Sunday, December 7, 2008

"My Teddy"

Marzipan Teddy Bear
According to

"Marzipan is a confection consisting primarily of sugar and almond meal.

It derives its characteristic flavor from bitter almonds, which constitute 4% to 6% of the total almond content by weight. Some marzipan is also flavored with rosewater. Persipan is a similar, but cheaper product, for which the almonds are replaced by apricot or peach kernels."

"The Flower and the Bee"

Sure the title may take you to somewhere else. Maybe like a story from your early teens, but mine takes me to hours of pulled sugar!!!! Enjoy.

I'M BACK!!!!

Greetings Everyone.
For the past few months, I have been pretty busy with graduation all of two weeks away! So today I am bearing gifts for you to view! My last baking class is Candy Showpieces and Competition. Thus far in class, we have done advanced work in chocolate, pastillage, marzipan, and my favorite: SUGAR! Let me just tell you, pulling sugar looks so awesome, but takes a few days to heal due to the callouses that you receive. Enjoy my new works, and of course, if you have questions direct them to

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wedding Cake #2.

Wedding Cake #2.

I will let the images speak for itself!

A Chef.... Skateboarding Style.!

I have been away for quite awhile now because from school and work, I haven't had time for anything. This weekend I took out some time to do what I love-- PAINTING.! So I present to you my graffiti-style chef that I painted on the bottom of a friends skateboard.!!!
I am quite aware that this is not food, but as I have explained before, I have a passion for food and for fine arts.! Hope you like.!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"What glitters isn't always gold, but it could be luster dust.!"

As one of my projects in my Classical Pastries class, my group had to make truffles. Sounds like fun, right.! I know. Since I took Cake Decorating and Candy Making before this class, we already made 2000 truffles, literally for our schools Open House, so making more rolled truffles was out of the question. So instead, I insisted that my group makes molded chocolate candies. Not only because I enjoy making ganache fillings for the inside, which this one was my (soon to be famous) "almond family" ganache* with luster dust.!
What is luster dust might you ask.? Well luster dust is pretty much a metallic-like powder that is food safe, which means it could be eaten. I enjoy using this product because it gives your dessert or candy that extra WOW factor. In my opinion, it is more appealing to the eye. So I present to you my molded chocolates:

Until later..... ENJOY.!

*"almond family" ganache is a special recipe/formula created by myself. It has a flavor that is like no other, but has the flavor of a sweet Mediterranean candy.

"Artistic Cheesecake"

Thus far in my culinary training, I have been blessed to have been grouped with individuals that care at least a little bit about baking. So my groups projects are usually the chosen
desserts to go to either friday buffet or to the president of the school and other academic instructors. The last one that was sent was my cheesecake garnished with strawberry slices, a mint leaf, and a dot of strawberry sauce..... ENJOY.

"Tres Fresas"

The long awaited final/signature project for my Classical Pastries class. After many DAYS of stress trying to conceptualize my tastings, and plan out the plating. I present to you Tres Fresas, which translates to Three Strawberries.
Concept: I knew that I did not want to do a "traditional" cake or torte. With my love of food science, and more contemporary food applications, I knew that I wanted to do a triple tasting plate, but of what.? Strawberries.

So you start off with two carbonated strawberries, which mimics the experience of drinking a strawberry italian soda.
Your next tasting brings you to strawberry sorbet with a chocolate "powder" that reconstitutes into creamy chocolate in your mouth. A chocolate cigarette and leaf of lemon balm tops the sorbet off as a garnish.
Your last, but not final experience takes you to a delicate strawberry caviar with vanilla bean essence in every pearl. Drizzled on top was a sweet spanish wine reduction (name to be added later) and a dried vanilla bean for garnish.
Also there are leaf shaped spongecake on the plate to be enjoyed alone, or used as a tea cookie to be eaten with the sorbet and caviar.

