Week nine started out a bit rough. I accidentally left my nice wool peacoat in the girls changing room at work experience and someone took it. Despite the fact that it was a nice (and somewhat expensive coat), I spent weeks and weeks last fall trying to find the perfect coat and now I need to go on another search. 🙁 Oh well. The week ended up much better and I’m loving all the sugar work we’re doing in school.
Tuesday: Steamed Lemon & Chocolate Sponge Pudding and Chocolate Fondant
Tuesday we started out making steamed lemon and chocolate sponge puddings. We made a lemon sauce to go with the lemon sponge pudding, but ran out of time before making the chocolate sauce. Steamed puddings seem to be a very British thing, as I’ve never had one before in the States, and the name didn’t make them sound all that exciting, but they were actually quite tasty. Basically a moist, little cake.
We finished the day making chocolate fondant, or as I’ve grown up knowing them as molten lava cakes. These were really fun to make and a lot easier than I would’ve imagined.
Wednesday: Baguettes, Epis & Innovative Baguette Bread
On Wednesday we made baguettes. The dough for baguette’s is another fermented dough made with a poolish ferment, which is a slacker ferment. For this dough, we rested it at room temperature for an hour and a half instead of in the prover. We did prove the baguettes once they were shaped. Epis are made the same way as baguettes, but we cut them with scissors to give the loaf more crust.
For my innovative baguette loaf, I decided to do a caramelized red onion, apple and cheddar loaf. I really enjoyed the way it turned out, but next time I’ll increase the red onion and decrease the apple and cheddar quantities a bit.
Thursday: Food Science and Confectionary
On Thursday in food science we talked about bread. We’ve been doing a lot of breads, so the lesson went hand and hand with all of the work we’ve been doing on Wednesdays in the bakery. The basis of bread is flour, water, salt and yeast. The gluten in bread contains intermolecular loops, which are preserved in the proteins and give the dough its elasticity. These intermolecular loops are unique to gluten, which is why bread is the most difficult product to create gluten free.
Bread is both strong and elastic; trapping air bubbles without breaking due to strength and allowing for bubbles to expand during cooking due to elasticity. The most effective fermenting occurs at 27 degrees Celsius. Higher temperature increases the dough volume faster, but the best flavor is produced if fermentation occurs at colder temperatures.
We did experiments with various kinds of flours (strong white, rice, gluten-free, gluten free with xantham gum, potato), quantities of yeast/salt, addition of oil/sugar/vodka to see how the breads would turn out.
In the afternoon in the chocolate lab, we continued our sugar work and began sugar pulling. We used isomalt, which is better for making sculptures as it won’t crystalize as quickly as sucrose. Pulling sugar is rough on the fingers and hands. It’s HOT work! At work experience, I’ve watched Chan work with isomalt and make sugar spheres and he let me try a couple of times myself (I wasn’t very good). We started playing with the pulling to create pedals and spirals. Next week, we’ll be starting on the sugar blowing and making a flower!
Friday: Theory and Turkish Delight
In the morning on Friday we worked on researching for our past masters project. In the afternoon in the bakery we made turkish delight which is a bit like a chewier jello cube. Since gelatin takes so long to set, we had to leave it over the weekend in the fridge.
Saturday: Chocolate Making
On Saturday, I volunteered to come in and help out making some chocolates for an event at the school. I figured it would be good practice at making chocolates. It was our first time working with the bean to bar chocolate that Chef had been prepping all week. We made chocolate bars with cocoa nibs, coffee, hazelnuts, dried raspberries and plain dark. They were all very good but the raspberry was my favorite. 🙂