Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

And that's it for cakes

Nine days of this class were harrowing, especially day eight - the first day of the practical exam, in which I barely got everything done in time and ruined a great deal of chocolate trying to get the collar for my chocolate mousse cake made - but on day nine, everything was all better. For the first time ever in that class I was able to make the chocolate behave, and I was able to actually recover from mistakes (this is highly unusual for me - I have joked that I am the Doctor Frankenstein of pastry: if something doesn't turn out right, throw a tantrum and murder it)... I overcooked the eggs for the Bavarian cream while I was struggling to get the gelatin to bloom on my second cake for the practical, and somehow this was no big deal, I redid the eggs and it came out fine.

And by "fine" I mean "these are probably the best things I have ever made." Please disregard my apron strings and towel that managed to sneak in to the top view picture.

And now I'm starting Advanced Artisan Bread. Ohboy...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mudslide cake, as promised

I was busy last night and didn't get a chance to post this. Here is the mudslide cake described in my previous entry.

The speckly finish on top is created by spraying it with chocolate, which is no small endeavor and I would not recommend it for home cooks - it is noisy and messy and requires a lot of setup!

I also sprayed the top of my passionfruit mousse cake:

As you can see I had some fun with piped chocolate on both cakes... BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

We made some baumkuchen, too. Those are both mine - the first is filled with orange yogurt cream, the second with white chocolate mousse. Yes, confusing, the mousse one is the one with the oranges, I know. The wood-veneer pattern comes from the cake being baked in very thin layers, then sliced like bacon so the layers show when you arrange the surface. It was just like pattern blocks in Kindergarten again. So much fun!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mmmm, booze

Last Friday, at Johnson & Wales Denver: Tiramisu and mudslide cakes. Read: Kahlua!

That is the photo of the six individual tiramisu I produced. Tiramisu isn't much fun, especially when you have a stovetop with a broken power-level readout and you end up overcooking your egg yolks, like I did, but it was saved by the addition of a little more heavy cream and some elbow grease with a whisk. They turned out fine in the end, thankfully, and were all eaten! Also, what's the deal with ladyfingers? I keep hearing about how difficult they are, but they seemed pretty straightforward to me... strange. Maybe people just don't like working with things that can't sit around before they go into the oven.

As for the mudslide cake, sorry, no photos yet because its chocolate mousse filling had to set up in the freezer. Like the Bavarian entremet from last post, it's constructed inside a metal ring lined with a thin layer of almond sponge cake, and unmolded after it's completely set. So until tomorrow, when it is unmolded and finished, a description will have to suffice... it has a bottom layer of Rice Krispies in praline chocolate, like a really classy Hershey's crackle bar, sealed over with white chocolate ganache spiked with Bailey's. On top of that, a layer of chocolate mousse, then a layer of chocolate cake soaked in more Kahlua, then a layer of Chantilly cream with a vodka kick. Enjoy that image until tomorrow when you get a visual one...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More late posting!

Moving on from Plated Desserts class - this was my practical -

(caramel graham cracker flavor, with butterscotch ice cream!)

- and now in a whole class dedicated to entremets. Only these ones are nine inches across. Chocolate mousse first, raspberry-strawberry Bavarian second:

I really like how the Bavarian one turned out, apart from how I didn't have any white chocolate to pipe the design on top that day. I definitely prefer the very-thin-almond-sponge-cake approach to the outside edge of these to the chocolate-collar approach you saw on the miniature ones and the chocolate mousse with the roses... not sure if I've said it before but working with chocolate is no fun.

Peace out, foodies.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

This should have gone up like at least a week ago

Raspberry lemon entremet with pistachio and white chocolate mousse, yo. This was the last thing I made in class before winter break - that's raspberry coulis and candied lemon peel on the plate. Oh, and this is what it looks like inside.

A fresh raspberry on top of pistachios on top of white chocolate mousse on top of raspberry jelly on top of lemon curd on top of more mousse on top of almond sponge cake. In a dark chocolate collar.

It tasted good, too.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Guess I'm not baking cookies today.

Yes, that's brown sugar.

Yes, I know a piece of bread will soften that.  But.. but.. it takes time and I want to bake cookies NOW!

Breakfast and Dinner

I love breakfast. Eggs. Bacon. Hashrbrowns. Fresh fruit.

January 2nd was hangover day. I had WAY too much wine the day before -- even if it was just a glass or two (no more tolerance, sadly) and woke up cranky and bitchy and headachey.

There is, however, a good way to beat the hangover (other than a couple Tylenol)

Behold! Hashbrowns and bacon!

The hashbrowns were easy. We had a mountain of leftover mashed potato so I basically added some potato and a beat egg to a bowl, mixed with a fork, formed patties, and fried them in oil in a pan. When they were golden I removed them from said pan and served them hot with bacon and eggs.

Oh, and orange juice. Simply Orange. Nom.

For dinner I made a turkey soup with the leftover turkey carcass. Here is a picture of the soup:

Monday, January 2, 2012

Turkey, Wine, and the Original Social Networking Tool!

For New Years Day I decided we should roast a turkey.  The supermarket had a huge sale on utility turkeys -- only 79 cents per pound.   We brined that sucker (recipe to follow at the end) and noticed, when we were about to throw it on the barbecue rotisserie, that there were no wings.  We got a flightless bird.  Our neighbours, Rob and Cindy, hit the same sale. Their utility turkey had no legs! A lame bird! Still. For 79 cents per pound? No complaints.