Outcome/Judging: Just the sheer joy of making my own recipes/formulas, and having not only all of the pastry chefs taste my dessert, but to also have the Certified Master Pastry Chef try my plating, and actually enjoy it.! I was in awe. On top of all of that, the chefs said that if they were in a restaurant, and saw that on the menu they would buy it. If I was not so excited and nervous at the same time, I could have shed a tear or two. From this project, it reassures me my love of working with desserts to be eaten as an experience and not to be eaten just because it is the last part of a three-course meal. When the chefs bit into the carbonated strawberry, and the look on their faces of not expecting such an experience of fizzing strawberries made my day, and instilled in my head that I must always push the envelope in everything that I do. Sure traditional is good, but take traditional and make it an artistic experience to be enjoyed. Until later........ As I said to the chefs after explaining my dessert, and before they began their tasting, ENJOY.!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"A Wedding's In The Air"

As trite as it may seem, when we are patience great things follow. So in my return, I bring to you a wedding cake that I decorated for a client of my culinary school. The cake is a white choclate fondant cake, I made the flowers that are made out of white modeling chocolate, that was made in-house. For the recipe, please message me.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"Abstraction of a Flower Bouquet" by: Shaymar W. Higgs

To complete my cake decorating and candy making class, one part of my practicum exam, I had to bake and decorate a wedding cake with royal icing. I would like to call this my Abstraction of a Rose Bouquet. Atop the cake are organic, edible flowers and the "leaves and stems" are gum paste painted with luster dust. Hope you enjoy.!

"Look Into The Mirror."

On Friday, May 30, 2008, in my cake decorating and candy making class, our class sent an assortment of our fudges, hard candies, and gummies to be displayed (and eaten) during our lunch hour. Below are a few pictures of our spread. Enjoy and do not forget to leave comments.!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"An Instant Chemical Emulsion."

Welcome back to me. Welcome back to you as well.! I hope as you are reading, you are thinking about the good food that you had over the Memorial Day weekend. I would like to first thank all of the Veterans and Servicemen and women for the work that they do for our country. If it was not for them, we would not have such diverse food (story why would be explained at a later date).!
As all of my readers know, I am a big fan of the theories and principals of molecular gastronomy. As we were finished in my cake decorating class, another training Pastry Chef asked me about the process of "Pop Rocks." If you are unaware of what it is, basically it is two acids (in powder form) that you would find in the average bake shop, in equal parts. When you put it in your mouth, you get this unbelievable popping and foaming.
After playing around with it some, we developed a formula for chocolate "pop rocks", and strawberry "pop rocks." Both were equally good and felt amazing in your mouth, but the strawberry with strawberry powder was my favorite.! We are going to try a round two tomorrow, so return for pictures for they are well worth it.! I may even bless the blog with a video of the reaction process.! Until later.... In the great words of Alka Seltzer "Pop, pop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief.!!!!"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Icing Fit for a King: Royal Icing.!"

As stated earlier, I am posting the results of my introduction to the world of cake decorating.!
The cake on the left is mine, as the one on the right was done by my classmate Yoona. Both of the cakes were presented during lunch, in from of all of the Chefs and academic Instructors.!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"As fine as wine, but as cheap as caviar."

What am I referring to, might you ask.? The appraised Lapsang Souchong tea leaf.! Today I set out to find this really smokey tea that comes from the Wuyi region of the Chinese province of Fujian. Unlike other tea leaves, these are smoke-dried over Pinewood fires, which offers its distinct flavor. Not only could this tea be used to drink, but it also used in the culinary world, and pairs well with roasted ribs. For more information about this tea and its uses, leave a comment, and I would be sure to reply to you.!
The reason for me searching for this praised tea, is because as stated in previous posts, I am experimenting with the science of Molecular Gastronomy.! I came across this pretty cool recipe for a Tea Air/Foam.! This weekend, I am going to try it, so check back this weekend for cool pics and possibly recipes.! Until later.... To brew the perfect cup of Black Tea, pour water at 195º over one teaspoon of tea leaves, for three minutes.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"Hello World..."

