Friday, May 9, 2014

What we learned in culinary school this week: Week 17 (Part 1)

First week in a while with no Friday lunch. Wish we could do it all the way through the program, but we've still got a lot to cover and need all the time we can get. And we got to make all sorts of good stuff this week!

Monday: Custards. Custards involve dairy and eggs. They can be sweet or savory (today we did sweet). Refined sugar in baking adds moisture, but in custards it just adds sweetness, so you can add any sweetener, because it doesn't affect the texture. Always serve creme brulee in its dish - it won't hold its shape if you try to remove it from the dish. Custards are always served cold, so you can make them the day ahead.

For cheesecakes: If you want it light and fluffy, whip the cream cheese a lot, then add the eggs and whip on high. For a more dense cheesecake, don't whip it as much. The graham cracker or cookie crust should have the consistency of wet sand when mixed. You can even make a cheesecake without a crust - just line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

We made flan, bread pudding, butterscotch pudding, creme caramel custard and got to wield the torches to caramelize the tops of our creme brulees.

Cheesecake cracked? No problem...

...just add beautiful fresh fruit!

For the water bath - use a towel on the pan...

...then fill the dish, put it in the oven and pour water
in. That way you don't slop water all over the place
carrying it to the oven, or God forbid into the dish.

Sugar coating for the brulee.


The next couple of days, we worked on puff pastry. It's a lot of work and time consuming. 

Puff pastry is a combination of dough and butter that is repeatedly turned and rolled out, creating layers of butter that will cause them to puff up during baking. 

The schedule.


Croissants with Chocolate:

Pains Aux Raisins:

Thursday and Friday we did cakes with the school's kickass Baking and Pastry Chef. Going to do that one in a separate post.

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