Archive for the 'LCB – Basic' Category

Graduation Day

They say if you failed the course they will call you before grad day. For once, I hope no one calls me. No one got any calls and everybody passed (so happy!).

We were lucky to get the head chef of cuisine to prepare canapes for our grad day. It tastes as good as it looks I promise you.

1. Beetroot marinated smoked salmon, parmesan pastry with creme fraiche, zucchini with goat cheese and basil:

2. Fried handmade salmon fish balls (chef explained about using stock, eggs, herbs, etc to make it but I was lost halfway already!)

3. Marinated chilli prawns with snow peas (my favourite!)

4. Canape sized chicken wings (has peanut oil, sesame oil and lemongrass. very fragrant and light)

I brought Liz and Dan as my guests. Who wants to come for my next grad day?

Truffles au Chocolat

Truffles was our last practical for Basic Patisserie and it was after our final practical exams. Heh heh so how did I fare for exams? Well, we had to do 4 things in 2.5 hours – genoise sponge, eclairs, tart shell and some buttercream piping. My genoise sponge was fluffy and good, tart shell was good, buttercream piping not too bad and eclairs…. haha.

We had to coat our eclairs with coffee flavoured fondant and I was the first to start the fondant coating. I did not temper the fondant properly and half the class used my fondant after that. Sabotage. Not that I feel guilty (we have not tried tempering fondant before and I honestly did not know I was doing the wrong thing. Plus no one had time to do it anyway so they can either use mine or go without). I wonder if we would get more points deducted for having a wrong fondant coating or for having NO fondant coating.

Anyway, back to truffles. We made white chocolate truffles with kirsch, dark chocolate truffles with rum and muscadines (milk chocolate with praline and cointreau). All very alcoholic but nice! Nothing beats fresh chocolate truffles made with fresh cream ganache and good quality chocolate. Here is a picture of Chef C’s creations:

Petit Four

Petit four is literally ‘small oven’ in French and not ‘small 4’ as I thought (or it’s just me?). It was loads of fun making them since I always fancy small and dainty things. Was quite chaotic in the kitchen though as we had to make 4 types of petit fours in each session. Plus the chiller was not that chill and my sables was not hard enough when I cut them (yes, blame everything but the monkey who did them – as Chef C. would say).

And don’t call them cookies (not in France at least!).

Anyway, here are my petit friends:

I also made pistachio chocolate fudge (very rich and chocolatey) and macaroons with raspberry jam:

I’m not a big fan of macarons. In fact, I don’t remember eating them before. Will pop down to Laduree (they invented the double macaron sandwich in the 1800s which we see today) and see if they taste good!

Charlotte

An 18th century French dessert probably named after Queen Charlotte. It is a Bavarian creme mousse set in a mold lined with sponge biscuit. Looks complicated and very pretty but is not that tough to make – really! Well, at least I think so…

Tastes rather like the 80’s Magnolia Zoo cup ice cream (chocolate flavour). Anyone remember that? It’s a small cup of ice-cream in vanilla or chocolate flavour selling for 50cents in the provision shops. Not sure if tasting like a cheap retro ice-cream is a good thing but I do like the diagonal sponge design on the cake.

Then comes Charlotte aux Cassis…

The sponge tastes good with the raspberry jam in between and looks really cool too. The cassis (blackcurrant) is a tad too sour for my liking and made loads of purple stains on my uniform (urrgghhh… I just bleached off the chocolate stains and now I have purple stains). Don’t know why but I always get my uniform dirtied. Must be because my jacket front is at the same level as the table – talking about being short in the kitchen, I have trouble whisking in the large round bottom bowl since the bowl comes up my chest level and I cannot see if my cake is done if it is on the first tray in the oven! And Chef J. loves to find ways to remind me of my vertical challenges 😛

Measurement 1: 3 July 2008

As of 3rd July, my right forearm measures 22.5cm in circumference at the widest. As for my left, it measures 21.0cm.

It happens after 4 weeks of whisking creams, kneading bread doughs and beating egg whites. The kitchenaid mixers are just for kitchen decor. We hardly get to use them. As Chef C. kindly offers, he will turn on the mixer while we whisk by hand if the sound of the machine is of any comfort.

But I know it is good training for us:)

Genoise Sponge

Recipe:

  1. 4 eggs
  2. 120g caster sugar
  3. 120g soft flour
  4. 20g butter, melted and cooled

Method:

  1. Whisk eggs and sugar over a warm water bath (bain-marie) until mixture is slightly warm (40C).
  2. Continue whisking until mixture is light and ribbony.
  3. Fold in flour very gently in 3 stages. Treat the genoise with lots of tender love.
  4. Fold in butter very gently.
  5. Pour in buttered and floured sponge cake tin very gently.
  6. Bake 175C for about 20 mins until top springs back when pressed and knife comes out clean.
  7. Cool cake and brush with syrup for a moist crumb.

Then you can do almost anything with this lady. Fill with raspberry jam and cover with french buttercream (fat free… haha):

Or make a chocolate genoise and add some alcoholic cherries (yucks) to get a classic black forest cake:

I love cake decorating!

Abracadebra Alhambra!

This rich hazelnut with chocolate ganache cake made me slightly sleepless on sunday night. When I get sleepless it means I must be more than slightly worried bacause normally I can fall asleep when I hit the pillow faster than you can say Alhambra!

So lack of good night sleep plus jitters makes a recipe for disaster. Actually things went on quite well initially. My cake rose to a good height, my ganache combined well… then when I was trying to balance the cooling rack and open the chiller, the cake slide right off the rack and landed smack on the floor! F***! The bottom piece was in 2 pieces. Luckily the chef was not in the room at that time and didn’t see my little acrobatic stunt (Chef, if you ever read this, please please do not deduct my grades!)

In retrospect, if I ever need to have my share of clumsiness, this is quite a good time. The cake was to be covered in chocolcate glaze anyway so no one will really know the cake at the bottom has split into half! hee hee…

We also made marzipan roses and I’m happy mine turned out well (Chef L. joked if I had been making marzipan roses for a long time… but it’s my first time really). I’m also happy with the piping… we had to spell ‘Alhambra’ on the cake. Think it looked pretty good. No modesty here sorry… but I’m just being honest (like when I sucked last week, I did mean it).


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