This past Friday marked the end of my first L’Art de la Pâtisserie course. My first session was Chocolate Candies taught by world pastry champion, pastry chef, chocolatier, and instructor, Chef En-Ming Hsu. My brain has currently jumped off a diving board and landed in a pool of chocolate (either because of all the things I learned or because of all the chocolate I have eaten, it’s hard to tell at this point 😉). A handful of the things Chef En-Ming taught my class included how to temper chocolate (through three different methods), how to expertly hand dip fillings (without melting them or developing “feet” at the base of the coated candy), how to set up and work an enrobing machine (and not end up like Lucy and Ethel from the chocolate factory episode of I Love Lucy ), how to create all sorts of chocolate goodies, as well as all the tips and tricks she taught us along the way. A few of my favorite creations from the course were the Columbian Ganache (coffee and chocolate), Royaltines (chocolate, hazelnut paste, and crispy flakes), and Gianduja (hazelnut chocolate and butter). These are amazing and I can say that I easily ate more than I should have. As my second week of chocolates came to an end, it brought with it the conclusion of my first course. I feel I have learned more about myself in the past two weeks. I have learned that this is where I want to be, no matter the difficulties. I have learned that as long as I pay attention, stay focused, and work diligently then I will succeed. I have learned that I can lean on those around me for support as my time at The French Pastry School continues. But, most importantly, I have been reminded of what I already have learned: that I can trust in God to give me everything I need, including strength for each day.
Psalm 84:10-12 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!
P.S. I am proud to say that I have survived a whole month on my own in Illinois! It’s been filled with my fair share of tears, too many sweets for my own good (thanks to my “host-mom” who loves to bake), phone calls to home every night, daily text messages with my family, and innumerable amounts of blessings from God.