There is only one week left with Chef Chad, which is so weird because I feel like we just started this Mod. This seems to be an ongoing trend in pastry school; it goes by so quickly. Anyway, this week, I made: grenoblois and symphonie, which are both layered nut sponge cakes with buttercream and ganache layers. They are pretty much just different versions of each other, and they are both really rich and delicious. I also made a chocolate ribbon cake, which is just layers of chocolate nut sponge cakes and chocolate mousse, and we made and used modeling chocolate, which is very frustrating to work with. Eventually, my partner and I won the battle against it, and we both ended up with some beautiful chocolate cakes. And by “beautiful,” I really mean “tacky.” It’s just not my style. I believe the word “gaudy” came up more than once. But sometimes you have to do what you don’t want to do, and still have to make it look like you cared. Just another life lesson from Christine.
The last two lessons of the week were devoted to making cookies. We made a ton of cookies. We basically made a list of all the cookies on a giant board, and whoever was done with their first assigned recipe would announce to the class that they would move onto the second one, and eventually all the cookies were crossed off the list. This was the day most resembling a real working kitchen, at least in my experience. When everything was finished, we plated our cookies and set up some tablecloths and candles (how romantic!) and invited the wine class next door and whoever happened to pass by to take some of our MILLION cookies with them. There were a lot of cookies. And, they were all so delicious!
Next week, we are going to make desserts created by some of the more notable pastry chefs, like Dominique Ansel of Daniel and Michael Laiskonis of Le Bernadin, and practice plating as well. That should be fun.
In other news, I got a new book called The Flavor Bible, by Karen Page and Andrew Dorenenburg, which is basically an encyclopedia of ingredients, and next to each ingredient is a list of complimentary flavors. It is such a fun and useful book to look through and I have so many dessert ideas just leafing through it.
Also, I didn’t get to take many pictures this week, but I promise there will be pretty ones of my plated desserts next week!