I can’t believe I’ve almost completed a quarter of pastry school. Week 11 was a pretty good week consisting of our first try at some items that will be on the practical exam in week 12, a group outing to Borough Market, mulled wine and lots and lots of Christmas music! 🙂
Tuesday: Meringue Pavlova, Floating Islands and Christmas Cake Base
On Tuesday we took our first try at meringue pavlova which will be on our practical exam in week 12. We made the meringue by hand whisking (I enjoy learning everything by hand, but it reallyyy makes me appreciate my KitchenAid!!) and then piped it out onto a template we’d drawn out. After they were baked, we piped the center with cream and garnished it with fruit, icing sugar and a little dark chocolate drizzle.
We partnered together to make up another meringue for our floating islands, a classic French dessert known as îles flottantes. Floating islands are meringue quenelles or ‘oval shaped scoops’ poached in custard. We topped ours with a caramel drizzle and some toasted almond slivers. Finally, we made a large batch of batter as a class for our Christmas (fruit) cakes, which we will decorate in a few weeks time.
Wednesday: Croissants, Pain au Chocolat and Pain au Raisin
On Wednesday we had our first attempt at croissants. Croissants are another laminated dough which we did back in week five with the Danish pastries and puff pastry dough. I really enjoy the laminated dough and hopefully this helps me in week 12, as croissants are part of our second practical exam for bakery. For our lamination, we only did three turns for the croissants. Using the same dough, we used part for Pain au Raisin, which was spread with a thin layer of custard and sprinkled with raisins and Pain au Chocolat, which contained two sticks of dark bakers chocolate folded over upon each other.
To fill the gaps in time waiting for the dough to rest, we made up some basic white boules. The lamination process is time consuming, but the end results are super tasty! 🙂
Thursday: Borough Market Outing and Sugar Paste
On Thursday, we met as a class at Borough Market to explore the food scene and have a morning outing together. Since it was a bit of a chilly morning, we treated ourselves to a few cups of mulled wine followed by a tasty salt beef (with pickles and mustard) sandwich for lunch.
When we got back to class, we were really in the Christmas spirit and brought some goods back with us to make a cheeky batch of mulled wine to enjoy while listening (and singing) to Christmas music in the chocolate lab making up sugar paste. We’re going to be using the sugar paste to create sugar flowers and designs for our Christmas cake in the coming weeks.
Friday: Theory and Stollen
On Friday, we went over our work plans and practical exams for week 12 and discussed any questions and last minute prep needs. In the afternoon in the bakery, we made stollen which is a fruit cake/bread containing candied fruits, nuts and spices and filled with marzipan. After we baked them, we brushed them with butter and dusted each one with icing sugar.