Following rules isn’t something that comes naturally to me as a baker. Despite the stereotype that successful pastry chefs use more or less scientific methods, my more fearless approach has gotten me fairly far in the kitchen. That said, there’s only so far that one can go without structure, which is why I decided to enroll at ICE: to leash the puppy, so to speak.
With that in mind, it probably wouldn’t surprise you if I told you that I’ve had my fair share of baking disasters. I can recall, in vivid detail, every single baked good gone bad: the crater cake, the s’mores that tripped the fire alarm (and, in turn, the fire department) and the quicksand fruit tart. Since that last disaster—almost five years now—pastry cream and I have not been friends. Not even frenemies.
So imagine my stress when I walk into class to learn that we were making tarts: fruit tarts. I felt my knees weaken, my pulse race and I think I even broke into a cold sweat. But it was time to finally laugh in the face of danger and master the art of pastry cream.