Syllabus: L'Art du Gâteau - LAG - Baking & Pastry Theory | The French Pastry School

Syllabus: L'Art du Gâteau - LAG - Baking & Pastry Theory

LAG - Baking & Pastry Theory

Course Description:

This course module focuses on exploring foundational theory and the science of the ingredients of pastry. Students learn the differences among various dairy products, including eggs; the different types of flours and sugars; and how the interactions of ingredients affect the outcome. Students also learn and practice basic skills and modeling approaches; petits fours and party favors; and delve into the history of French pastry and celebration cakes, and how cakes are made. They learn the components of the sense of taste, and how the taste cells affect the ways people perceive flavor and are influenced by texture. They focus on learning to develop their own palates, as well as how to ascertain those in customers and clients. Students also study the hierarchy of the professional kitchen, and start considering the wide variety of settings where they can use their craft after graduation.


Students the Course is Expected to Serve:

This course is a necessary component to completing the 16-week L’Art du Gâteau – The Professional Cake Decorating and Baking Program.


Pre-requisite: Food Service Safety and Sanitation Training Objectives:

  • The student will learn about the history of pastry and baking, from ancient to modern times.
  • The student will learn about the sense of taste and the body chemistry involved in perceiving flavor and texture.
  • The student will learn and apply basic skills including knife skills, piping, mixing, and modeling during the execution of basic recipes.
  • The student will learn the essential theory behind the ingredients and equipment used in pastry creation and baking.
  • The student will learn how to make petit fours, pâte à choux, miniature cookies, tartlettes, miniature pastries, and party favors such as caramels, caramelized nuts, flavored marshmallows, and lollipops.
  • The student will learn about the historical development of celebration cakes.
  • The student will learn about the opportunities available to the pastry professional, such as avenues to becoming a cake baking and decorating professional in a restaurant, hotel, bakery, specialty boutique, resort, country club, and cruise ship, as well as opportunities in food sales and marketing, writing, photography, teaching, research and development, among others.
  • The student will learn about kitchen facilities and kitchen equipment such as KitchenAid® mixers, Robot Coupe® mixers, induction burners, convection and deck ovens, blast chillers, and the sheeter machine.


Student Learning Outcomes:

  • The student will be able to summarize the history of pastry and baking, from ancient to modern times.
  • The student will describe the five senses and explain how the taste cells and other body chemistry lead to perception of flavor and texture.
  • The student will demonstrate appropriate basic skills including knife skills, piping, mixing, and modeling during the execution of basic recipes.
  • The student will explain the essential theory behind the ingredients and equipment used in pastry and cake recipes, and apply it through creating basic cakes.
  • The student will make petit fours based on pâte à choux, miniature cookies, tartlettes, miniature pastries, and party favors such as caramels, caramelized nuts, flavored marshmallows, and lollipops.
  • The student will explain the historical development of celebration cakes.
  • The student will be able to describe and compare the opportunities available to the pastry professional, such as avenues to becoming a cake baking and decorating professional in a restaurant, hotel, bakery, specialty boutique, resort, country club, and cruise ship, as well as opportunities in food sales and marketing, writing, photography, teaching, research and development, among others.
  • The student will explain and demonstrate appropriate use of kitchen facilities and kitchen equipment, including KitchenAid® mixers, Robot Coupe® mixers, induction burners, convection and deck ovens, blast chillers, and the sheeter machine.


Course Outline:

  • History of cake baking and decorating, the five senses, the hierarchy of the kitchen. (7 hours lecture; 0 hours lab)
  • An introduction to kitchen hierarchy, equipment, and decorum. (4 hours lecture; 24 hours lab)
  • The foundation of petits fours and modeling, basic skills, theory of ingredients and equipment. (10 hours lecture; 60 hours lab)


Methods of Instruction*:

  • Lectures
  • Whole-group discussions facilitated by the chef instructor
  • Technique and recipe demonstrations by the chef instructor
  • Chef instructor-supervised production of recipes by students


Methods of Evaluation*:

  • Appropriate and accurate responses to instructor’s questions during demonstrations and class discussions
  • Chef instructor observations during recipe production


*Further explanation of the Methods of Instruction and Evaluation across the program may be found in the Catalog.