I had this urge to write something.! Not just because I am currently listening to Jason Mraz's new album (not plugging him or anything); not because I have just ordered my immersion blender to practice different forms of Molecular Gastronomy, but because I am typing up my notes from my Cake Decorating and Candy Making class.! Not only am i really excited about all that I have learned in just one week, but I am elated that the chef gave us tips and notes that most people take their entire career to find out.!!!! Just looking down right now, I see how to properly cut any shape cake, and the proper way to bake large 18" cakes.! I mean GOSH.!
Okay, enough about that, and back to my Molecular Gastronomy stuff.! So this weekend, I am going home for a barbeque for my mothers college graduation. Not only would this be a chance to cook and bake up some good food, but to also try out some really tricky techniques with family friends (and of course the random friend of a friend, of a Well look out for my pictures because they will be up no later than sunday night.! Until later..... BUTTER ALWAYS MELTS AT 85ºF.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

As easy as a piece of cake... NOT

Well this past week in my cake decorating and candy making class opened my eyes to show me that I actually enjoy decorating cakes. Not only does it use my passion for food, but also uses my love for the arts.! As one of my gifts to my mother, I made her a cake.! Not only did I make an Italian buttercream icing to go on the cake, but it is also covered in homemade rolled fondant. For those of you who have made fondant before know that this is a task that is both tedious and delicious.!!! To finally decorate the cake, and to make it look like more than a couple of blocks of cake, I decorated this exquisite cake with royal icing.!!! Let me know what you think of the cake. Until later, it's not about how the cookie crumbles, it's about how the cake is covered.!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

WHat My Title....?

If everyone did not know, my nickname according to my baking classmate, Yoon An, is "Food Nerd." We are not condoning name calling, but it was pretty funny that she called me a nerd.! The reason is because I had just got finished reading this book called "
Twinkie Deconstructed" by: Steve Ettinger. In the book it pretty much describes all of the ingredients (at the time of publishing) that are in the infamous Twinkie. And not much to my surprise, everything pretty much came from some sort of science lab. This book is a great read.! Until later.... "Beware of the Twinkie."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"It's all in the whip."

Hello World.... Today was an amazing day. Well yesterday was as well because we made this amazing pound cake using the recipe from one of the best, if not the best, pastry chef in the United States, Chef Bandula. Well we baked off our three tier cakes yesterday, so today we made our icing. OMG... This was not just ANY icing, but it was PERFECT Italian and Swiss Buttercream Icing.!!! When I say that these recipes not only made me happy, but it also made my mouth water.! I totally cannot wait to post the recipes for the world to share.! Or you could at least email me and I would forward it to you. Tomorrow we are making Fondant to cover the cake, so come back for more.! Until later, enjoy good fine, and enjoy fine art.!

Shaymar W. Higgs

Saturday, May 3, 2008

First shot at fruit caviar.!

Alright... I promised a picture, so here it is:

I think that is looks good. Leave your comments and let me know as well.!!! By the way, I used orange juice because surprisingly, that was all that I had in the house. I am leaving to go back to school tomorrow, so I had to use what I bought last night.! Until later......
Okay... Today I would like to start with HELLO to all of my future readers.! Now that that's done, I am going to get into the "meat and potatoes" of my day.! For those of you who do not know what molecular gastronomy is, it is an intense food process that is as follows, according to

Molecular gastronomy is a scientific discipline involving the study of physical and chemical processes that occur in cooking.[3] It investigates the mechanisms behind the transformation of ingredients in cooking, attempts to explain them, and investigates the social, artistic and technical components of culinary and gastronomic phenomena in general (from a scientific point of view). The term was coined in 1988 by Hungarian physicist Nicholas Kurti and French chemist Hervé This,[4][5] although atomic physicist Nicholas Kurti debuted the principle in London in 1969.[6]

So I tried to make fruit caviar, and they came out perfectly. Pictures will be up soon.! Nevertheless, this is only the beginning of my food tests and excursions.! Look forward to many more experiments and recipes for you to try as well.! Until later......