Most everyone in America has at one time or another heard of the Cake Boss. My question to you is, is it just entertainment or is it educational? Think about it, really hard.
I asked myself this a while back and my decision is it can be both. The other day I sat down and watched a whole season, notebook in hand, and filled about ten page with everything from recipes, tricks of the trade, and ideas. I used to criticize reality TV, but some of these shows have another side to them, you just have to take a look closer.
So then I asked myself, what have I learned? SOOO MUCH!!! I have learned little tricks, such as how to make realistic looking water on a cake (piping gel, who would have thought) and ice cubes or coral (isomalt). I’ve also learned new ideas for fondant, cake bases and stabilization, chocolate and so much more. My cakes have become more sophisticated, my recipe base has grown, and I’ve become more versatile in my creations.
Next steps: I plan to continue to learn and grow with the help of so many avenues out there. Through culinary programs, watching bakery shows on TV, reading books, subscribing to trade magazines (such as American Cake Decorator), and joining associations (The Retail Bakers of America). Learning is a never-ending process, and the more you absorb the better your skill sets become. So my advice to every self-taught baker out there: Continue learning. Subscribe to blogs, take advantage of the technology out there and never stop learning. Your skills and creativity are important to what you do, and the world of baking is ever changing. As always, happy baking!