Chatting desserts with pastry expert Krista Corbett
We recently caught up with Krista Corbett from Pollen Pastry to try out our new Teas & C’s Classic pieces with her signature lemon tart creations and to talk more about all things dessert!
Hi Krista, what have you been filling your day with today?
As a small business owner, I wear a lot of hats, in fact, all of the hats! My days at the moment are filled with all aspects of my business, from practical; (baking, layering and decorating cakes) to admin, marketing, client consultation, deliveries, ingredient ordering and product [menu] development. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes of the final finished product.
When did you first know you wanted to spend your time with dessert
I'd always known that I wanted to cook from a young age, but once I completed my apprenticeship in commercial cookery, I was offered to take over the dessert section and menu at the small restaurant that I currently worked at. I was nervous, and felt totally out of my depth, but my chef trusted me and my abilities, and so I dived in with a sink or swim attitude. Once I was immersed in the world of pastry, I was excited by all of the challenges that came with it.
Pastry requires acute attention to detail, precision, patience and awareness. Through the failures and successes of running my own dessert section, I'd say it was at that moment that I knew I wanted to spend my time with desserts.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love that being a pastry chef is not a skill that you can pick up overnight. I love that it takes months, years, even decades to really perfect the art of pastry, and even then, you can still have a bad day in the kitchen! I feel very wealthy with the knowledge I've gained over my time so far. I get a lot of questions from budding cakers or pastry chefs, wanting to know what recipe I used, or how they can do what I do (instantly). I always remind them that all good things take time, and acquiring skills requires patience - no quick tip or recipe can equal the experiences I've overcome in my career. It's a very rewarding feeling to do what I do.
Anything you dislike about it?
Running this business is simultaneously the most rewarding and stressful thing I have ever pursued! Usually the cakes we make are for major milestone events - weddings, engagements, birthdays. There is pressure that comes with being chosen to create such an integral part of the day for those people, and I take that quite seriously.
What is your favourite recipe to make at home on your downtime?
Three words; Ricotta baked cheesecake. If you know me, you know this is my favourite. I declare it often!
Sounds amazing…and how do you like to enjoy it?
Perfectly baked, at room temperature and with fresh berries or seasonal fruit. (leftovers; for breakfast, straight out of the fridge)
How do you like to spend Sunday afternoons?
At the moment, Sunday afternoons and evenings are dedicated to preparing for the busy week ahead. I believe that a good morning is made the night before, and a successful week is made on a Sunday evening. Prep-lists, calendars and scheduling are good friends of mine on Sundays.
When it comes to desserts, what are your serving preferences?
Less is more here. If the dessert has been baked or prepared well, only add elements that will really enhance the dish.
Any particular music or playlists you listen to when you’re baking up a storm?
Working alone, podcasts keep me company, and allow me to learn and be inspired as I work. Lady Start-up Stories and The Mentor are some of my recent faves.
Thanks to Krista for talking with us, we can’t wait to see what magical desserts she whips up next…