“Pastry chef” is one of trendy professions among the new generation of Thai youngsters, including Sujina, a 9th grader girl whose passion lies in the desire to make delicious sweets to be indulged by dessert lovers.
“When I learnt to make sweets for the first time and brought some back home for my parents to taste, my mom said they were good,” Sujina recalled while smiling. The compliment did not only fill her heart with elation, but also thrust her to keep practicing to earn more endorsement. So, voila …. “Cake Pops” (dazzling, colorful pieces of cake on sticks created into different shapes as one wishes), the work of art by Sujina, a student from Ban Phaithon School. Once you have a bite, one stick is never enough.
Ban Phaithon School has started teaching students to make desserts as part of occupational training two years ago with the support on raw materials and baking tools and equipment --such as oven, trays, sieves and spatulas-- from Child Sponsorship Programme of World Vision Foundation of Thailand in the implementation area of Huai Rong Area Development Programme, Phrae province.
The school has realised that students would benefit from obtaining the skills to be able to earn income while schooling. Meanwhile, the food processing has also added value to corn, the produce supplied by their parents, of which price was slumping at that time. As such dessert making has been included in students’ Home Economics course.
“The course is meant for students from grade 1 to grade 9. We’d like to get children to be accustomed with making desserts since they’re young. I’ve taken an online course and studied different patterns of sweets from the internet. I’ve practiced making them by myself before teaching the children. I’ve always been supervising them closely during training. They really love doing it and constantly ask when we’ll do it again,” Ms Kannikar Saenthaweesuk, the Home Economics course teacher said while smiling delightfully.
Corn cake and cake pops are all students’ favourite sweets and have been chosen by Teacher Kannikar to be the first two types of pastries to start with in the course. Children will bring the corn they’ve grown at home or at school to make desserts.
“Sometimes I make brownies, cake pops and corn cake, depending on the orders. I’m so glad I can bake. It’s not difficult at all. More importantly, I can sell them to generate income to help my family.” Besides the 3 types of sweets mentioned, Sujina is also good at making other types of pastries. She has used her talent to make extra money during school break by making sweets to sell at a market place and around her neighbourhood. A portion of the earning is given to her mother to pay for family expense while the other goes to her savings, so she won’t need to trouble her mother to buy her necessary stuff.
In addition, the school has submitted the corn cake to enter the Northern Region’s Student Arts & Crafts Competition and won the gold medal for two consecutive years. Since then, the school’s pastries have become popular. Orders have been placed to have the sweets part of refreshments during meeting and activities held within the community. Cake pops are sold at the school cooperative to students at 10 baht per stick -- half of the price sold outside the school. So, the whole school gets to enjoy cake pops as they wish.
“Thank you sponsors for supporting this baking activity. The school has succeeded and further developed the new sweet creations. Children enjoy the course and the pastries. At the meantime, they can generate income to put in the cooperative savings,” Teacher Kannikar said happily.