Can you give the cups/tablespoons/etc. measurements in your recipes?

Long answer: Nope and here's why. Volume measurements are inconsistent, cumbersome, inaccurate, and simply a waste of time. If you weighed out one cup of flour, then weighed out a second cup of flour, I guarantee that they will have different weights. A few grams here and there might not seem like a huge difference, but if you're weighing out 5 cups of flour and you end up being 100 g over what you should be getting and that will affect your final product. The next time you make that recipe, you might be 200 g over what you should be getting.

Weight measurements are much easier, cleaner, and more efficient than volume measurements. Instead of weighing out 3/4 cup plus two tablespoons (not to mention washing all those cups and tablespoons), you simply weigh out what you need in a bowl. This makes things much faster, especially if the ingredient list is quite long. Using weight measurements is also extremely useful for scaling recipes up or down. I constantly scale recipes down or scale them to what I have available.

For example, let's say a cookie recipe calls for 150 g of butter, but I only have 87 g of butter in my fridge. With some basic math, you can scale the recipe down to fit the exact amount of butter that you have. 150 divided by 87 = 1.7, so then you would divide every other measurement by 1.7 - e.g. if the original recipe calls for 200 g of flour, divide 200 by 1.7 = 117. If you want to scale a recipe up, jut reverse the math. Let's say the recipe calls for 150 g of butter but you want to use 212 g of butter. 212 divided by 150 = 1.4 - so you would multiple the rest of the ingredients by 1.4. Weight measurements are also perfect for when you know how much of final product you need. Let's stick with the cookie example here. I weigh my cookies out to 35 g each and let's say I need 55 cookies and I want to scale the recipe up to fit that amount. 35 g multiplied by 55 cookies - that's a total weight of 1,925 g. The original recipe yields 462 g. 1,925 divided by 462 = 4.16 (round up to 4.2). Multiply all the ingredients by 4.2 and you have the recipe that will yield 55 cookies! I know I sound like a math teacher giving you word problems, but it really is very simple. I barely passed grade 11 math so if I can do this math on a daily basis, anyone can! Could you ever imagine doing any of that with cup measurements? Fractions were never my strong suit, so it would be impossible for me.

Buying a digital kitchen scale is not as expensive as you think, either! My scale cost \$35 and it has lasted me through pastry school and over 3 years in the industry. If you think that isn't a hell of a smart investment, then you're wrong. This is the brand of scale that I use and I highly recommend it. And no, I'm not being paid or compensated in any way to say that, I just love my scale and I wish everyone used kitchen scales.

As a professional pastry cook, consistency is the most important thing and I carry that mentality through to my baking at home as well. I can see no reason why a logical person would use volume measurements when there is an infinite better way to measure out ingredients. I hope I've convinced a few of you guys to buy a kitchen scale and convert to the good side.

What kind of camera/lens do you use?

I currently use a Nikon D90 and I usually use my 40 mm Nikkor macro lens, though sometime I use my 85 mm lens. I always edit my photos in Photoshop Lightroom 5.

What kind of light setup do you use?

Only natural light! I have a big window/sliding door and I put my homemade white tabletop on a couple boxes in front of it and that's my "studio". Seriously. It's pretty ghetto.

No at all! I am a pastry cook at one of the best restaurants in Vancouver right now. The blog is just a hobby - a very intensive and time-consuming hobby... So cut me some slack if I don't reply to your email/comment/question right away, I work 12 hours a day in a kitchen!

I love your macaroons, but I -

Macarons. They're called macarons.

I'm thinking of going to pastry school, is there any advice you can give me?

I have so so so much to say on this subject and it really depends on who you are, where you're at in your life, what you're thinking of doing, and how much you know about the realities of the industry! Please send me an email (hintofvanillablog@gmail.com) and I will most likely reply with several paragraphs! Haha!

Who eats everything that you make?!

I try to scale my recipes down so I only make what I need for photos, but I usually give my dad a good portion of the desserts. Other people that have received my lovely creations: my pottery class, my real estate agent, my mortgage broker, and the lady at the spice shop.