Friday, December 18, 2009

I did it!

Well, I drove all the way here to be at school for a total of one hour, but it was worth it! I got an A in Baking & Pastry!

Chef asked if I took a picture of my Hello Kitty cookie, and I showed it to her on my phone. She loved it and wished she could have eaten it.

Now Tim and I are going to have a bloody mary, and then I'm going home and going back to sleep.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Practical Day 2: Pithivier, French Buttercream, and Dessert Plating

My secret for plating my dessert: I made Hello Kitty tuile cookies. The bad part: Chef Kelly, who loves Hello Kitty as much as I do, had an emergency and didn't get to give us our grades. Our substitute chef promised she would tell Chef Kelly about my cookies!

I think I only got three points off altogether, so we'll see how my grades pan out. I find out tomorrow. I really hope I get an A in this class.

One more day of basically just fun, then I'm off until January 4th!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Practical #3, Day 1

I made my puff pastry for my pithivier today. I also made my genoise cake and my mini-cheesecakes. Frangipane cream for pithivier is done. Kirsch syrup for the cake is done.

Tomorrow's schedule:
French buttercream (to frost the cake)
Cut cake into three pieces, frost, refrigerate,
Put together pithivier, bake.
Make tuile cookies and concern myself with plating.

Oh, and our written final is tomorrow. I wrote my paper in about 20 minutes, so that's all done. I'm not too worried about this practical. I do really want an A in the class, so I'll put as much work into my three cheesecake plates as is necessary. I will post pictures if they turn out well!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dessert Plating

Today we practiced dessert plating with our tuile cookies and the sauces, plus cheesecake, creme brulee, and creme caramel.

I have decided to do cheesecake for my practical. I made a really pretty plate today, and my tuile cookie idea came out almost good enough. I got some better piping bags to help me out, so I should be good by Thursday when I need to use them. Tomorrow I have to make the white cake, plus the pithivier, and my cheesecake, so I can focus only on pretty plates on Thursday.

My entire class forgot that we have a paper due Thursday! I'm going to do it tomorrow night; I'm not in much of a paper-writing mood right now.

Oh, and I ate a whole creme brulee today. I feel like a pig. A happy pig.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Creme Brulee, Creme Caramel, and Cheesecake

Today we made three different things, each in individual serving dishes (so cute!). Cheesecake was the easiest. Creme Caramel is basically just flan, and Creme Brulee has me really excited for tomorrow. Everything we made today is resting in either the freezer or the fridge right now.

Tomorrow we will make our tuile cookies and practice plating. For our practical, we have to choose one thing that we made today, and make three separate plates showing our creative side. I already have one really good idea, but I'm not posting it until it happens!

We got out an hour early again. My class (or at least the majority of it) rocks!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Grandma's Lebanese Recipes: A Tabbouleh Party

Here is my grandmother's breakdown of the oh-so-awesome tabbouleh party.

Our famous dish of Tabbouleh, when served at tea time in the afternoon, is called a Tabbouleh party (see recipe for Tabbouleh).

First serve Tabbouleh and drinks. Then serve sandwiches, cakes, cookies, fruit, tea or coffee.

It is fun to have a Tabbouleh party for your friends and let them enjoy the taste, the color, and the high food value of this dish.

/end Grandma

I have no idea what "high food value" means, but I love it. I'm going to have a Tabbouleh party soon. Oh, and if you don't know, tabbouleh is a salad made mostly with parsley, and I'm not really its biggest fan.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Caramel Sauce and Tuile Batter

That's really all we did today. Caramel sauce isn't hard to make at all! Our tuile cookies will be used for garnish on our final dishes, but we didn't actually bake them today. Chef Wendy said we could leave; we were done after an hour! It's a three and a half hour class.

So we made scrambled eggs and pizza, then we left, still an hour and a half early. Pretty sweet for a Friday, but not much to post about!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pithivier and Palmiers

Today we used our puff pastry dough to make pithivier and palmiers. I had no idea palmiers were made with puff pastry, but there you go. My palmiers ended up in a hot spot in the oven, so half of them were overcooked (well, burned), but the rest were delicious. Palmiers is just a puff pastry cookie-like thing with cinnamon sugar.

Pithivier is puff pastry pie that's made with two circles of puff pastry, stuffed with Frangipane (almond) cream. It's delicious, and Chef said mine was really pretty.


