional goals.