Monday, June 14, 2010

06/11/10 - Class - Bread Decoration

Here's the final for my breads class. This is something I was pretty apprehensive going into, but after having done it, it was really fun. We did bread decorations, showpieces made out of bread. Being non-artistic I was apprehensive, but luckily my partner was pretty creative so I was able to help him make something pretty good. It was based on a template, not something original, but we ran with it and changed it some to create something nice. My partner was going to a wedding in a couple days so we personalized it to make it a pretty nice gift. I did most the details-the rose, the grapes and leaves, stuff like that and helped out with the bigger parts. I was really surprised how how well it turned out and I'm pretty proud of it.

So that, as they say, is that. No more school. Since this is a portfolio of my work, there probably won't be many more posts, at least for a while. I only want to post new stuff, and unless I get a job and have new stuff to show, there isn't going to be much new. Perhaps it'll pick up again in the future, but till then, we shall see.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

06/07-8/10 - Class - Torte Final

This was our last week of my cake and torte class, and so we had our final. For it, we were charged with creating an original torte recipe that included complementary flavors, various textures, and quality presentation.

I called the torte that I prepared a Chanoyu torte, named after the Japanese tea ceremony. Its base is a green tea meringue disk, the wall a green tea roulade with green pate a decor on the outside. Inside is blueberry mousse with fresh blueberries folded in, a pomegranate insert, and pomegranate glaze on top. It was then decorated with a few fresh blueberries, a dusting of matcha powder, and sugar decorations, representing the three flavors of the torte.

I chose the three flavors because I know that green tea goes well with both blueberry and pomegranate flavors, and that blueberry and pomegranate go well together, so I assumed that the three would make a good mix. I wish my presentation could have been better. The glaze on top was too thick and a little messy and there was supposed to be designs on the pate a decor but I made that toot hick as well so it did not show. I am however satisfied with the result.

Friday, June 4, 2010

06/03-4/10 - Class - Bread

Our last week of making regular bread recipes, this week we focused mostly on rolls.

On Thursday we finished two recipes and prepared one more to bake the next day. The two that we did bake were soft dinner rolls and onion poppy seed rolls. Both turned out pretty nicely I think. The onion poppy seed rolls tasted better than I'd expect.

The first bread on Friday was the one that we prepared the prior day, sourdough cheese bread. I think that it turned out pretty well. It didn't get a whole lot of rise however. Every bread that we have had to retard overnight in this class didn't bake especially well the next day, which is unfortunate. There just isn't enough time in one class period to give the bread proper time for quality product. Regardless, I guess it turned out really well; Everyone else seemed to think it was really good. I'm not into cheesy stuff myself so I'll take their word on it.

Two more rolls that we made were carrot rolls and potato dill rolls. Both turned out okay but I don't think either are quality products. The carrot roll dough was so wet that it was really hard to work with. We had to add a lot of flour to make it manageable at all and even then it couldn't be shaped. I guess they turned out okay but I wasn't impressed. They didn't really taste like anything, not carrots, didn't even have much of a bread flavor. I didn't try the potato dill rolls cuz I don't like dill much so I'm not sure how they turned out. We didn't have potato flour so had to use potato starch. As such the dough was pretty tough, I'm not sure if it adversely affected the flavor as well. They look pretty good though so hopefully they turned out well.

The next recipe was pretty interesting. It was called Filoncini Burro y Nocci, little sticks with butter and walnuts in Italian. I didn't really know what to think of them at first. The name led me to think that they'd be pretty crisp bread but in fact they were very soft. Though I guess I should have guessed that from the recipe; the majority of the liquid is milk and also contains eggs and butter, so I guess it is on the line of being a sweetbread. It also contained walnuts. However I was surprised how good it tasted. Really one of the best tasting breads in my opinion this quarter. Unfortunately, being nearly a sweetbread, it's pretty unhealthy for a bread.

Last, and certainly least... more country bread. I didn't bother with the special shaping but did try to be a little creative, and just like every other time baking it, it doesn't hold its shape, making it a stupid choice to practice shapes with. At least this is the last time I'm making it in class, and probably ever.

06/01/10 - Class - Tortes

Our last class of regular tortes. Next week is the final. We did these tortes between Monday of last week and Tuesday of this week since school was closed one day of each week.

The first torte was called a Diva torte, which another group member of mine made. It was a pistachio sponge with apricot mousse, topped with Italian buttercream. Certainly doesn't sound very appetizing in my opinion. Plus she ruined the presentation by hitting it on the freezer rack or something.

My other group member made a lemon raspberry basil cake. Pretty intricate, with a lemon white chocolate sables for the base, filled with lemon mousse, a basil cremeaux insert, and a lemon chiffon sponge. I dunno, basil in a cake doesn't sound very tasty either.

I piece that I made was called an Empress torte. At least this one sounds like it would taste pretty decent. It had a dacquoise base, almond genoise round, lime curd, and raspberry mousseline. It was then topped with raspberry glaze and along the sides are shingled pieces of white chocolate that I made a marble design on by mixing plain white chocolate and dyed white chocolate. I'm pretty happy with my torte at least.