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Preparing for a bench test with the Executive Pastry Chef at Disneyland Resort and kinda freaking...

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 

Okay guys and gals, I have no idea if this is the right subforum for this, or even the right forum period for this, but here we go.

 

Today I went in for my preliminary interview with the casting department in relation to an available Pastry Chef position.  Long story short, they informed me that the next step in the application was completing a 5 hour bench test with their Executive Chef that comprises of a plated dessert of my choice, a mini dessert plate with two desserts, and one quickbread.

 

Now, my experience lies mainly in cake production and cake decoration, and I have no formal schooling, thus the freak out aspect.

 

Now I am confidant that I can pull it off with flying colors, but I wanted to pass some ideas by some people who might be more experienced than me in tests like these.

 

My idea is to roughly base each of the three test categories on a particular movie.

 

For my plated dessert, I wanted a Frozen theme.  Elsa will be a white wine granita and canelle of sea salt ice cream dyed to match her dress color, and two or three colors of sugar decorations to represent Elsa’s powers. Anna will consist of a cayenne pepper molten chocolate cake with a chocolate acetate spiral to symbolize the castle walls she was trapped in. The plate will be decorated with two sauces; a vanilla bean custard sauce and a strawberry sauce. They will be scrolled from each side of the plate, and meet in the middle.

 

For my quickbread I am going to do a nutmeg spiced banana bread with cinnamon streusal and served with a rum butter caramel sauce.  King Louie deserves nothing but the best after all.

 

The two mini desserts is where I am having an issue for some reason.  I'm not exactly sure how "mini" they are talking about.

 

Keep in mind, all of this needs to be completed within 5 hours, which I think is doable assuming a strong plan for the mini plate.

 

I know there aren't many questions buried in this wall of text, but tips and advice would be welcome in ANY form.

 

Thanks for looking <3

post #2 of 60

Ambitious! Best of Luck to you....you'll rock it out :)

post #3 of 60
If I were disney, I'd hire you just off the descriptions and the amount of thought you've already put in! Sounds like you've got this nailed! Can't wait to hear how it goes!
post #4 of 60
I haven't seem the movie yet but my kids instantly fell in love with the snow man. What about incorporating him as the minis? Maybe part being his body and another his head (didn't I see a preview of him holding his head something like that.....sounds so morbid...lol). Or a build your own "snowman name" with the pieces being the mini dessert options.

Just some thoughts......but you'll do great!
post #5 of 60
Try checking out some restaurant menues as mini desserts are becoming quite a trend now. I think they are just enough for a taste. Think these are meant to be either a way to sell a dessert to customers who are too full after a meal to order a full sized dessert or so customer don't have to make up their mind about all the choices and can choose say three minis that would equal a full size dessert. Each one might be about 2oz maybe? Hope this helps. Good luck!
post #6 of 60

How exciting for you - Congratulations and best of luck to you.  What your planning sounds delicious. I wish I could be more help...things that come to mind are mini eclairs, mini tarts, or chocolate covered strawberries/pistachios but checking out restaurants should spark something in you.

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post #7 of 60
Oh Wow! Best of luck!!

To me a mini Dessert would be a flavourful mouthful hugely tarted up with OTT decorations, Since you have to make two maybe go for a pair theme- Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum perhaps or even Beauty and the Beast- that might be better: two contrasting creations maybe one panna cotta based and the other chilli chocolate....

One of the biggest tests I suspect will be time management and not taking on more than you can do in 5 hours so be careful!
post #8 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy-Gray View Post

Since you have to make two maybe go for a pair theme- Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum perhaps or even Beauty and the Beast- that might be better: two contrasting creations maybe one panna cotta based and the other chilli chocolate....

One of the biggest tests I suspect will be time management and not taking on more than you can do in 5 hours so be careful!

 

Great ideas and insight. I'd pay attention to the crazy gray guy   ;-D 

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post #9 of 60

Sounds good.  Just a note of caution, in case you have to provide written descriptions.  It's quennelle, not canelle.

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post #10 of 60

Is your chocolate garnish going on a warm or hot molten cake? If so, it will melt........use a tuile instead.

post #11 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy-Gray View Post

Oh Wow! Best of luck!!

To me a mini Dessert would be a flavourful mouthful hugely tarted up with OTT decorations, Since you have to make two maybe go for a pair theme- Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum perhaps or even Beauty and the Beast- that might be better: two contrasting creations maybe one panna cotta based and the other chilli chocolate....

One of the biggest tests I suspect will be time management and not taking on more than you can do in 5 hours so be careful!

Oh wow, thank you so much.  My brain has been so fried trying to think of themes, I totally forgot about some great Disney pairs! Panna cotta is a great idea, but the chili chocolate I think I am going to be using for my main plate, unless I can come up with something else that might represent Anna better.

 

And yes, the 5 hours is going to be brutal, which I think is why I am so distraught with the mini dessert plate.  They are going to need to be fairly simple in order to do them in the allotted time if I wanted to really hit the plated dessert out of the park!

 

 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s View Post
 

Sounds good.  Just a note of caution, in case you have to provide written descriptions.  It's quennelle, not canelle.

 

Thank you for that!  =D

post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNerdyBaker View Post

streusal

Also, streusal is spelled streusel.

post #13 of 60

OOD LUCK!!!!!!! 

May good luck be your friend
in whatever you do.
And may trouble be always
A stranger to you.
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May good luck be your friend
in whatever you do.
And may trouble be always
A stranger to you.
Reply
post #14 of 60
Thread Starter 

A Quick Update-

 

I think I have finalized my menu, thanks to a nudge in the right direction from you guys.

 

My plated dessert is what I explained above, except the chocolate garnish for Anna will be replaced with a poured sugar cage around the cake.

 

My quick bread will be exactly as described above.

 

And for the plate of mini desserts I have decided to use a Beauty and the Beast theme in the form of an orange vanilla panna cotta for Belle, and an orange scented dark chocolate pot de creme for Beast , as I want the two to play off each other.

 

Thank you so much guys and gals!

 

I'll keep you posted when I know what day I go in for the examination =D

post #15 of 60
Just a few thoughts: research on the style of cooking of the Exec. Chef. You said you don't have formal training, read baking books (CIA, Le Cordon Bleu) and practice. Not all kitchens are equal, make room for adjustment (your food, your work attitude, time constraint, oven availability, etc.). Make a list of the components of your dessert and the steps to make it or what to make first. I like to sketch my plate. Just like designing a cake, i make dessert sketches. Your flavor combination should make sense together, sometimes keeping it simple is a good thing. Good luck!
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Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › Preparing for a bench test with the Executive Pastry Chef at Disneyland Resort and kinda freaking out.