Culinary School Update: Part 3

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Gift Box Devils Food Layer Cake

Culinary School Update: Eight whole weeks have passed since my last culinary school update.

8 weeks; 118 recipes and 21 pounds of butter (which is actually not a lot of butter, by the way).

I’m not going to tell you where all that butter went. This is a safe space.

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Genoise with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I have both so much to say and too little to say all at the same time. The recipes blend into each other; the days blend into weeks; the facts swirl about in your brain until you dream about piping “Happy Birthday” and you can make pastry cream in your sleep (or until your arm falls off).

If time has passed this quickly thus far, someday soon culinary school and culinary school updates will draw to a close.

And, honestly, that thought made me inordinately sad.

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Chocolate Mousse Cake

What about the friends that I have made?

And my favorite chefs that I won’t get to see everyday?

What about the learning and the fast pace that have become quotidian?

Plus, what about this City that I love?

But the most heavily weighted question…

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Marjolain (aka layers of chocolate, cake and all sorts of awesome)

What will I do?

I have no clue, but I think about it everyday and it weighs on me. I am open to any and all suggestions.

But let’s not talk about that…let’s talk about what I have been BAKING!

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Fraisier

So much, so much.

Let me take you on a quick tour of Cakes, Bread, more Cakes and Petits Fours!

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Marble Pound Cake

Though I didn’t know it at the time, they eased us into cakes with this Chocolate Swirled Pound cake (one of my favorite photos, by the way), a Lemon Pound cake, and chocolate fudge cupcakes.

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Cupcakes, Angel Food Cake & Success au Cafe

That’s right. Cupcakes! You better believe I was like a little girl on Christmas morning. Do try to contain your excitement, Lindsey. #fail

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Lemon Pound Cake

Did you know that to get the perfect slit down the middle of a loaf cake, chefs actually open the oven after 15 minutes and cut it with a knife to ensure a perfect slit?! Yeah, I didn’t. I thought that stuff was magic.

Turns out magic only exists in Harry Potter. #dreamscrushed

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Chocolate Ganache Cake

And apparently there is more to life than the Creaming Method. And bubbles alone can leaven your cake. Mmm hmm. Air.

Can I get a witness!?

It’s not magic it’s science. (See above!) And it’s really easy to deflate. Not that I would know anything about that… 😉

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Happy Birthay

And this whole time, we’re squeezing in piping, because apparently piping “Happy Birthday” is a pastry chef’s new best friend.

I want a new friend.

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Flourless Chocolate Cake

Never fear, Flourless Chocolate Cake to the rescue! Those are sticks of chocolate meringue sprinkled with cocoa nibs. #ooc
And with the blink of the eye and one more “Happy Birthday”, we are on to bread!

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Happy Birthday

If you thought I got excited about cupcakes

Bread is my weakness.

I know I said that about Puff Pastry, and it’s totally true, but bread is the weakness I have had since birth. Right, Mom?


Culinary School Update Part 3 : Bread Collage

This unit can pretty much be summarized by the following…


Culinary School Update Part 3 : Scones, Blueberry Crumb Muffins and Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Like cakes we were eased into bread with Quick Breads, which, Chef Jürgen will have you know, are not called that because they are made quickly. They are called quick breads because they are made with chemical leavening instead of the slower Organic Leavening (yeast in layman’s terms), and chemical leavening mimics the yeast but in less time.

Soooo unless I missed something in the 20 times this was drilled into my head, quick breads are bread that are leavened quicker than yeast-leavened breads. Am I dense or are they splitting hairs?

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Stollen

I don’t even know where to start with breads! We made so many in such a short amount of time: there were bagels, English muffins, foccacia, traditional harvest grain loaves, milk bread, orange swirl bread, pecan sticky buns…HOLD UP!

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Pecan Sticky Buns

These pecan sticky rolls are todiefor. They are actually made with the orange swirl bread dough, which is spread with even more cinnamon sugar and topped with the best caramel pecan topping I have ever tasted. Cinnamon sugar makes everything better.

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Challah


And if that wasn’t enough butter and eggs in your bread, there is always brioche. Buttery, rich brioche. So good.

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Brioche A Tete

My weakness (and not in the good kind of way) is croissants. I have yet to make a croissant dough without my butter breaking. Grrrrr.

I have perfection in my blood, and it is not pleased that this skill eludes me. Not pleased at all.

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Pain au Raisin

Danish is like croissant dough but it has more milk and eggs, which means it’s AMAZING.

