About Me

About Online Pastry Chef

Hi!  I’m Jenni Field, and as a former special education teacher/now pastry chef, I am trying to marry my two careers together.  Part of that is this very blog.  In it, I want mostly to focus on methods and techniques that will make your life in the kitchen easier.

I do hope that you enjoy my blog.  Whether I focus on an ingredient and its functions in baking, or whether I’m giving ideas for ways to use apples, my intent is that it be both educational and entertaining in equal parts.  I think that too many people are intimidated by baking, and that keeps them out of the kitchen.  This is a sad thing, because Great Stuff can happen in the kitchen.  I hope that, armed with some kitchen science and an understanding of mixing methods, you will be excited to get into the kitchen and make some Great Stuff!

If you’d like some more in-depth information about baking and pastry, please check out my website, Pastry Chef Online.

I also Squidoo.  I am having a lot of fun with that.  Most of my lenses focus on cooking, but a couple are seasonal and two deal with selling a house–something I am very familiar with doing, having just sold a house in Central Florida in June 2008.  If you’d like to check out the lenses, you can find them here.  If you’d like more information on how to sell a house, I have a website that I designed to sell my eBook:  I CAN Sell This House. I hope it will help people.

I’ve decided that, no matter what I do out here in big old cyberspace, I do it to help people.  I believe in the power of our intentions and intention-driven actions, and I am recently adding to that the belief that we draw to us who we are meant to draw.  I think that I find my readers and my readers find me because we each have something to offer the other.  In that spirit, I am excited by this partnership, and thank you all for your participation!


PS  Please take a minute and leave a comment–I’d love to know what you like, what you don’t like and what you’d like to learn.  Also, I am open to any of your tips, as well.  I also have a forum page, much neglected (but I keep hoping) if you’d like to post there!  Chef Talk at Pastry Chef Online.

47 Responses to “About Me”

  1. vanessa January 14, 2009 at 2:29 am #

    I have a question. A little while back I made cupcakes. The day I made them, the cake part of the cupcake was light and lovely. Several days latter a friend came over and I had her try one. She asked if it was pound cake?! Confused (and maybe a wee bit hungry) after she left I had one, and sure enough it was DENSE, and not so great. I have never had that happen before. Any thoughts?

  2. pixxienix January 16, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    Wow, hi Jenni. I love your websites, but most of all I love all your kind and generous efforts in educating your readers about baking and everything! I salute you! Thank you for the easy-to-read posts and analyses on seemingly basic baking issues. This is a true gem of a resource; and I really hope one day I could be a pastry chef too ^_^


    • onlinepastrychef January 16, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Nikki! It’s comments like these that make me feel like I’m on the right track. I’m so glad that you find my sites useful:)

  3. gayle January 18, 2009 at 6:04 am #

    I found your site and blog today — I am very impressed and excited to stumble into your world. I have jumped here and there – and I loved it!! Thanks for sharing your knowledge — gayle

  4. Roberto January 29, 2009 at 6:27 am #

    Hi Jenni, loved your blog too. Thank you for visiting me and for your lovely words. Now I’m your follower and will come back every week to see the new recipes and tips. Kisses…

  5. Graham February 3, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    Hey Jenni,

    I’m a pastry chef in boston ma. I’ve been having a lot of difficulty with pate de fruits recently. In the fall I was making my own concord grape puree and setting it up with pectin using a very basic recipe of
    4 c. puree
    4 1/2 c. sugar
    3/4 c. glucose
    12 tbsp. sugar
    8 tbsp. pectin
    and using 2-4 tsp. citric acid towards the end.
    Recently I’ve had many failures using purchased purees from both boiron and other producers as well as using pastry star apple pectin. I’m usually not altering the recipe very much except in miniscule amounts of sugar when I feel the fruit is already too sweet or altering the citric acid if i feel the fruit is too tart or not enough.
    I figured this basic ratio should be working for such basic fruits like pears, but I’ve also had failures with funky fruits like prickly pear and lychee. Also, I read in your blog you hold a roadmap of basic ratios for great pate de fruit…might you share this and\or any advice you could. Thanks so much for your time…
    -Graham Schave
    Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks
    Kenmore Square Boston, MA

    • onlinepastrychef June 12, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

      Hope you got my email forever ago and that your pate de fruits are turning out just the way you want them to:)

  6. Tangled Noodle February 9, 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    Hi Jenni! Thanks for visiting my site – I’m also a big fan of Daily Spud so I’m glad we’ve connected through her. I saw your Foodbuzz profile noted your hometown as Cary – there are probably a lot of Carys out there but by any chance is that North Carolina? I look forward to visiting your site often for tips, tricks and a whole ‘lotta learning!

