The New Bakers Dozen

The The Bakers Dozen: Mini-Cheesecakes
By Chet (Chet) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 05:12 pm: Edit

How would I go about baking small, 3 inch, 4oz,
cheesecakes? I want straight walls and not muffin tin shapes.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 05:52 pm: Edit

1) Go buy Ring Molds.
Wrap foil around the bottom then put your graham in, or dough. Est. price....$8.00 per piece.

2) Find a steel company, buy a 10 ft. length of 3" diameter, thin walled steel pipe, (16 or 18 gauge) and have them cut it down to the height you want each piece to be. 3" wide x 2" or 3" high. Est.cost Under $5.00 each. Boil the rings in water and bleach, then dry. Don't forget the foil, and your good to go.

3) For cold items that your going to freeze or chill then unmold, use P.V.C plastic pipe. Boil clean, they last forever.
Or you could just cut them out of a sheet pan, but thats a rookie thing to do.
Good luck.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 06:00 pm: Edit

PS. If you cut them out of a sheet, you also have a lot of waste. Little pieces that look like <>.
Thats something Reg. chef's do, NOT Pastry Chef's.
We are smarter than that.
Of course it's up to YOU, how YOU do it.

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 10:15 pm: Edit


Hey I resemble that remark. I've had to show those tricks to quite a few pastry chefs who can't think like a real chef.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, April 11, 2002 - 10:35 pm: Edit

Please try to remember the very first thing ever cooked was cream, with sugar and spices, poured over bread. This was eaten with a spoon.
Reg chefs still had people eating with their hands.

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 06:26 am: Edit

So I'm a barbarian. What's your point?

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 10:00 am: Edit

chefgbs, I'm just messing around, please don't take offence. I like to tease chefs every once and awhile, only because so many know so little about pastry.
And thats ok.
So my barbarian friend, my only point was that the first REAL chefs were pastry chefs, and didn't know it. And just so you know theres no hard feelings, I'm going to think of a desert that can be served with a finger bowl.
Who needs silverware!!

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 11:39 am: Edit

Chefspike, none taken. I'm old enough to laugh at myself, even though I'm not a cream puff/pastry queen(I have no patience for it). Tell us how you really feel. Don't hold back now. It's not good for the soul. Did some mean ole chef hurt your feelings a long time ago and now that you are a pastry chef, it's payback time? When you make that dessert, please make sure you spell my name right, it's spelled Gian, but pronounced like John.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 12:09 pm: Edit

(Mean Ole Chef)......thats pretty much a given.
I knew a Pastry Queen once, but I can't tell the story of her here.
So now you want a desert named after you?
Just like a Ex. Chef, Takes all the credit when the PASTRY CHEF is doing all the work. Man, things just don't change, no matter how many chefs you stab.
"Pass that sharpening stone, will ya".........

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 10:15 pm: Edit

If it barks like an Exec Chef, takes credit like an Exec Chef, and works all day like an Exec Chef, I must be an Exec Chef. I didn't know you could sharpen a palette knife. Well I guess anything is possible these days. You know, that's not a bad idea. Here I go again, thinking like a real chef. Would a sharpened palette knife work for you guys? Or would not want to bloody that which you hold most dear? Now don't go stealing my idea and make lots of money from it. Okay?

But seriously folks, let me ask you a question. I know my basic pastries and if you held a gun to my head, I could probably put out a decent wedding cake. Why is it so flippin necessary for an Exec Chef to be an expert at everything these days? I remember being turned down for jobs because I had no pastry experience. So what? Are there not enough pastry chefs in the world today to go around? Or has the talent been diluted because of the vast number of places to work? What's your take on this? I don't need a pastry chef at my current place of employment because the kitchen is a tad on the small side and there isn't really that much business to warrant one, but the next time I am looking for one, what should I be looking for? Pictures? Try them out? Trying to get anything more than name, rank, and serial number from most companies these days is like pulling teeth. So far, I've lucky enough to pick decent pastry chefs, but any additional insights would be greatly appreciated. You know the old saying: "A wasted day is one in which you do not learn something"