Why I can make Danish dough and not croissant dough when they are basically the same damn thing is beyond my comprehension. I don’t have an answer to these complicated questions.

Culinary School Update Part 3 : Assorted Danish

I can tell you that Bread is the last time I saw my waist.

And we are off to Cakes 2!

The breakneck pace did not abate just because we entered a more complicated unit. No, no. Not at ICC. The complicated cakes in Cakes 2 made the first unit look like child’s play.

Charlotte Russe

Say hello to the Charlottes.

Above we have Charlotte Russe, which is ladyfingers filled with fruit mousse; and below we have the creepy looking Charlotte Royal, which is a jelly roll painstakingly shaped into a half sphere and filled with Bavarian cream. It was disgusting. I’m just keepin’ it real.

Charlotte Royale

And if those aren’t complicated enough for you, behold the modern entremet cakes.

Modern Entremet Collage

These are layers upon layers of textures and flavors that all come together in one cohesive beautiful dessert. No small feat.

Lets take the Chocolate Caramel Tropical Fruit Entremet for example (the top left and the bottom right photo above). The base of this cake is a coconut biscuit daquoise cake that is then topped with caramel milk chocolate Bavarian Cream, homemade pineapple compote, a chocolate génoise cake, then a layer of passion fruit Bavarian cream. You surround the whole thing with a light, egg-foam cake that is baked over a yellow pâte à cornet pattern (yes, you make that too…it’s like a cookie batter) and then you flood the top with a chocolate ganache and decorate it.

Caramel Milk Chocolate Tropical Fruit Entremet Cake

Oh and there is gold leaf, because this culinary school update just wouldn’t be complete without some bling.

And that is why these types of cakes cost $20 a slice. It’s a lotta work peeps.

Gift Box Cake & Kugelhophf

We learned how to make, color and cover cakes with fondant…

Chocolate Caramel Roulade Cake

And fondipan (a mixture of fondant and marzipan)

And we wrote Happy Birthday…a lot.

Chocolate Caramel Roulade Cake

There still was barely enough time to complete the complicated assembled cakes like the Chocolate Caramel Roulade Cake above, but then you had less that 20 minutes to decorate it.

What can you do in 20 minutes?

Carrot Cake

Last but not least there is the carrot cake that my husband and I loved so much, I made them into cupcakes.

These are the moistest, most delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes | A recipe I learned in culinary school that my husband said were the best ever!

This next definition is for all my friends and food recipients who expected tiny cakes when I promised them Petits Fours. Petits Fours are basically anything you can eat in 1 or 2 bites.

So macarons? Petits Fours.

Gougères? Petits Fours.

Marshmallows? Petits Fours.

Petits Fours

Some of these little guys were so intricate I wouldn’t even want to imagine making 40, not to mention 1000, for a party. Like those little boat shaped ones on the far left of the tray above…

Chestnut Barquettes. You fill a tiny little mold with pate sucrée and pipe in a miniscule amount of almond cream, then you bake it. Next you fill them with chestnut cream and shape them with an offset spatula so they have that beautifully tapered shape. And then, because all that isn’t enough work, you dip them into a chocolate glaze being super careful not to get any glaze on the pie crust.

I know. The French.


Petits Four Tray 2

For a week I had petits fours coming out of my ears. More than I can even show you here. More than could fit on the trays. I can’t even with the petits fours.

This is where I leave you. There is so much more to show you, but I am sure I have outlasted your attention span, and I have most certainly outlasted my own!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more pictures of what I make each day and the sweet treats and savory goodness that I try in NYC!

You can also, if you just haven’t had enough, read my First and Second Culinary School Updates!


  • Thao @ In Good Flavor
    April 29, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Such a good way to start the morning. Looking at all of these beautiful parties put me in a good mood. I’m looking forward t to seeing more deliciousness from you!

    • Lindsey
      May 1, 2015 at 7:22 am

      Thank you, Thao!! Pictures of pastries put me in a good mood too!

  • Nikki Pals
    April 29, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I am wondering if the Danish is easier for you because it has the extra butter an milk making it a softer dough to work with?
    The Pecan Sticky Rolls look heavenly. Is this a recipe you will share? Please say yes!

    • Lindsey
      April 29, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      Hi Nikki! Believe it or not the danish dough is actually more firm than the croissant dough. It is soooo soft and pliable. It also depends on how much gluten you activate during the mixing process. My butter cracks when I put it in the fridge over night because the croissant dough has more yeast than the danish dough and essentially the dough puffs up so much it breaks the cold butter and I am impatient and roll it out too soon.

