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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Culinary School - Q3 Week 4

Week: 4 Day: 1

Chocolate Pot de Crème
Baked Crème Brulee
Panna Cotta
Tres Leches Cake
Chocolate Soufflé

Specialty Equipment:
Bain Marie

Mixing methods:
Egg Custards

Additional Information:
It is important to not over whip egg whites for the soufflés.
Outcome & Critique:
Pot de Crème, Crème Brulee, Flan, Panna Cotta, and Tres Leches Cakes all baked and ready for refrigeration for final prep tomorrow. Chocolate Souffles baked. Ours had little bits of unincorporated egg whites all through it. It tasted ok but not great. The other team’s looked more smooth and pretty but collapsed right away. It tasted ok but I would have not ordered either of them in a restaurant.

What could I have done different:
If I were making the soufflés, I would have been careful about the incorporation of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture.

Week: 4 Day: 2

Today’s Objective:
Chantilly Cream
Chocolate Angel Food Cake
Decorating Caramel
Practical Quiz – Genoise

Specialty Equipment:

Mixing Methods:
Whipping heavy cream for Chantilly Cream

Assembly Instructions:
Ice Tres Leches Cake with Chantilly Cream, Decorate with meringues and Fresh Strawberries. Unmold Flan & Panna Cotta, Torch Crème Brulee, Garnish Pot de Crème.

Additional Information:
Due to a gas leak in the kitchens we were not able to do any cooking tonight.

Outcome & Critique:
My Panna Cotta was very stiff. I think this was due to me not cutting down the amount of gelatin sheets used when preparing the mixture. I liked the texture of it, but can see that it would have been better slightly less firm. The Flan was very good. I did think it could have used a little more cinnamon but it was yummy. The Crème Brulee was slightly over cooked but still tasted delicious. Our Pot de Crème didn’t quite set completely. It was almost like a thick drinking hot chocolate that I had once in Italy. The texture of the cake in the Tres Leches Cake was very coarse. I didn’t like it very much, but I am not a fan of Tres Leches cake.

What could I have done differently:
I think learning to tell doneness is going to be key. This comes with experience, and that takes time. It think that Chef having us look at and taste each groups products it will help us become more proficient at determining doneness.

I can’t believe that the mid-term is already next week. I don’t feel like I am prepared for that. Both my sister and my roommate have requested that I teach them how to make crème brulee.

Chocolate Pot de Creme

Creme Brulee

Toffee Caramel Flan

Tres Leches Cake

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Until next week,


Culinary School - Q3 Week 3

Homework Assignment
Name of Meringue Procedure Ingredients Usages

Swiss - Warm egg whites to 100°F with sugar then whip Egg whites and sugar
Uses - Buttercream, mousse, baked

French (Common) - Whip egg whites with sugar, fold in remaining sugar Egg whites and sugar
Uses - Soufflé, cake ingredient

Italian - Hot sugar syrup poured into whipped egg whites Egg whites, sugar, corn syrup Uses - Buttercream, mousse, baked

Week: 3 Day: 1

Frozen Orange Soufflé
Chocolate Mousse Cake
Chocolate Mousse
Italian Meringue
Swiss Meringue
Common Meringue
Chocolate Genoise
Ganache truffles

Specialty Equipment:
Warming Box for drying meringues

Mixing methods:
Whipped egg whites

Additional Information:
When whipping egg whites you need to be sure that everything you use is clean and free from any fats. The presence of fat will affect the egg whites.

Assemble Chocolate Mousse Cake and refrigerate.

Outcome & Critique:
We accidentally made yellow Genoise instead of chocolate. The batter was over-whipped and was quite flat.

What could I have done different:
I was not the person working on the Genoise. I always read recipes through completely before starting.

Week: 3 Day: 2

Today’s Objective:
Form truffles
Laminate Croissant dough and bake
Make glazed Orange Peel

Specialty Equipment:
None today

Mixing Methods:
Rolling croissant dough

Assembly Instructions:
Roll truffle Ganache and coat with cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

Additional Information:
Be careful with letting the orange peel go too long in the simple syrup. It will be tough.

