XU LIN/CHINA DAILY
Hu Beiyue translates her experiences as a professional baker into a homemade pastry class for stay-at-home moms.
A veteran baker shares her art through classes at her home in Sanlitun, and Xu Lin follows the aroma to the fresh breads and cakes.
Stay-at-home mom Hu Beiyue, who formerly made pastry in a five-star hotel in Singapore, never expected that she would resume her old career by opening a baking class at her new home in Beijing.
It has given her a great sense of accomplishment.
"If I can teach others how to bake, they can make delicious and safe pastries for their kids whenever they want. We all need good pastries," says the Shanghai native, who went to Singapore in 2002 and moved to Beijing a decade later because of her husband's job transfer.
She started teaching classes in the spring of 2013, and has about 40 students. More than half are stay-at-home moms who have time to bake for their kids and care about food safety.
When Hu first arrived in the capital, she bought some cakes and breads but found them less than authentic. She made some on her own, and her friends enjoyed them so much that she was inspired to teach baking to others.
"Whether in China or abroad, food safety remains a hotly debated issue. We can have the best food at home," she says. "It's good for one's health, too."
Hu says her students think their own homemade cakes are more delicious than those in the bakery. Hu attributes that to the good and fresh ingredients she always emphasizes.
"The correct way is to teach them how to choose the best ingredients and avoid food additives," Hu says, noting that the use of such additives is a hard habit to break once begun.
She says homemade pastries not only use better ingredients but are fresher than pastries served in a bakery. For example, cakes for sale are sometimes frozen to preserve them. They taste similar to fresh ones after thawing, but lose some nutritional value.
She has prepared dozens of recipes for class such as tiramisu, chiffon cake and butter biscuits.