|Lemon Stacked Cheesecake with Caramel Wafer, Candied Lemon Slice, Spun Sugar, and Caramel Sauce|
|Lemon Cheesecake, Tuille Leaf Cookie, Caramel Sauce|
I feel good about what I have learned in B&P. It certainly opened my eyes to the world of pastry, and I know that I made the right decision in making the savory side my home. I still enjoy baking just as much as I did prior to this class, just enough to make some yummy desserts. But now I can add yummy breads, pastries, sauces, and garnishes to my repertoire. Which makes me very happy! So overall, it was a really great class, and I learned a LOT. So much so that I really couldn't tell you off the top of my head how to make biscuits, or bagels, but I would just need to refer to my detailed notes, and I can produce some great products.
|Citrus Creme Brulee|
We learned about custards, which is by definition an egg protein-gel suspended in sugar and liquid. We made Creme Anglaise, ( a stirred custard), and Creme Brulee ( a baked custard). The Creme Anglaise was used to make ice cream....and silly me, I did not get a photo either the Anglaise or the ice cream! But I did get to sample my strawberry ice-cream tonight (lucky me!). And who ever thought of ice cream as being a "flavorful cream-base suspended in ice crystals, fat, and air"?! But that is exactly what it is.
And then we moved on to making a cheesecake, which was really much more simple than I ever thought it would be. Just a handful of ingredients, some nice little ramekins, a little bit of patience, and voila, we have cheesecake! Our cheesecakes were to be used for our final plated desserts, as shown in my pictures above. I made my cheesecake with a bit of lemon extract, which gave it a nice bright flavor.
Then we moved on to plated desserts. Chef showed us how to make spun sugar (awesome!), and piped sugar designs, which is really tricky and scary because you have to work with the sugar while it is still hot, VERY hot! As you have to heat the sugar up to 320 degrees. Before class started tonight, we ran into our former chef instructor, Chef Tony, who we asked if he has ever worked with piped sugar, and he quickly replied "oh yes, even 20 years later I remember working with piped sugar. If you have ever gotten a sugar burn, you will definitely remember it 20 years later!"
Chef also showed us how to make Caramel Batter and Tuille Batter, which are used for garnishes (and are required as garnishes on our final plated desserts). And we also made a caramel sauce and a pipe-able chocolate sauce. And we got to spend some time working on our final plate designs, figuring out every element for each.
|Candied Lemon Slices|
|Lemon Buttercream Chiffon Cake with Cherry Liquer|
So I am fumbling around trying to decide on what to do next, as my pinkish spun sugar is withering away. I tried to make a strawberry ice-cream quenelle, but it wasn't holding shape as it wasn't frozen enough. So I finally decide to just got for it and get this thing done with! I quickly wrap up all the elements for both of my plated desserts, take a few snapshots, and let chef know that I was ready and next in line to present. He acknowledges, and shortly comes by my station. He first looked at my glowing white chiffon cake, said I did good on smoothing out the sides and the top, and piping the rosettes, and that it just takes practice to perfect. I felt good in that was only the second cake I have ever made in my lifetime. And then he moved on to my plated desserts. I don't recall he said very much, just a nod of approval as he has always been pleased with my work. And a mention of them being elegant and cohesive. Which is exactly what I was shooting for. I got perfect scores, and the highest score in the class overall. Yay for me!
Next week we move on to our very last class at CCA, Cuisines of Cross Cultures. I am really looking forward to getting back into savory cooking! And looking forward to learning about some new cuisines! Till then...Happy weekend!
Oh, and just a few more little garnishes we practiced in class with piped chocolate...