      Oh those sticky rolls were divine! I will definitely be sharing them down the line! It was one of my favorites!

  • Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek
    April 29, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    So, what have you been doing? 🙂
    Ok, so the next time I eat a fancy dessert in a fancy restaurant (that can’t be found in my town…boonyville) I’ll appreciate it A LOT more than I ever have.
    It is all beautiful. I love these updates and seeing all the stuff you’ve been making. Great job!

    • Lindsey
      May 1, 2015 at 7:23 am

      LOL! I know….we’ve basically made nothing 😉
      I am super picky about my desserts that I get at restaurants and bakeries but I definitely always appreciate the work that goes into them!!! Thanks for reading, Karen!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    April 29, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    1-everything you’ve made is GORGEOUS
    2-I think I’d gain 50 lbs. if I ever went to culinary school. FACT.

    • Lindsey
      May 1, 2015 at 7:24 am

      Oh, gosh, Kayle…not gaining a billion pounds is soooooo hard!!!! Want to eat all the things!!

  • Shashi at RunninSrilankan
    April 29, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Oh good gawsh, lady – your cooking school “labors” are simply DEEELIGHTFUL!!! I cannot even put into words how amazing I think you cakes are – You say you haven’t figured out what to do – well, with amazing talent like this – please, pretty puhleeez open up a bakery – in Atlanta – I will be your first customer – no lie!

    • Lindsey
      May 1, 2015 at 7:25 am

      I’m not sure I want to open a bakery in the ATL but when I am back, I will bake up something special for you any time 🙂

  • Jess @ Sweetest Menu
    April 29, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    What an amazing journey! I seriously cannot believe you made all those things. They have taught you well! Everything is perfection, like straight out of a Michelin starred restaurant. It doesn’t matter what you do next because those skills – woah! Blogger, chef, cookbook writer, sky’s the limit girl!

    • Lindsey
      May 1, 2015 at 7:25 am

      YOU ARE THE BEST!!!! So sweet! xoxo
      ps- come back

  • Manali @ CookWithManali
    April 29, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    You are living my dream Lindsey!! 🙂 I wish I was there to learn all this, looks incredible! Simply WOW!

    • Lindsey
      May 1, 2015 at 7:25 am

      Thanks, Manali!

  • Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen
    April 29, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Lindsey, I *loved* this post. I LOL’d and loved every single creation – even the Happy Birthay one. 🙂 And girl, you already KNOW what you want to do – don’t make it so complicated. You want to bake darling. Just bake, and the next will come naturally – you never know where it will lead you. Don’t rush it – enjoy it.

    • Lindsey
      May 1, 2015 at 7:26 am

      Seriously you are amazing, Kristi! I will have you know that the cake under the Happy Birthay was perfection!! lol!
      And you give the best advice ever. Ever. XOOXOXOXXOXOX Hugs

  • Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust
    April 29, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    I’m so jealous you are living this experience!! Whatever you do it’s gonna be sweet. 🙂

    • Lindsey
      May 1, 2015 at 7:27 am

      Nice pun! Lol! And thank you, love!

  • David @ Spiced
    April 30, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I’m pretty sure I hear my stomach growling right now. I’m also wondering where my latest shipment from Lindsey’s Cakes is at. It must still be in the mail. But can you at least spell birthday correctly on mine? That would be great…thanks! My favorite is still the breads…although those petit fours come in a close second. Well done, young grasshopper. Well done.

    • Lindsey
      May 1, 2015 at 7:29 am

      LOL! The amount of goodness that I have to take home has definitely slowed down to a trickle…my husband be all – where the sweets at?
      I wouldn’t dare spell Birthday wrong on you cake! Wouldn’t dare!!! My faves are the bread too! Shhhh don’t tell Puff

  • Kelly - Life Made Sweeter
    May 1, 2015 at 3:49 am

    I love these updates and am in awe of everything you made so far! Everything looks gorgeous! No matter what you decide to do, you are going to rock it girl!! So much talent! <3

    • Lindsey
      May 1, 2015 at 7:32 am

      Thank you so much, Kelly! XO

  • Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
    May 1, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I love hearing all about culinary school! These cakes are out of this world! I love the blue one decorated like a present!

    • Lindsey
      May 6, 2015 at 7:03 am

      Those gift box cakes were sooo cool! Thank you, Rachelle!