Ciao for now

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 12:49 am: Edit

Chef Giam, If thats your real name...........
Sorry, sharp palette knives have been done.
Where do you get your deserts/pastries from?
And why on earth would you want to do a wedding cake? I for one don't believe it's inportant for Ex. Chef's to know pastries, ect. If that were to happen, I think that owners/managers, ect. would expect it, and there go many pastry chefs jobs.
Please allow me to vent;
But of course with the explosion of european chefs back in the late 50's and 60's, com'in to America and being that many of them are taught pastries, and doing them, this was partly to blame for many places, rest's and catering companies not hiring pastry people. Then there is the european trained Pastry Chef's, com'in to America and working, and there were no limits put on this area of the foreign work force. Then of course you have all the schools that opened, pulling in every Tom, Dick, and Harry AND suzie home-maker, and once again the field expands with cheap labor who know how to bake a cake, in light bulb ovens. Lets not forget the people who knew something, opening places of thier own, and selling product to rest's, hotel's, coffee shops, ect., weather the product was good or not. Do you know that in NYC., in the 80's a good pastry chef made $60.000 per year?, plus perks. Do you know that, that has dropped since then. and it's not just because real estate, (price per sq. ft.) has gone up. Now days, it seems that everyone calls themself a CHEF. It happens in your end of the field too. And please, don't misunderstand fact for anger, I have nothing against what happened, everyone wants to work and is looking for opportinty. We have no one to blame but ourselves, and the general public. We didn't pull in the reins, and the public, well...what do you think the percentage is of American's that support us. 15%, 25%? and the rest are eating at home or eating that brazilian meat at McDonalds.
Christ, now I'm mad! Lets not forget the hotels that turned into SUITES, and dumped the kitchen staff. Oh and lets not forget those semi-fast food places that hired KITCHEN MANAGERS, instead of chefs. What the HELL is THAT all about???
Then of course there are the Owners/General Managers who cut staff to the bone and EXPECT you, (the chef) to do MORE,MORE and MORE. Why? cause they didn't listen to us in the first place and thought they were better at menus, and product than us, and they see the numbers going down and down and wonder why. Can you say...sucking pigs! So the next time you go for a job and they want you to do pastries, baking, ect. tell them to #*%^#* themselves.
I'm done. Did that answer your question??

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 08:00 am: Edit


Yes Virginia, my real name is Gian. It's Italian and my parents are off the boat.

One thing you didn't mention that I think is very important is the mentality that goes into designing the kitchen. More often than not, a place will be designed by an architect whose ego is 20X bigger than the biggest chef's ego and someone will say, "Oh dang, we forgot the kitchen", then proceed to find some utility closet and put the kitchen in there. Doesn't leave a whole lot of room for a proper pastry program.

As far as the rest of your opinion goes, yeah you pretty much answered my question except for what to look for in a pastry chef. As to the wedding cake, a gun was put to my head, namely my job. But never again.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 12:39 pm: Edit

Thats funny, and sadly true.
Look for someone like you.
Pick a few favorites of your own and let them make up at least 50% of the menu.
Give them 2-3 weeks to settle in, and then sit down and see how you like them, and see how they work.
Let them know how stuff tastes to you.
Go around to other places in the area and see what you need to do to compete, and see if they do that too. I don't try to make everything from scratch, cause I want the time to try new things.
Unless your trying to, or you've got a star, complicated deserts are a waste of labor and food cost, and you run an inlarged inventory.
But thats just how I do it, or try.
Of course, I'm bored and tired of Pastries, and want to stop doing it.
Italy, I decided a month ago to put off the new car and head there for a vacation.

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 10:16 pm: Edit

Okay, it's nice to know I'm already doing most of what you suggested. Are you a CIA grad? If so, the CIA is offering a Cocina e Cultura program that is free to alumni. They are only taking 36 students total 18ea in 2 separate classes. The top 2 students get 2 weeks in Italy. I am hoping to get picked as I have never been to the land of my peoples. If you do go to Italy, may I recommend you skip the sights and just eat and drink your way through the boot? How long have you been in this game? Have you ever thought about teaching? If you need more info about the CIA course, their website is

Ciao for now

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 01:03 am: Edit

No, I'm not an cia grad.
I've been baking, and doing pastries for 27 years, give or take some time off to do other intrests.
I went to a small culinary arts program at a community college, in michigan, started by a Master Chef, Herman Breithaupt.
I have thought about teaching, but everytime there's a job offer, it's in a city where I don't want to live. I'm in LA now and just got a agent for modeling, and commercial work, and plan on learning acting. I want to get out of the back of the house. I'm tired of it. BUT, I'm suppose to be starting a pastry job at Nieman Marcus in Bev. Hills. It's part time, and no weekends which suits me just fine.
see ya,

By Pchef1 (Pchef1) on Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 09:13 pm: Edit

Can't we all just get along??

(fellow CIA pastry grad 99')

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 10:10 pm: Edit



By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 10:17 pm: Edit


I won't hold your non-CIA status against you. Will I be seeing you modeling the latest in chef fashions? After 27 years, who could blame you? I flamed out about 2 years ago myself after working for yet another a**hole and was seriously considering doing something else. Ah, but what? I couldn't go back to school with 2 little ones at home, and I'm certainly not GQ enough to do what you're going to do, so I dug down deep to see what was left and found that I could do this in my sleep and promptly went to work for another a**hole. I love this business, don't you?

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 11:49 pm: Edit

Pchef1,....we're just having fun, and why aren't you at you of those beaches with the girls in grass skirts?

