Meredith circa 1982

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What in the world is a cornet?

Here we go! Guess I'm hopping onto the Blogger bandwagon! I'm so excited about my journey into the professional culinary field and don't want to rely on my memory to be able to share my experiences - so this seems like a good option. I'll try to post a synopsis of what we do each weekend in class as well as pictures of final product that I make.

Here i am bright and early the morning of Saturday January 9, 2010 getting ready to head into Manhattan to the Institue of Culinary Education. Couldn't take a picture in my chef whites because that violates food safety codes, but hopefully I can take a picture of it in class one weekend.

Major wishes me luck!

The beginning of our training will consist of a good deal of lecture to teach the basics we will need as our foundation to build our skills on. This weekend we covered things like volume vs. weight measurement, had a dairy tasting where we had to taste all types of dairy (including buttermilk!), did scaling exercises, and learned about the caramalization process and the various stages of cooked sugar.

To answer the question that is the title of this post, this is a cornet:

It's used to pipe decorations onto cakes, plates, etc. You make them out of parchment paper so one of our first activities was learning to make these little things. It may look easy, but it's actually a little difficult to begin with. No tape is used, so if you don't do it correctly, you end up with melted chocolate all over the place!

You fill the inside of the cone with melted chocolate, then fold down the top and roll down, cut off the tip and it becomes a piping bag!

And then you make nifty little designs like this:
And then you build on that and make these kinds of designs:

I still have a TON of practice to do with my cornet work but it is fun and relaxing to practice after work at night. Chef Jeff is our instructor for Module 1 (the first 100 hours of class) and he promised we'll get better at this, and I trust him, but to see his designs vs. my designs is quite a contrast!

Amongst all of the lecture this first 16 hours of class, we did actually get to BAKE!!! It was really more of a chance for us to practice our scaling skills (professional bakers use weight to measure ingredients vs. volume that home cooks use) so we made Gingersnaps! This also gave us a chance to start using the equipment in the kitchen and the deck ovens.

The best part is, we got to taste and bring home the batches we made!

They were pretty tasty! Roger took them in to share with the Water Island Capital gang and they seemd to like them.

This coming weekend we will dive into the world of Fruit so I'll post about that next time!

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