The Professional Pastry Chef...I do NOT remember the author....It's on e-bay. A great book with all kind of ideas. Pick one and make it. Use your imagination. Practice practice practice.
Pastry Cream. It's a wonderful thing. It is my friend. Learn different types of icing, merangues and fillings. There are tons of recipes out there for cakes, pastries and breads. You have to find your own and make them yours. The secret is the little extras. The frosting, the decorations. The secret ingredients that you personally have come up with. Feel free to experiment. Study art. USE YOUR IMAGINATION!
Creme Anglaise...a hint...It feels slippery when it's getting close to done.
Just read. (if you don't already) Read everything you can get your hands on and it's going to sound weird, but envision making it. The process, the flavors.
That's what I do but I dunno, maybe I'm just weird.
>The difference between ordinary and extra-ordinary is that little EXTRA!<