Chefgbs,...GQ, thats funny. But if I get that GAP print ad, I'll let you know.
When you got little ones, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
CIA grads.....I could go on forever 'bout that.
But, since it's Sunday and all I won't.
I heard some jokes about the CIA school, but I can't remember them now, give me a couple of days.
I THOUGHT by what the Chef said that I would be starting this job, but it seems corporate has other ideas. Suits, Man what was God thinking that day!!!
Oh well, get some-loose some. No biggy. I'll go bus tables and get broads phone numbers.
See ya,

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 01:22 am: Edit

Here's my favorite CIA jokes:

How many CIA externs does it take to change a light bulb?

4 - 1 to change the light bulb and 3 to talk about how they did it on externship.

CIA stands for Chicken in Abundance or Cash in Advance

I'm allowed to say this because I'm a grad, right?

Ciao for now

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 02:10 am: Edit

I like it !!!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 02:13 am: Edit

How do you think Chet's cheesecakes turned out ?
Hey Chet !, where are you ?

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 09:42 am: Edit

What cheesecakes? Who's Chet? Oh that's right, this started out about mini cheesecakes. I think that he's probably checking with his Exec to make sure it's okay to buy these things. Chet, if you are out there and are working in a hotel, go to your engineering dept. and trade them a few eclairs for the pipes. There's an old saying that goes like this: "The cook that goes thirsty and the bartender that goes hungry are both fools". You can easily adapt it to most situations.

By Corey (Corey) on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 12:07 pm: Edit

wow, I better hide, I am only community college trained too. well I did 2 years in the culinary
unions school thou too. uniforms? I still like the plain jacket and checkered pants. err, no paper hats thou.

Chef Corey?

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 06:44 pm: Edit

Hi Corey,

No need to hide.....yet. What is the culinary unions school? As I'm sure you all know, every school has it's share of stars and shoemakers, and as much as it pains me to admit, the CIA too. There, I said it. Are you happy now? Where's the number for my therapist?

Aren't you glad a real chef invaded your space for a while to spread sunshine and love?

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 07:04 pm: Edit

How do we know your a --REAL CHEF--
The CIA has had it's share of,...shall we say,... a**es.(noun)
But Hey ! we can get by this, and imbrace the knowledge that you two have. HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa.
Sorry, that was cruel. HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa. Sorry.
What is a Culinary Union School ?
Oh... your Therapist called, he said to stay right where you are, he'll send someone to pick you up, and no need for a over night bag, they have a dinner jacket for you.
Can you say... plastic spoon.

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 11:05 pm: Edit

Typical pastry chef. The real chef asks you something and you blow him off. I'm going to ask you this one more time. I..'' WHAT IS A CULINARY UNION SCHOOL? There. Does the shouting convince you I'm a real chef?

Ciao for now

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 11:33 pm: Edit

Typical Chef, getting the staff confused.
COREY is the one that went there.
How in the hell am I suppose to know what it is,
I don't know if Corey is a Pastry Chef, no wait, I know,...You must have learned some sort of Jeti Mind See Thing at the CIA. Yea, thats it.
Wait !!! Is Corey the one in Hawaii. If he is, then YES he may be Pastries. Amazing !!!
Oh Obi One and a half, you are truly, truly the GREAT one. No wait, the Great One, thats Hockey.
Crap ! See, I just don't listen until the pots start whizing by my head.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 11:35 pm: Edit

Chet.........oh Chet !!!
How'd those cheesecakes turn out.

I hate that, people come here and get advice then just go away. LOL.
Damn Kids.

By Corey (Corey) on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 04:26 am: Edit

Culinary Union School?
the school the culinary union runs.
it's a course to help you survive the 24 hour
food service we have out here in las vegas,
sort of like boot camp for cooks.


By Corey (Corey) on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 04:28 am: Edit

hey, mini cheesecakes?
have you seen the cheesecake tarts the swiss colony bakers make? pretty nice. two bite cheesecakes. I ate a whole box one night with beer watching the late late late show.


By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 04:08 pm: Edit

Whats Swiss Colony?

By Corey (Corey) on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 08:11 pm: Edit

a mail order gourmet bakery company.

By Corey (Corey) on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 08:13 pm: Edit

err, at:
order a catalog, nice stuff.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 08:31 pm: Edit
How can it be "Gourmet" if it's mail order?
Sorry, I just can't go with that.

By Chet (Chet) on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 09:37 am: Edit

Just to let ya know about the mini-cheesecakes.
I tried baking them in small steel molds but found
the time and labor more than I bargained for. For
me, the most economical way is to bake the cheesecake in square pans then cut them out. I mean no offense to the pastry chefs out there. I bake cheesecakes for restaurants (about 100 per week) so time is of an essence for me. Thanks for all your suggestions and advice. While I'm here, is there anyone who may have a recipe for Lafayetts? My wife loves them but I have no clue as to making them. Thanks

By Corey (Corey) on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 01:25 pm: Edit

I prolly do,
will get back to you on the recipie soon.


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