Week four was the busiest week yet. I’ve been doing some freelance work on the side over the past month for a friend. I’ve been planning their company awards dinner and the event was on Friday. I also started doing work experience in the production kitchen of two of my London fave’s SushiSamba/Duck & Waffle (more on this later). Every second I wasn’t in a kitchen, all of my energy went towards the event. The event ended up being quite successful, but I’m verryyyy glad it’s over.
Tuesday: Eclairs and Profiteroles with chocolate & caramel sauce
Tuesday started out making eclairs and profiteroles. Eclair in french means flash of lightening. We used a choux pastry for both. Choux pastry is created by adding flour to boiled water and fat. The perfect consistency for choux pastry is dropping, which isn’t exactly the most scientific way to measure.
We topped our profiteroles in a chocolate and caramel and our eclairs with a coffee flavored fondant. I accidentally dropped my entire box on the floor on the way from class to the lockers, so I did what any normal person would…picked them up, stuffed a few in my mouth and put the rest in the trash. 🙂
Wednesday: Chelsea Buns, Swiss Iced Buns and Cream Buns
In the bakery we made up a bun dough for chelsea buns, swiss iced buns (also called iced fingers) and cream buns (also called Devonshire splits). I really enjoyed the bun dough. Chelsea buns are a bit like cinnamon rolls in the States, but not as much cinnamon and sugar and topped with a simple syrup instead of icing. The iced fingers were topped with fondant and probably my favorite of the three. The Devonshire split was very tasty, filled with cream and jam. It could’ve used a bit more raspberry jam in my opinion. I ate one and tried to do my good deed for the day leaving the remaining three for a homeless man asleep in front of the tube station. Hopefully he enjoyed them!
Thursday: Chocolate Lab
We only have science every other week so on the weeks we don’t have science, we get to spend an extra three hours in the chocolate lab. Thursday we ended up spending a bit extra and were in there close to seven hours to creating our first chocolate centerpiece. For projects like this, we use a big chocolate machine that keeps the chocolate perfectly tempered at 32.5 degrees Celsius.
We started by using the chocolate bean mold to create our outer shell. Then we went to work on the motifs and created chocolate pedals and bases (and doodles!). During various parts of assembly, we got to use some food spray paint which was fun! My design wasn’t planned out and created as I went along, but I think in the end it worked out okay. The chocolate squiggles were being a real pest and kept breaking on me. After Chef took my photo holding my centerpiece, I went to set it down (a bit too hard) and my flower fell off and broke. It lived a brief but happy life, which is why I’m trying to hide the right half of my centerpiece in the group shot.
Friday: Theory & Cupcakes
In theory, we discussed grains; the various types and recipes, the positives and the problems associated with certain types of grains (allergies). We also started our one to one session with Chef to discuss our progress and long term goals.
The afternoon in the bakery was spent making cupcakes using the same recipe as the Victoria sponge from last week. I had to leave a bit early to get ready for the event, so I tried to work as fast as humanly possible. I didn’t get to decorate my cupcakes, but they tasted pretty good without any additions. Presentation wise, not my best effort. 😉