Outcome & Critique:
I loved the frozen orange soufflé. I thought it turned out really delicious. The Chocolate Mousse Cake was good but REALLY rich. The layer of Genoise on the bottom was paper thin.

The Truffles turned out quite sticky and I had a hard time shaping them because my hands seemed very hot. The Ganache kept melting in my hands. But, they were yummy.

We made some plain croissants, some filled with almond cream, some filled with chocolate and some filled with bacon. I thought they were a little too brown but Chef said they were fine. I really liked the way they tasted.

What could I have done differently:
I would have tried not to over fold the Genoise mixture before baking. It made the cake turn out paper thin, and kept an eye on the croissants so they didn’t over brown. I try to help my teammates but one of them resists my assistance and as a result over cooks things.

Classic Chocolate Mousse Cake
with Truffle garnish

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Frozen Orange Souffle

Until next week,


Culinary School - Q3 Week 2

Introduction to Pastry Arts

Vocabulary Week 2

Angel Food: A type of sponge cake
Chiffon: A light fluffy cake
Crumb coat: A light coating of icing to seal the crumbs on a cake
Flavorings: Vanilla, chocolate, fruit.
High Ratio: Cake: a creamed-fat cake that has a two-stage mixing method
Moisteners: Milk, juice, water
Specific Gravity: the weight of an ingredient or a mixture in relation to the weight of water
Tenderizers: Sugars, fats, egg yolks
Two Stage: liquids are added in two stages
Butter Cake: Butter cakes, also known as creaming-method cakes, begin with softened butter or shortening creamed to incorporate air cells
Creaming Method Cake: begin with softened butter or shortening creamed to incorporate air cells
Driers: Flours, starches, milk solids.
Genoise: A classic European style cake
Leaveners: Baking soda, baking powder, baking ammonia.
Ribbon Stage: The stage eggs are whipped to when they leave a ribbon in the bowl off the mixer whisks
Spongecake: Made by whipping egg yolks and whites. Gently folding flour into yolk mixture and then folding in the whipped whites.
Tougheners: Flour, milk, eggs, anything containing protein.


Bake Spongecake
Bake Carrot Cake
Make Carrot twists
Make Cream Cheese Icing
Make Raspberry Ganache
Make Cocoa Gelee
Start Croissant Dough

Specialty Equipment:
Stand Mixer

Mixing methods:
Using dough hook for croissant dough.

Additional Information:
You need to be careful to not over whip the egg whites for the sponge cake. They can get too stiff in an instant!

Outcome & Critique:
Even though my egg whites were almost too stiff, I used them in my sponge cake anyway. The cake turned out well.

What could I have done different:
I would be careful to really keep an eye on the egg whites to make sure I don’t over whip them.

Week: 2 Day: 2

Today’s Objective:
Ice and assemble Carrot cake
Fill and assemble Yule log
Laminate Croissant dough
Make leaves and berries with fondant

Specialty Equipment:
Glazing racks

Mixing Methods:
Kneading coloring into fondant.

The Croissant dough requires rolling out but the butter needs to be cold so that it doesn’t squish out during the laminating process.
Assembly Instructions:
Brush simple syrup on sponge cake, spread with ganache, cut ¼” slice of cake and stack to make rolling easier. Roll tightly using parchment to help roll. Coat with ganache, then coat with cocoa gelee. Make a diagonal cut from each end of roll to look like branches. Garnish with leaves and berries. Dust with powdered sugar.

Additional Information:
Stacked cakes need to be leveled before icing.

Outcome & Critique:
I was pleased with the Yule log, however, I am not a fan of the raspberry ganache. When I make a Yule log at home, I usually use a butter cream or whipped cream for the filling.

I liked our carrot cake. It was a different recipe than the other group used but I liked ours better. I thought our cake looked like a Dale Chihuly art piece.

What could I have done differently:
I don’t think I would have done anything differently. I was pleased with our products.

I did have a bit of a meltdown tonight. Some of my classmates have been treating me really disrespectfully. But Chef held me aside after class and talked to me about it. I am glad that she is aware of things that go on in class. I felt a lot better after talking with her.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake Decorations

Chihuly Art

Yule Log

Yule Log

Until next week,