In this post I am going to introduce a person that has a significant meaning to me. Pearl Chan is a friend of mine and she is an amateur pastry maker. She is very passionate about making dessert and always share her works with others. I started to develop my interest in dessert making because of her influence. Pearl has offered me a lot of help and advice when I first started off my dessert making journey. I hope you will be inspired by her experience and develop your interest in dessert making just like I do!
Me: When did you start develop your interest in making dessert?
Pearl: I started to develop my interest in making dessert since Form 1 (about 7th grade). I studied at a girls-only school and it was compulsory to take a home economics class and we learned how to make some simple desserts in this class. Moreover, I was a student ambassador of a student society at that time. We once organized an event which all the ambassadors acted as secret angels to help fellow students sending hand-made cookies and candies to their friends to show their care for them. We did not only help to send out the cookies and candies but also responsible for making them. Through this event I found the baking experience very interesting and I really enjoyed the whole process a lot. Then I started to develop my interest in making dessert gradually.
Me: What makes you become so passionate about making dessert?
Pearl: The first thing that makes me become so passionate about making dessert is that I love to eat desserts since I was young. However desserts are always quite expensive and I thought if I can make them by myself, then I can save a lot of money. The second reason is, making desserts is just like doing magic. Only using simple ingredients, like flour, sugar and egg, you can already get hundreds of combination of desserts, such as cookies, muffin, sponge cake, cupcake, pie, tarts, soufflé, bread etc. Each of these types of dessert can also develop into different flavors based on the kinds of ingredients you add, either sweet or salty. It’s all about your creativity in terms of style and flavor. Thirdly, desserts itself represent all the emotions I involved. I don’t really like purchasing cakes from the chain cake shops as I always think their cakes lack some kind of “emotions”. On my friends’ birthday I would like to make a cake for them to represent my blessing. On Valentine’s Day or other special occasions, sending the boy I love hand-made chocolates to show my love for him. Not just tasting the desserts, I also wish people to taste the “heart and sincerity” of a pasty maker included in the dessert. Finally, making dessert can train you up, no matter physical energy or psychological mind. Physically, without the electronic machines you need to do all the steps by hand like rubbing, decorating, and coating. You need to stay close to the oven and pay attention to the baking process to prevent overcooking the desserts. Both requires a certain level of physical strength. Psychologically, you need to face thousand times of failure before you able to create a beautiful and successful dessert. Therefore, you always need to convince yourself not to give up until the last moment which is a good training to develop a strong mind.
Me: Are you a self-learner or did you take any course to learn about the skills needed?
Pearl: Both. During my high school study I chose cooking as one of my major. We need to make a dessert every week and my teacher would guide us one by one. Outside of school, I joined some baking class when they organized courses teaching some special desserts like wedding cake or spekkoek. I also learn by myself during leisure time, studying desserts cookbook, reading posts of famous dessert bloggers and watching demonstration videos on YouTube.
Me: Do you have any plans to turn your interest into a career in the future? Why or why not?
Pearl: Certainly. I wish I can study Le Cordon Bleu International to learn more professional techniques of making desserts. However this dream cannot hardly come true due to my family’s opposition and lack of funding to support me studying overseas. Also, it is quite hard to turn my interest to career in Hong Kong as not much places accept female chefs. However, I will never give up my dream. I will keep on looking for different ways to improve my dessert making skills. In the future, I wish I can open a café which provide various desserts to people and share my love and passion for dessert with them.