  7. deanna February 12, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    Hi! Thank you for your comment on my blog… http://tastenc.blogspot.com/
    It is so neat how you are so close by! If you would like me to post your blog on my blog, I will be happy to do so. Would you like to swap? I will post yours and you post mine. I think it helps get the word out faster!

  8. Haim February 13, 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    Do you have any experience with baked custards?

  9. Maureen February 14, 2009 at 12:51 am #

    Hi there,
    So glad you are displaying your site on Alphainventions again.
    It’s terrific 🙂

  10. nutmegnanny March 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm #

    I love your blog! I’m glad I stumbled upon it:)

    • onlinepastrychef March 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm #

      @nutmegnanny I’m so pleased you stopped by and that you like what you see 🙂

  11. vincent March 12, 2009 at 12:58 pm #


    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM!!! YUM!!!.
    We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on “Add your site”

    Best regards,


  12. Debi March 16, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    Hi Jenni,
    I just finished teaching a cooking class as see you posted on my site….thanks! I am new to the blogging world. I just went through your site and think it’s a wonderful resource!

  13. Philip Edwards March 27, 2009 at 3:36 am #

    Hi Jenni,

    This site is great! I love the food pictures and the writing you are sharing with us…This site will be placed on my blogroll.


    Phil Edwards

  14. radish April 16, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    Jennie Thanks for writing on my blog. My husband wants a moister cake. Nothing eitherial for him. My idea is to change to a little oil, and add a little cream. Also in the formulas I do not know where you count chocolate. On your recommendation I am purchasing Cooking with out a recipe.

    I feel that you are going through a sad time of life, blessings to you.

    • onlinepastrychef April 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

      Hi there! I understand wanting a moister cake. 🙂 I think you are on the right track to use oil and add some cream. The added fat should make it moist and rich. As far as chocolate, if you’re using cocoa powder, reduce the flour measure for measure for cocoa powder. If you want to add 3T of cocoa, take out 3 T of flour. To add melted chocolate, it depends on what percentage of chocolate is in the bar. A good place to start would be to sub 1/2 the weight of the chocolate for some dry and some fat, so if you have 1 oz. chocolate, remove 1/2 ounce each of flour and fat.

      I accept your blessings; my post from yesterday was my small way to share in others’ sadness. Thank you so much.

  15. Ty May 14, 2009 at 11:58 am #

    Hi Jenny,

    What a great!

    Why does the eggs in the genoise cake recipe need to be warmed up before whipping?


    • onlinepastrychef May 14, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

      Hi, Ty. Thanks for stopping by.

      You’ll get better volume in your egg foam if you warm the eggs slightly. It’s not strictly necessary (I don’t think), but it will make your whipping go a little more quickly, too. I usually put the eggs and sugar in the mixing bowl and whisk over a pan of simmering water until the mixture is no longer grainy and feels just barely warm–you’re not looking to go much above 100F or so, just slightly warmer than body temperature.

  16. Sharan May 22, 2009 at 9:55 pm #

    Hi I’m a student from Waubonsie Valley High school. I’m researching colleges and careers right now and becoming a pastry chef has always appealed to me because I’ve always enjoyed foods class. I was wondering if you could answer a few questions about this job field, it would be greatly appreciated.

    • onlinepastrychef May 22, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

      Would be happy to, Sharan. Just email them to me at onlinepastrychef [at] yahoo [dot] com. Thanks for stopping by; kudos to you for doing your research early. Lots of folks don’t, so you’re ahead of the game!

  17. Ty June 1, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    Hi Jenny,

    How do you convert the measurements for dry active yeast as opposed to the fresh yeast? And what are the differences between all those yeast out there?


  18. Ty June 1, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

    Hi Jenny,

    How do you convert the measurements for dry active yeast as opposed to the fresh yeast? And are difference between all those yeast out there?


    • onlinepastrychef June 1, 2009 at 5:25 pm #

      Hi, Ty! My rule of thumb is to use 1/3 the amount of dry yeast. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 oz. fresh yeast, I’d go with about .3 ounces of dry yeast.

      There are differences among the different types of yeast–some are “optimized” for a single rise, and some work better with two or more rises.

      The thing to remember about all yeast though, is that the amount you use affects the rising time. All yeast multiply at an alarming rate, so eventually, even if you just use a pinch of yeast, you’ll get a huge colony, as long as they have food to eat. If you have the time, err on the side of using less yeast. It will take longer for your dough to rise, but the flavor will be better developed.

      Don’t be intimidated by yeast. Yeast is a one-celled fungi, and you, my friend, have two thumbs and a fore brain. When it’s you versus yeast, yeast is going down, so just be confident and have fun with it!


