What did we do today? We wrote a numeracy test. I was on Barista again, and I feel that I got my Coffee right! Yay! Now I just have to learn how to make little Cappuccino imagery. I’ll get there, eventually. At least now I enjoyed my cup.
What else did we do today? Well, not much. Okay, that’s a lie. We did theory but I won’t bore you with that (not really boring but it would require a lot of permission and re-typing).
The mood was strange at class. Everyone seemed to be very focused on what they are doing. Then we were told we are making Éclairs, or to be more specific, Profiteroles. Inside our Profiteroles we had to put Crème Pât in (or called Bakers’ Custard). Now, we have made this before, remember? We made this when we made the fancy Custard Slices, week 10, and the correct name is Mille Feuille. The fun thing is that it is really messy so in other words it’s fun. If you don’t remember how to cool off the Custard, you pour it out on the table and stir in the Butter until it cools off and you place it in a bowl and store it until you devour it!
Now, Choux Pastry is something I really like but I had this mental thing since school that it is really difficult to make. It isn’t that difficult. The difficult thing is to make sure none of the other students open the oven door when your tray is in and busy baking because that would certainly screw up everything! I was upset when this precise scenario happened to me. Yes, I get upset when my food doesn’t work out. I like to give people food that tastes great. When your Eclairs fall flat then that is not good, you want to know the real reason (other than it looking bad?) Flat Choux Pastry also tastes like Egg, not like a Dessert and yes, it looks shit. That is not how it is suppose to look and you can’t put anything inside. Inside it is suppose to be hollow and it is basically weightless.
My first batch fell flat (if you didn’t guess that). Chef said I will lose a few marks… even the notion! Not a f*&#@(^%(&$@ chance! Luckily for me I didn’t use all my Pastry because I wanted to take some home to try it at home. A good thing too, I could bake another batch and NOT fail my practical. The second batch came out A LOT better than the first. I didn’t get an amazing picture because I was one of the last to finish (and everyone wanted to go home), so I took this pic really quickly.
I did however go home, melted some Butter and Chocolate, and finished off the Éclairs. I think the Crème Pât is nicer than the Chantilly Cream inside the Eclair. I did forget to put Vanilla Essence in my Crème Pât but I still liked the taste. Nice, smooth texture, and not too sweet.
After I fed these to my SO he said that he is starting to enjoy sweet things more… because I keep bringing irresistible desserts back.
Bakery, I like bakery. Today I wanted to be on Dessert again. The Hot Kitchen was on Mexican day so we made Churros with a Chili Chocolate Sauce. I went on my Chocolate and Butter Sauce I made at home but I cooked the Chili in the Butter before I melted the Chocolate in it. We decided to cover yesterday’s pastry with our Sauce.
Chef then informed me that I should rather add Cream as well because my version was very runny and the Cream would thicken it (and duh, what doesn’t taste better with Cream?). When we added the Cream the Sauce separated… I was really negative for a while… I didn’t show it and kept stirring. Chef said we must save it with an Espresso but it didn’t work out marvelously. I remember Chef did tell us that throwing away a Ganache because it separated is a total waste of money, adding liquid and stirring is the secret. Chef then suggested I add boiling Water and still negative about the Chili Choc Sauce that was looking disastrous. I added the boiling Water (I just poured in) and stirred… MAGIC! It worked, it worked beautifully. Shiny Chocolate Sauce. All we had to do now was to keep it warm throughout lunch service. I was nervous about the Sauce separating again.
It didn’t and everything went well.
Oh, and the Churros, I was so excited about the Sauce I almost forgot to tell you about the Churros! We were supposed to use the Choux Pastry we made but then Chef came to us and said we should try a Churros recipe that contains no Eggs. This Pastry was even easier to make than the Choux Pastry and I must admit, it worked very well and tasted great. I’ll admit that the higher Sugar content does have something to do with it… Our Churros were very popular (has to be the Sugar). Who doesn’t like a Doughnut rubbed in Cinnamon Sugar then dipping it in Chili Chocolate Sauce?! I just wish we had a bigger piping bag so we could make bigger Churros. Lesson learnt!
Another practical today and today another dish I have never tasted or made… and today I wasn’t going to taste it either! Cannelloni, and not any Cannelloni, 3 Cheese Cannelloni (which ended up having 4 or 5 Cheeses in). Yes, I have found a Pasta dish I do not plan on making again, unless I pre-make the Cannelloni tubes, stuff it with Oxtail and cover it with a delicious Béchamel and Napolitano Sauce. I wasn’t really in the mood for food (can you believe it?!), especially not when I work with stinky Cheese. I usually do not mind working with Cheese, I make a delicious Cheese Sauce, but it was hot, the whole class smelled like bad Cheese and my knife skills was not great today. We were also told that we will be marked on plating. I did not have the creativity today, when it comes to messy dishes (comfort food) I am more concerned about how much is in the dish and how juicy it looks rather than how pretty it looks. I tried to be as creative as possible, I decided that I don’t want to liquefy the Sauce, I decided to leave it ‘rustic’ as Chef called it. We didn’t make Béchamel, we were only marked on our Cannelloni and the Napolitana Sauce. My Sauce looked colourful and smelled great. I covered the Cannelloni tubes because Pasta should always be covered in Sauce! Then I just tried to be creative with the Pepper corner and some Oregano on top. Oregano is one of my favourite Herbs and Basil, which were both in the Sauce. I like garnishing with ingredients that are in the dish rather than with other ingredients. If you had a chance to eat the plate you would have seen the tiny leaves in my rustic Sauce.
Sure I would have enjoyed it if I ate Cheese. Chef did compliment me on the dish, his words, “Your Sauce tasted really delicious and your filling was well balanced.” Yay!
Bakery again. I was not in the mood for Dessert again. I felt like I should do something different today. Chef Said I should make Pizza, Chef also told us we must use what is in the fridges because it is not worth it to leave food over the weekend.
Yesterday there was Sloppy Joe’s, the other group had a whole Americas theme this week, and Sloppy Joe Mince is a delicious one. Now, Since I was young I have loved Mince on a Pizza and loved a Pizza that you can’t eat with your hand… so I decided that today would be a good ‘Fork and Knife’ Pizza day that has to be eaten with care (I even wrote it on the the tag). We made a Tomato Sauce with a lot of Herbs in that had been chopped the previous day and needed to be used. I thought that a fresh Sauce would compliment the Mince that had been cooked for a very long. There were Avo’s that had to be used… How perfect is that?! One of my chef-to-be partner suggested Peppadews and we all know that Peppadew and Avo go well together, no… amazingly together!
Our 2nd Pizza had Sausages, Ham, and Peppers on it. The Tomato Sauce on this Pizza was a bit more tasty and complicated, and not as many fresh herbs in it.
The Mince Pizza lasted about 4min 30sec. The rest… about 10min. We were indeed proud and how did we sell it so quickly? We made sure that everyone saw us slowly cut the Pizza slices. You could hear the students’ mouths drooling. Everyone in the kitchen asked us to tell them when the Pizzas are going out. When I announced and left the kitchen to place it in the display window there was the first piece taken immediately. Luckily there was time for these pics… also just in time for that!
It was a great way to end off the week.