Thursday, May 27, 2010
For the recipes, head on over to the daring kitchen and give it a try!
I really enjoyed this daring bakers challenge. I was so happy that it was something I could accomplish in just under a couple of hours too! I baked off the profiteroles, and whipped up some pastry cream in the evening, then made caramel and constructed the croquembouche the next day.
It felt like a very fancy dessert, the techniques are classic but simple and I'll definitely be trying to perfect my technique by making this again soon!
The pastry cream came together nice and quick, my only change was omitting the sugar and adding a can of dulce de leche for a delicious spin on classic pastry cream.
The really tricky part was the assembly. I dipped each pastry into the molten caramel to construct and ended up with a few little burns on my finger. Any attempt to use tools resulted in a big mess. I think maybe constructing layer by layer would result in a safer construction, and also a little less caramel, these were difficult to eat with a thick layer of caramel on them!
Thanks so much for the challenge, I will definitely be revisiting this one!
If anyone has any advice for playing with spun sugar, I'd love to hear about it!
Friday, May 14, 2010
It was an extremely enjoyable class, made even more enjoyable by my team, we were all a little older, and really wanted to do our best, so we were always very happy with our dishes.
The class started with a lot of boiling of bones to make stocks. This wasnt so interesting for me as a vegetarian, but it was useful to know the principles in case I do ever plunge back into a truly omnivorous diet again.
We moved onto reductions, vegetable stocks and soups, and then some tomato sauces.
There was an investigation into the fine art of making a roux, and we made white, blond and brown roux and then used it in various applications.
Next were healthy hot and cold soups, some delicious vichysoisse, gazpacho and curried soups.
We explored chowders and bisques.
Then came the tricky hollandaise and beurre blanc. Divine but scary to see the amount of butter in there!
It was really fun to delve so deeply into flavors and seasonings and to test our palletes against other peoples, and to learn these basic techniques. The complete snob in me was excited to be officialy educated in 'the mother sauces' so I can sound all poncy at any chosen occasion!
I will definitely keep some of the things I learned in class close to hand, many of the reductions we made were truly delicious and add a depth of flavor that will be really useful for my cooking, in particular some of the reductions we did.
If anyone is interested in signing up for any classes then pop on over to the Grossmont College website. Classes fill up almost immediately and there are some pre-requisites. This class required you to take 'Basic Culinary' which is another reason why it is so pleasant, everyone in the class had already been through a semester of knife skills, breaking down chickens and general classes.
The last picture is our final exam. We made consomme, beurre blanc, red pepper coulis, a corn chowder and hollandaise sauce and we aced it with an A!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I think I'll be using more whipped cream toppings, its a lot lighter than buttercream and I much prefer the flavor. The only down side is its not as durable or long lasting, the cakes really need to be gobbled up in a few hours.
filbert gateau, which was a truly delicious treat!
With such a decadent filling, I used a little lighter touch to pipe the buttercream with a new technique.
The third cupcake I've made recently is a lighter one too, a guava chiffon cake, I adapted from a strawberry chiffon cake on Jen's website , just subsituting guava for strawberries. I filled with a strawberry and topped with just a little vanilla buttercream for people who want something on the lighter side. With strawberry season upon us, this is a delightful summer treat.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
We were also shown the range of the chevy vehicles and encouraged to drive them. I was a bit scared to be honest, but I wish I'd given the 'bitchin camero' a go, it did look very cool! They were all fun as a passenger, although I did have a hard time climbing in the giant suburban!
We were also shown the 'On star' system which was pretty cool. It would be nice to know if I ever got in a bad scrape that I would just press a button and there is someone there, or automatically if the airbags deploy.