Week ten went pretty well. We took our first try at a couple of items that will be on our exam in two weeks time and presented our past masters chef project which we’ve been working on for a few weeks. We also got some pretty big news about some upcoming changes, but more on that later (when I know a bit more!).
Tuesday: Panna Cotta, Crumb Brûlée and Chocolate Mousse
Tuesday we started with panna cotta, Italian for cooked cream, which we served with a fruits of the forrest compote, nut brittle and whipped cream. Panna cotta has gelatin in it so it takes a while for it to set. Since ours had vanilla bean in it, it was necessary to take it to a weak gelatinized structure before pouring it into the cups to keep the vanilla evenly spread. Afterwards, we started on our creme brûlée which is spooned into the ramekin and then baked before finishing off with a caramelized sugar using the blow torch. To finish off the day we made chocolate mousse.
Wednesday: Doughnuts and Sour Dough Bread
On Wednesday we made DOUGHNUTS! We also made sourdough but it was seriously outweighed by the fun of frying up doughnuts. For our sourdough, we used a starter that had been fermenting since the end of week nine. The sourdough was a very wet and sticky dough. Ours wasn’t super ‘sour’ but you could definitely taste the flavor of the starter and turned out to be a nice bread.
The doughnuts were awesome. We used a bun dough recipe very similar to our previous bun doughs to make the doughnuts. After they were shaped and proved, we popped them in the fryer; half with holes and half without. Naturally the ones without holes were perfect for filling with raspberry jelly! Doughnuts are one of my (many) weaknesses. 🙂
Thursday: Sugar Blowing & Sugar Flowers
Thursday in the chocolate lab we did another sugar centerpiece. We used isomalt again to create our base, backdrop and accessories. We also made sugar balls for the first time in class. I was more successful with sugar balls than I was when Chan first showed me at work experience, however his way to get the sugar off the stick is much better than the way we did in class. I shattered four balls trying to get the damn thing off and finally gave up on it out of frustration. Since it was Thanksgiving, I attempted to make my backdrop a turkey…not sure how well that worked out. 😉
I really enjoy the sugar work, despite it being SUPER hot (my fingers and hands are still soft and sensitive haha!) and delicate. I’ve had a lot of fun with it and look forward to doing more.
Friday: Past Master Presentations & Florentines
On Friday we started out with our presentations on our past masters. I chose Chef Raymond Thuilier, initially because he was Wolfgang Pucks mentor, but then as I was reading his story I liked him more and more. He turned the town of Les Baux de Provence into a tourist destination and L’Oustau de Baumaniére held a three-star Michelin rating for a consecutive 36 years. He also was a painter, a poet, and the town mayor until his death in 1993.
In the afternoon in the bakery, we made florentines. Florentines are a mixture of nuts, mixed peel and raisins set together and baked and then dipped in dark chocolate. I first had these delicious treats from Fortnum and Mason as a birthday gift and now I’m excited to have a recipe to make at home!
After class on Friday (and a long week and day), Karou, Jennie and I went out for a much needed glass of wine to end the week! Really thankful to have such a great group in my course at pastry school. 🙂