      • Ty June 2, 2009 at 12:00 pm #

        Thank you so much! I’ll give it a try.

  19. Maureen June 22, 2009 at 10:54 pm #

    Hi Jenni,
    I really enjoying visiting here and thought it was time to say hi again. Hope you are well. Your site is terrific, as always.
    Best wishes

    • onlinepastrychef June 25, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

      Thanks so much, Maureen–glad to see you again, too! I must swing by your place and see what you’re doing; it has been way too long!

  20. Janet August 1, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    hi Jenni,

    I have a selection of wonderful Australian cake and cookie recipes that I brought with me to America – but due to the ingredient and altitude changes, can’t seem to get working.

    Would you help translate some recipes into American ingredients?

    Email me..

    Janet at GreenesRelease.com

  21. Bjorn August 18, 2009 at 6:01 am #

    Hi there !
    Found your blog by a coincident, and really liked it !
    I am a chef in Stockholm, Sweden.
    Do you mind if I link to your blog from mine ?
    I´ve got a cooking blog too, even though it´s in Swedish. You are more then welcome to check it out ! Trying to post lots of photos of my daily work as an inhouse chef at a lawfirm.
    Best regards
    Bjorn Gunnebro

  22. Tracey September 24, 2009 at 10:27 am #

    Hi Jenni,

    I found you via MJ’s blog a while ago and read about you and your mum going to the Idol concert. (I think your mum is a real gem!)

    I’m an Aussie mum of three and a fellow Adam Lambert fanatic and a Glee fan as well. I also love cooking, so I’m sure I will find plenty about it on here. (I just found you again through MJ’s while reading the Glee blog).

    I love what I have read so far on your blog. You make me laugh at so many of your stories. Keep doing what you are doing it’s great, and don’t forget to mention the glittered fabulous one (Adam) occasionally.


    • onlinepastrychef September 24, 2009 at 11:41 am #

      Hi, Tracey! So glad you found me–it sounds like we have a lot in common. My mom is a gem; a few people have commented about her. Maybe we should form a “Jane-bert” fan club! 😆 I will be sure to reference Adam whenever possible–so looking forward to his single, 2012, and his album! Hooray!

      • Tracey September 25, 2009 at 10:22 am #

        I think you will have to make some “Jane-bert” T-Shirts for her fans & groupies. 🙂

        Idol will never be the same again without our Glittery Alien from the planet fierce, I’m afraid. I wonder how many Adam “wanna-bee’s” have auditioned for season 9 so far?? 😆

  23. Heather November 15, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    I’m doing an article on quinoa for our co-op’s newsletter. I stumbled across your bit on quinoa. I’m wondering if I could “steal” your comments on quinoa to include in our newsletter?

  24. Barbara Price December 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Hello Jenni – I too have stumbled on your blog site and quickly discovered the expertise you bring to your writing! I uncovered you while searching for some clues about the pates de fruit I have been making. I wonder if you have ever attempt to package yours? Mine turned out wonderfully – great texture, flavor and color but when, after coating them in sugar, I stacked them in the clear plastic truffle boxes I purchased for this purpose, they started to weep, making a sticky syrup pool. The squares are still in pretty good shape and can be salvaged but I have no idea how to package them to give as gifts. The boxes I chose are similar to those I saw in Paris when we purchased pates de fruit as gifts. Any thoughts or wisdom you could share?

    • onlinepastrychef December 16, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

      Hi, Barbara:) Glad you’re finding my site helpful! My first thought about the weeping pate de fruits is the rolling in sugar part. Sugar is hygroscopic, so it pulls water to it, including the water that is in the pate de fruits themselves.

      This presents a problem, huh? They aren’t “finished” until they’re rolled in sugar. Think about making them a couple of days ahead and letting them sit out in a low humidity environment, partially covered but so air can circulate around them, so they’ll dry a bit before you package them.

      Another (and probably better) option is to buy some of those wee little dessicant packs to put in each container. The dessicant is way more hygroscopic than the sugar, so the water should go to it rather than making your candies sticky.

