Secrets of pro pastries and cakes

I believe pro bakers keep a lot of secrets. Any tips to share?

These tarts and pastry made by Cedric Grolet are impressive and size XXL.

My question, how are they being made? Are there ovens that big?
I tried to look up in Google, couldn’t find anything. I’m thinking of doing something big for a friend that will celebrate her 50 yr o soon.

Raspberry tart
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Pastry Saint Honoré
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The pastry of the last photo is indicated diameter 1.5m / 60 inch with 23 liter / 24 quarts of whipping cream and 3 hour piping of cream.


Yes, bigger ovens @naf.

The main ones I have, for cakes, are as follows: an offset spatula in a large size for frosting, and a turntable for doing it. Of course with the cake on a sturdy surface for a transfer to serving plate. Also stabilized whipped cream for some frostings, Italian Meringues for some icings. Additionally, proper buttercreams, pastry fillings, and good recipes for the cake part.

For tarts - appropriate pans with removable bottoms, and of course careful placement of toppings and garnishes. If crusted, care to not press crust too firmly into pan, if using a nut or shortbread type base.

Perhaps Babette will chime in here, with her usual excellent advice.


Thanks for your tips.

That’s a good one.

YUP!! Looking forward too…

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If that’s 60", he has some hella long arms, I would believe 60 cm.

What sorts of secrets would you like to know?

Yes there are some pretty huge commercial ovens. Rotating deck ovens where you have multiple decks that hold 4 or 5 sheet pans each (a sheet pan is about 18 x 26"), and walk-in ovens where you wheel in the whole rack full of sheet pans.

They looked similar but the tarts were not the same size. The one on the last photo, the dimension was given on the Instagram post. The one the guy was holding was probably 70 -80 cm diameter.

I wonder how to pipe a 60" tart, do it from a diving board?

I am no baker, and don’t aspire to be one, but was fascinated by the Great British Bake Off, and from there, the segments with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (can’t remember what it’s called right now, but I will. I think its Master Class).

GBBO Master Class

They end it by saying they hope the home cooks will “give it a go”, but I can’t imagine many doing what they do. Still, if I wanted to, that’s where I’d start. Not for really big projects, but technique that seems to come from experience.

I think ommercial ovens make a big difference. My $800 Samsung “convection” oven will never heat as evenly or forcefully (maybe the wrong word). For example, commercial ovens can set and bake through cookies faster and at lower temperatures than home ovens. Also, home ovens vent their steam due to safety regulations, whereas commercial ovens give you control over venting. This helps not only for breads, but also for goods like muffins and cheesecakes. I also think because commercial bakers bake more product at once, that gives them another steam advantage even if they don’t have steam injection ovens. The steam from neighboring goods accumulates. I notice this in my own baking when, for example, I bake four loaves of bread at once.


Other than shock appeal, why something that large? (the Oooh, aaaah factor) Reduces service to kid’s birthday party sheet cake portioning.

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We are in an Instagram era. I think one can charge more. I’m beginning to find Cedric Grolet annoying, he is always posing as if he is a fashion model in his IG. True he has done something interesting but nowadays, he is just repeating himself.

One of those pastry are for a footballer’s birthday. I’m now wondering how they transport, unless they assemble the thing at the destination.

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The other day, I was reading some ice cream sorbet recipes, and it asked for Pacojet. I have no idea what it was and looked it up online. Stunned by the price of the machine and the speed how ice cream can be made.

The PacoJet has its moments, I had one at two different restaurant jobs. It’s a glorified blender, reliant on your freezer making things solid enough to shave in super thin layers. But you can make more savory things because you’re no longer depending on sugar to keep your ice cream soft.

Price-wise it’s not that bad compared to batch freezers …

I see. Didn’t know that ice cream shops is such a big investment.

Interesting, I can understand why I don’t see savoury ice cream that often in even medium priced restaurants. Once I saw on TV, some people were experimenting with some herbs to make some sorbet mixed with some water, no cream, no sugar.

How does the ice cream stay soft after freezing? Or do you have to serve it immediately?

Not what you’re asking, but I had to share this because it’s just so stinkin’ clever! The ceiling-height revolving oven at the Canterbury, NH, Shaker Village, built in 1878, and still working, was designed by a Shaker sister. It simultaneously bakes dozens of loaves, casseroles, cakes, and pies. Note the adjustable air vents in the doors. The one without the vent has a round window for looking inside to check progress without opening it.


Those Shakers were damn clever, with an appealing aesthetic too @greygarious. Thanks for posting.


Mostly serve immediately. You freeze your base solid in the metal beakers, then the blade burrows in and shaves off super thin layers at a time, softening and fluffing it up. If you have a fairly normal ice cream base you can process the whole beaker at once and it’ll stay soft & scoop-able for a while, like for the couple hours of dinner service, but for other things you might ‘paco-tize’ one or two servings at a time and serve immediately.


We’ve see pacojet use in quite a few Paris upscale bistros. The product is ordinary, just a fast soft serve. More pretetion than anything “wow delicious”. Of course, product is limited by the imagination of the chef.

How much smoother is it than what a Vitamix can do? I assume it’s much easier, too. Every time I take out the tamper and use the Vitamix to make frozen conconctions, my family says it looks like I’m wrestling with it.

Not sure, I believe the idea is that it shaves a thin enough layer that ice crystals can’t be detected on the tongue, however many microns that is . Some things like delicate herb oils can overheat with extended vitamix blending, so the paco jet has an advantage there (pack oil and herbs and freeze and blend while frozen). But it’s far more expensive, $5 or 6k. And I don’t think loose chunks are recommended, if you are blending frozen fruit pieces to make sorbet the vitamix wins.