Mod 1: Lessons 20-23

It’s the last week of Mod 1!  Time is flying, it’s ridiculous.  Well, technically, there are two more lessons, but one of them will be dedicated to career services-working on resumes, mock interviews with each other (which, I predict, will be really funny), etc.  And, the other one is our test!  We are taking a written test and a practical, where we will be making flourless chocolate souffles and creme anglaise.  I’m not too worried about it.  I guess I’m just concerned about any math-related questions, even though I was definitely a math major in college, and by that I mean, I was jokingly called a math major because I suck at it.  It’s funny!

Anyway, this week we made frozen desserts, pate a choux, pastry cream, and different glazes.  For the first day of frozen desserts, my partner and I made a pomegranate granita and blueberry sorbet, both of which were really delicious.  I somehow managed to bring containers of each back home with me in the sweltering heat and I am still enjoying them today.  When I got home from school that day, I pretty much ate an entire pint (2 cups, or 1/2 a quart!-I am so passing that test…) of the pomegranate granita without realizing how much I was consuming.  It is dangerous having any kind of food around me at any time because I’ll just eat it all.  I am always eating, you guys.  I’m sure more than a few of you can attest to that.  My point is, both frozen fruit desserts were delicious and perfect for those hot days.

Putting the ice cream maker aside, we made static frozen desserts, which is a great alternative (or first choice!) for those (me) without a fancy ice cream maker. My partner and I made an amaretto flavor, which we have yet to try because it’s still in the molds at school.  We just never had time to un-mold them yet.  That will happen on Tuesday.  We also made bombes, which are domes of various layers of frozen desserts.  Mine has an outer layer of praline ice cream and has a frozen chocolate center.  I also stuck some rum raisins in there.  It is such a good combination, so rich and perfect for that need for something sweet and fulfilling after dinner.  Or, whenever.

Pate a choux is a dough, most commonly known for the pastries made out of it, like eclairs and cream puffs.  Translated from French, Choux means cabbage, and the dough was named as such because of the way cream puffs resemble cabbage in appearance.  History lesson!  Aside from making both eclairs and cream puffs,  I also made a dessert called Paris-Brest, which is basically like a bagel-shaped cream puff, just topped with slivered almonds.  Being a huge fan of pastry cream, I thoroughly enjoyed everything filled with the stuff.  I glazed my eclairs with chocolate and used most of the cream puffs to make a croquembouche, which is a tower of caramel cream puffs.  Translated to English, “croquembouche” means “crack(le) in the mouth” in French.  And it seems, that when you eat one of these caramel covered cream puffs, they do indeed crackle.  In the mouth.  Mine was slightly lopsided and not as decorated as I wanted it to be (I had a grand vision for my croquembouche), but it was nearing the end of class and I had to un-mold more things and wash one million dishes, so clearly, it would have been way more amazing.  Because let’s face it, I’m totally awesome.

So, yes.  That was technically our last day of class.  I am going to miss Chef Reeni, she’s pretty awesome.  But, I am also excited to meet and work with the new chef-instructor.  The next mod is going to be focused on Bread and other such things.  I’ll let you know more when I get there.

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