September is here and for me, this ninth month always marks a time of potential and promise. Part of me always wants to go back to school in September, especially now because I crave some form of academic challenge. After two years of focus on professional pastry, I am feeling a bit brain dead without any opportunity to learn, analyze, and formulate new ideas in a setting where my peers have a common academic goal. Pastry kitchens are where your sweat and hands are valued more than your brain and although organization and efficiency are necessary to succeed, very often the unfortunate measure of a good pastry cook is how much overtime you will do or how many aches and pains you will endure.
Luckily, my creative pursuits at home allow a counter-balance to this academic void. For example, this baby shower cake in the form of a lion's face was a chance to translate a two-dimensional image into three-dimensional edible form. Given a wall paper sample to work from, the lion was chosen as the main subject. Inside, a traditional carrot cake with cream cheese filling was requested.
I used some creative license with the mane and snout and was worried that the lion was starting to look like a sunflower at one point; however, he turned out quite well. In retrospect, I would have built up the center of the cake so that the lion would have less of a LeFort 3 fracture flat mid-face appearance, but hindsight is 20/15, isn't it?