Updated: Sep 16, 2019
When a #cake maker I admire says, "I'm only a self-taught", I cringe. I cringe because yes, being a Pastry Chef is a hard-won title to have and wouldn't I love to have it! However, I have met some #Pastry #Chefs that can't make a #gum #paste #flower to save their lives. A self-taught baker, if disciplined, can have much the same skills. It may take longer, or you may never want or need to know how to make a true #croquembouche. (Here is mine made out of cake balls covered in chocolate ganache, don't laugh!)
If you choose not to go to Pastry #School, then strive to be the absolute best that you can be. Don't let anything leave your home or shop that you then have to ask others for validation! If it isn't perfect, or near perfection, don't sell it, it's that easy. If you are not ready or are doubting your skills, then keep practicing.
If you only read one cake book in your entire cake life make it #The #Cake #Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I suggest you get ALL her books and read them. Her #cookbook was the first cookbook or baking book that I'd ever read from cover to cover. Moreover, I hated science in school, go figure, but this book changed my life!
Baking IS a #science, this you MUST learn first. The Cake Bible not only goes through all this, but it helps you to understand why some things are done in a way & the order in which they are.
So being self-taught isn't really 'self-taught.' You were not born with the knowledge that you now have. Becoming a Pastry Chef takes years, in and out of school. Becoming the best at anything is reading hundreds of books, magazines, watching hundreds of You-Tube cake shows, taking on-line and in-person classes (see my classes tab, sorry couldn't resist).
Don't get me wrong; I love Pastry Chefs. However, I do cringe when I hear an uber, extra talented and prevalent cake artist say they are "only self-taught." Stop it, stop it right now!
Keep on Caking on!