After we made all the puff pastry things, we started our sauces for plate decorating. I got my raspberry sauce, my creme Anglaise, and my chocolate sauce done today. Tomorrow I just have to get my caramel sauce done and make some tuile cookies for accent pieces. I need to make a really cool template for my tuile cookies so my final practical plates look awesome. Maybe I could do a Hello Kitty template! I was thinking about some snowflakes too. I will experiment with them tomorrow and post the results!

Chef Kelly is out tomorrow, so Chef Wendy is going to sub for her. I heard a rumor that she's going to make us jambalaya! Oh, real food, how I miss you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, really. We made chocolate chip cookies today. I think they needed them for a charity or for the restaurant, so they had us do them. Mine turned out okay; the ones I made last Saturday were better. Tim and I made one giant cookie as well, which I gave to one of the administrators at the school. He was pretty excited about it.

We also folded our puff pastry dough three more times. Tomorrow we will use it to make pithivier, and no, I don't know what it is yet. I know it has some sort of pastry cream in it.

What an easy day! We got out more than an hour early!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Yesterday we made lady fingers for our tiramisu. Today we made the filling and the coffee dip for the lady fingers. The filling is whipped cream, mascarpone cheese, some egg yolks, and that's about it. My tiramisu is pretty, but not perfect. Anyway, I'm not a huge fan of this dessert; at the very most I can only have a small piece.

We started our dough for puff pastry, which I am a huge fan of, so I can't wait for tomorrow.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Oh man, this cake is going to be amazing. We made chocolate mousse today for the filling, then we made icing and decorated our cakes. I used kiwi, strawberry, and blueberry on mine. I tried a piece of plain chocolate cake, and just that was incredibly moist and flavorful. I can't wait to dig into the full cake!

I have a picture. Maybe I will take a cross section of it when we dig into it later. In case I don't, here is a breakdown of what's inside the cake!
The actual layers start with a circle of meringue on the bottom, which we made on Friday, and then a layer of chocolate mousse, a layer of cake, more mousse, more cake, more mousse, and then chocolate glace icing over the whole thing.
(Ignore chocolate smudges on the cake round; it was hard to get onto that thing!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cake: Day 2

Today we learned how to frost a cake. It's not as difficult or as tedious as I thought it would be. We made French buttercream icing, which is disgustingly delicious, to frost our cakes.

I wanted to try writing with chocolate, so my cake looks silly. I did a heart, and my name, and my name in Arabic, and some cherries. The point is that I can do it! I really didn't know if it was hard to do. Based on my classmates' cakes, writing on cake with chocolate is best suited to girls.

Monday we are making chocolate mousse cake!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cake: Day 1

We made two cakes today; one plain and one chocolate. My chocolate cake turned out really well, but I don't think I sifted my flour enough for the plain cake. It didn't rise as much as I would have liked.

Frosting them is tomorrow, and then I will have cake for the weekend! I'll try to get some pictures if I make them really pretty.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Practical Score and Results

Everything went smoothly and I got done an hour early! My tart was slightly overcooked, so I got docked for that, and the Paris brest filling that I (*ahem* Jose) made was broken. I didn't even know you could break a cream filling.

I ended up with a 40/46. Not bad. Chef Kupper came by when I was in the library and said my tray was the prettiest one. He wrote a 4 on it (remember, we used to get graded out of 4 in his class) and a "Good Job!" That made me feel pretty good. He said something about a future pastry chef... no thanks! I like real food much more.

There are probably seven pies/tarts in my kitchen right now.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Day of Second Practical Exam

I got a lot done today. I thought I would be all sneaky and use some of the fillings and pastry creams that we had already made, but they were gone when we got to class. I still got a lot of stuff done.

What we have to make by tomorrow:
Apple Pie
Pear Tart
6 Eclairs
6 Profiteroles
6 Paris Brests

What I have done:
Apple Pie crust
Pear Tart crust and filling
Eclairs (just have to dip them in chocolate)
Profiteroles (same)
Paris Brests are baked, still need to stuff them

That means tomorrow I have three hours for these:
Make apple filling, roll out dough, bake pie
Fill tart, bake
Make filling for Paris Brests, fill
Dip Eclairs and Profiteroles in chocolate

And I have three hours to do just those things! I should be done early.

I think today went really well. The quiz was multiple choice so it was easy. Cleanup was hell, though!