Someone recommended (very smartly) that I should have a FAQ page on my site.  I agreed, but then I did Nothing about it.  I'm now remedying that.

1.  Are you a real pastry chef? I attended culinary school, graduated at the top of my class and held the position of pastry cook, pastry sous chef and pastry chef and restaurants in Central Florida.  I no longer work in a professional kitchen.  Take that information for what it's worth.

2.  What's your deal, anyway?  I mean, there are tons of cooking websites.
I agree with you.  There are tons of cooking websites out there.  My "deal" is that I'm about much more than teaching recipes.  If you wander around my site and blog enough, you'll see that there are relatively few recipes listed, mainly because recipes make me itch.  I look at recipes as a marriage of an ingredient list and a list of techniques.  My emphasis is on the techniques so that you can then apply them to many different recipes.  I also want to share ways for you to elevate home-style desserts to restaurant showstoppers.  Plus, I'm Rather Charming, and lots of people even find me Helpful.  And Hilarious.

3.  Do you take all of your own pictures? Nope.  I take lots of my own pictures with my Olympus point and shoot, and I am getting better at lighting, composition, editing, etc.  But, I consider the photos on my site to be more about illustrating a point or as examples or for emphasis.  I'm not out here on the Hinternets to create Food Pr0n. There are plenty of folks out here who do that beautifully, and I often fall prey to their wiles.  All pictures that I borrow from other folks are Creative Commons licensed photos, and the picture will always link back to their flickr photostream (or from whence it came).

As much as I strive to be, I am not perfect.  If I have failed to credit you properly, please send me an email at onlinepastrychef at yahoo dot com, and I will make sure to give you the credit you deserve.

4.  Will you help me with my project for school? I am happy to answer interview questions, and I do it rather frequently.  Before you ask, please make sure that you:

  • have a reasonable email address.  Sorry, but it's hard to take someone seriously whose email address is sparklebunny94@whatever.com.
  • use a reasonable font.  You know, like Times New Roman or Arial.  If you're feeling spunky, go with Verdana.
  • please check your spelling and punctuation, or get someone else to proofread for you.  I was a teacher, remember?
  • do not tell me on a Thursday that you need it "by Monday for a class."  That's your deadline, not mine.

I say all of this not to be icky or Difficult, but if you want me to take you seriously and answer you as a professional, please present yourself in a professional manner.  For more on this subject, click here.

5.  I'm looking for a recipe for...You are welcome to search up on the Recipes page up top there. See it?  If you can't find what you're looking for, shoot me an email or ask on the facebook page. I'll be happy to help.

6.  Can I use your recipe on my own blog or site? Sure.  You can use them just as written, but I would Smile and Smile if you used them as inspiration and then do your own thing with them.  I'd appreciate a link to my place, but I shan't hunt you down and Speak Sternly to you if you decide to lift a recipe.  After all, you have to live with yourself.

7.  Does The Beloved have a name? Yes.  First one who gets it (who doesn't know us In Real Life) gets a wee prize.

If you can think of any other questions that should be on the FAQ page, please let me know.  If you have specific baking or pastry questions--about methods, ingredients, equipment or whatever--shoot me an email at onlinepastrychef at yahoo dot com, leave a comment here or go post it on the fan page.  I'll answer in a reasonably timely manner either through a post, a reply to your comment or via email.


  1. says

    Hey Jenni,
    I’m having a great time cruising your site. Love the answers on your FAQs page – so you! Fred wants to know if you’ll answer his interview questions if he sends them in Comic Sans. I want to tell you that we miss you and The Beloved and that we know his real name. Like your Baking Essentials page. I see some things to get our daugter-in -law for Christmas. The movie page made us laugh. I love “Chocolate” , but I was ticked at all men including Fred for weeks after watching 9 1/2 Weeks. He loved the refrigerator scene.

    • says

      Oh, thank you, Mary Beth!! We miss you guys, too. We’d like to come in the spring–wanted to try for this fall, but too much going on:(

      You tell that husband of yours…well, you know. Comic Sans. Hmmph! The very Idea!

      I was more mad at old whatsherface for allowing him to treat her that way!

  2. says

    I can’t wait to dive in and explore your site more. I’ve lately been moving away from recipes. I’ve reached a point in my home baking that I’ll read a recipe more as an inspiration for ideas than as a list of what to do and how to do it. I love that you are trying to educate people to get them to move away from recipes and teach them techniques. Good for you!

    • says

      Thanks for visiting and for the comment, Irvin! I really believe that if anybody learns how to perform all the techniques and understands how ingredients work together and in isolation, that recipes should be exactly what you’re saying: for inspiration. 🙂

  3. catherine says

    i have sum question?
    y all poupose flour rather den cake flour for financier,browned butter rather den clarified butter for financier,and lastly y corn syrup for financier

  4. catherine says

    could u plz answer my dis question too y corn flour in geniose sponge
    y cream of tar tar in angel cake n wat is the substitute for cream of tar tar
    y specifically dutch processed cocoa in chocolate cake
    isn’t it the method of yellow and white cake recipe resembles the pound cake recipe

    thx for such a useful website chef

    • says

      Glad you’re enjoying the site, Catherine. You have a lot of questions–that’s a good thing! First of all, subbing corn flour for a portion of wheat flour makes for a more tender product since the resulting cake will have less gluten. Cream of tartar helps stabilize egg whites, which provide the basic structure of angel food cake. You can sub any other type of acid (edible!) such as a splash of vinegar or lemon juice. Dutch processed cocoa is pH neutral while “regular” cocoa powder is slightly acidic. Use Dutch process in a recipe calling for baking powder (pH neutral) and regular cocoa powder in recipes calling for baking soda (alkaline). And yes, most American-style cakes, including yellow, white and pound cakes, are made with The Creaming Method. Cream butter&sugar, add eggs 1 at a time, alternate dry and wet ingredients, beginning and ending with dry. 🙂

  5. Savannah says

    Hello I was wondering if this site is still active and if you could possibly help me with a school project? My name is savannah by the way, thank you in advance 🙂

  6. Jay says

    Hey there. I’m the dad of a 17 year old high school junior in the culinary tech center in Richmond, VA. Her hearts desire is to be a pastry chef. She’s a French fry vegetarian (doesn’t like too many veggies…no seafood etc) which I’m thinking might be a challenge for her in any culinary program since I’m assuming you have to taste what you prepare?

    My real reason for writing is that she is determined on going to college at a school that she (we) simply can’t afford and don’t want her to be strapped with tons of debt. I’m just wondering if there are scholarships out there specifically for culinary arts in pastries? We are starting from scratch in the search.


    • says

      Someone was probably referring to a green tea Anglaise. An Anglaise is a custard sauce made with milk or cream, egg or egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla. I’m sure they either added some matcha green tea powder to it or maybe even steeped some green tea bags in the dairy prior to making the sauce. I hope that helps, tashakay.

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