  • marcie
    May 1, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Lindsay, I don’t know how you get the most gorgeous photos at school — do you take your camera there or WHAT? I never had the opportunities for great photos and wish I did. We really do need to Skype soon — I want to talk to you about your experience so much! You’re making such beautiful pastries, and there’s going to be huge doors open for you after. You will be sad when it’s over, but it’ll be so exciting too! I love these posts. 🙂

    • Lindsey
      May 6, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Haha thanks, Marcie! I take all of these photos on my iPhone. Parchment paper is a life saver! I stay about 10-15 minutes after class to snap photos of whatever we made that day. We should Skype! I would love to talk to you about your experiences and about what to do after. xoxo

  • Sophie
    May 3, 2015 at 11:38 am

    You certainly have been very busy in your culinary school adventures! Ha!

    You made many beautiful tasty inviting colorful creations & >I bet you learned a lot too! xxx

    Thanks for this fun update & good luck & lots of success in your future pastry making! xxx

    • Lindsey
      May 6, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Thanks, Sophie! No one can accuse us of not making enough…that’s for sure! So much baking, so much learning!x xxx

  • Ella-HomeCookingAdventure
    May 7, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    O h my 🙂 Everything look wonderful.. Wish I could have been there with you 😛 Must have been really delicious

    • Lindsey
      May 10, 2015 at 9:47 am

      It was really delicious, Ella! A bit too delicious at times lol

  • Chris @ Shared Appetite
    May 8, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Oh man, I totally LOVE your culinary school updates! They are so much fun to read… and you are freaking hysterical!!

    Some of my favorite lines from this post:

    “I’m not going to tell you where all that butter went. This is a safe space.”

    “Turns out magic only exists in Harry Potter. #dreamscrushed”

    “Why I can make Danish dough and not croissant dough when they are basically the same damn thing is beyond my comprehension. I don’t have an answer to these complicated questions.”

    “I can tell you that Bread is the last time I saw my waist.”

    • Lindsey
      May 10, 2015 at 9:46 am

      Haha! Thanks, Chris! You are like my highlight reel! lol
      I really enjoy writing the updates and I am so excited that one person A) reads them, and B) totally gets my humor! So thank you for being that person! Excited to see you this week!!!

  • Miss Kim @ behgopa
    May 12, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Loved reading this post! What an adventure you had. Can’t wait to see what is next for you in your world of baking. Did you start your externship yet? How is that going and did it influence what you will do next?

  • Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog
    May 28, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    I love your updates, they’re super fascinating!

  • Josephine Havlak
    July 9, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Hi LIndsey, Glad to see you doing so well. I have been so busy and buried with weddings that I stopped reading your blog for a while. Wow!! I was missing out!! So many doors are now open to you!! Actually I am cruising your blog because I have made 3 of your recipes this week – the Rosemary Chicken, the salad that accompanies it the second day, and your Quinoa Roasted Veg Chopped salad tonight. This last one was a total wow! We loved it, and I have sent the recipe along to all 3 of my cooking children. I have to say…. way better than Crushed Red.

    I still owe you guys a wedding album, so if you have an hour to spare next time you come to town, I will help you narrow your choices down. Or you can do it yourself on my website where there is still the gallery of your choices. Let me know, and BEST WISHES!!

    • Lindsey
      July 12, 2015 at 10:36 pm

      It is full blown wedding season, so I can only imagine how busy you are!!! It makes me immeasurably happy to hear that you are still making some of my favorite dishes!!! Love that quinoa salad. love it. I’ll definitely talk to you soon about the wedding album. Good luck with all the weddings!

  • Joyce
    July 14, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Oh my gosh those carrot cake cupcakes look too irresistibly cute (and tasty)! I’m so glad you have a recipe on them because I will definitely try it out. I have never experimented with marzipan before though, so I guess I’ll have to pipe out those carrots. ):

    • Lindsey
      July 14, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      They are so good, Joyce! Everyone who tries this recipe in either cupcake or cake form LOVES it! Marzipan comes in blocks or bars and you can work with marzipan almost like fondant. You can roll it and shape it but it isn’t thin enough to pipe it. I’ll put that on my list for video tutorials! It is super fun (and delicious)!

  • Chocolate Blog
    June 26, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Harry And David Heritage Chocolate

    […] is soooo soft and pliable. It also depends on how much gluten you activate durin […]

  • Ripon hassan
    August 6, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    These are truly inspiring and very helpful to our culinary students as well. I am looking forward for more such well informative articles in future too.

    • Lindsey Farr
      August 6, 2021 at 10:05 pm

      That’s so wonderful to hear!!! Best of luck as they brave culinary school, I know they can do it. 💖


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