      Here’s a site that I found that sells all sorts of dessicant packs: http://www.silicagelpackets.com/ Hope this helps; it would be a shame to put so much work into your pate de fruits and then have them melt down before your eyes! 😦

  25. Dianne D. December 20, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    Thank you very much for sharing your fudge recipe! I’ve been making the “fantasy” fudge for a few years now, but knew there had to be a truer version of the recipe and just set that on the back burner for later when I had more time to research it. My daughter and I will be making homemade marshmallows tomorrow (using Martha Stewart’s recipe) then our family’s sugar cookies. There are so many recipes out there but I really do like the one my grandmother used (she’s 99 next month and doesn’t cook anymore–unfortunately lost her sense of taste and smell). Also have to mention I cheered when you mentioned Penzeys spices in one of your blogs. I was just at the Richmond store on the 10th and recognized it from your picture. Yes, unfortunately that is the closest store to us (I’m in Fayetteville) and I do love sniffing the spices, too! Came away with about $50 worth of spices–could’ve been more but I have to revamp my spices in the cabinet a little at a time. Have you been to Trader Joe’s in Cary yet? I grew up with that store in CA and go by there and Whole Foods when I do go up to Raleigh (which isn’t as often as I’d like it to be). I backed out of the wedding (including doing the wedding and groom’s cakes) for the gal up in Canada as it would be too close timewise for my husband’s return from “over there” and I’d be spending at least 8 times as much going to her wedding than I would be for my own son’s in July! Gave her plenty of notice (more than 6 months)so I don’t feel I put her in a bind–though I suspect her finace is doing a much better job of that (lack of input for anything for the wedding). I’m still dreaming of my little bistro/bakery and found a place which would be perfect for it here in town, though I don’t think it will be available in the 10+ years it will take me to get things together to bring it to fruition. Thinking about taking the pastry courses at FTCC to further hone what I know (which is very little compared to professionals but more than the average home cook knows) and add to my knowledge base for the future. Sorry to ramble on… Just get excited when I read your blog and let my mind wander. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  26. matt dove December 28, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    hey jenni I am so glad I found you and your blog. as a young to be pastry chef I am excited about trying all your recipes and picking your brain. hope to become great friends!!!!

  27. Joanne Richard February 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    I saw your commnets on that obnoxious commercial with the little girl and the minced fish (Mrs’ Paul commercial). I agree wholeheartedly. I just sent them an e-mail telling them I thought it was disguting and if I or any of my friends had ever talked to our mothers that way we’d be in serious trouble (and, I can’t even imagine an actual child saying these words). Apart from thinking it is a really disgusting commercial (I hate precocious kids). I find the disrespect very upsetting. People today often complain that today’s kids have no respect for adults — and commercials like this PROMOTE this disrespect.

  28. Mary@CookEatShare March 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    I’d like to personally invite you to join the CookEatShare Author network. CookEatShare has had over 2.5 million unique visitors in 2009, and I think they will be interested in your content. Users will be guided to your actual blog, so this is a free way to increase page views and visitors to your site.

    Please visit http://cookeatshare.com/blogs/apply for additional information or contact me at mary@cookeatshare.com for more information, to get unique link to claim and customize your profile.

  29. Amy April 13, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    I love your site! I actually found it looking for more info on quinoa and couldn’t stop reading so thank you. I working very hard at reprograming the whole family to eat healthier so any tips on that sort of stuff, like quinoa information, is so wonderful. Have a great day.

  30. Tara E. April 30, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    Hey… i stumbled across your website, got kinda sucked in, and realized you are local! I am a Triangle gal too. I’m over in almost Wake Forest part of Raleigh. Glad to “meet” you! 🙂

    • onlinepastrychef April 30, 2010 at 7:31 am #

      Glad to meet you, too, Tara! Thanks for stumbling by, but I’m not sorry you got sucked in! Mwah ha ha! 😆

  31. Marilyn May 19, 2010 at 2:27 am #

    Thanks for all the real-food whipped-topping options you’ve created! Very impressive, and I can’t wait to try them. Not a Cool Whip fan, either, as I prefer true edibles v. the prepackaged, chemical-laden pretend foods. Thanks again!

    • onlinepastrychef May 19, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

      Amen–when I read the Cool Whip tub, I was appalled. Everyone needs to know that there are Plenty of natural alternatives to Cool Whip! None of them taste like Cool Whip, and that’s a good thing! 😉

  32. P.L.W. August 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Dear Jenni,
    I wrote you a while ago when I was having problems with my lemon meringue pie and your answer was both wonderful and solved my problem!! Now I have another one that perhaps someone has asked before:
    Neither my husband nor I like sugary sweet things like most baked goods from bakeries and the like. I bake a bit at home and love to leave out as much sugar as I can without ruining the recipe. I’ve got a bit of an issue with high blood sugar and I really would prefer to taste the main ingredient (chocolate, lemon, apples, etc) rather than sugar. Can you help?
    May I also suggest you peek at http://www.carrietracy.blogspot.com/- soory can’t html a single dratted thing.


  1. Cake & Ice Cream « verysmallanna.com - June 17, 2009

    […] I didn’t have to search for long. Jenni, The Online Pastry Chef Herself, has a basic recipe that she kindly linked me to, and, now that I […]

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