Our first creation was Succes (pronounced suc-say) which is basically a meringue cookie! YUM! We made one with ground almonds & hazelnuts and then practiced our pastry bag piping skills to create pretty spirals.
To transform these meringue cookies into a classic French dessert, we created our first Buttercream! And man, did it have BUTTER!!! Over 2 pounds to be exact! Please keep in mind, we aren't creating huge, industrial sized batches of this stuff - we made our buttercream in a Kitchen Aid stand mixer - so just imagine 2 pounds of butter going into a meringue that fits into your own Kitchen Aid mixing bowl. That's a whole lotta butta!
My partner and I decided to make our buttercream a coffee flavor which paired nicely with our nutty Succes.
Once the buttercream was complete, we learned to pipe Rosettes:
I took these pictures right after they came out of the oven, because once they start to cool off, they fall. That's when I got my first official Pastry School burn. : ( My arm touched the side of the sheet pan while it was still blazing hot! But, I'm tough and kept right on cooking. I'm sure you know this, but Neosporin is a miracle in a tube - put it on when I got home and it healed in a snap!
Sunday morning we learned why there is no need to ever, ever, ever make a flourless souffle again! Because instead, you can make a Flour-Based one that is so much more user friendly! You can even make huge batches of the base and freeze it! And they don't fall immediately after coming out of the oven either!
Flour-Based souffles start with a Panade (milk, butter and flour) that is cooked and thickened before adding chocolate, nuts, etc. to it to form your base. Once the base is made, you fold in the whipped egg whites and sugar and are ready to pipe into ramekins and bake.
This time we made Chocolate and then my partner and I made Caramelized Walnut Souffle! The caramelized walnut souffle was divine and our batch made enough that Chef Jeff had us make a large souffle in a gratin dish that he then took to one of the culinary classes (in hopes they will return the favor and bring us some of their yummy creations!)
In the hustle and bustle of the kitchen Sunday, I didn't get to take any pictures in class of our production. Here is a picture at home of the Chocolate Souffle (which by then had fallen, but was still yummy!)
Once we wrapped up making so many souffles that we couldn't see straight, we moved on to Gelatin! YAY!! I try not to think about what gelatin actually is and just forget that it is in some really good desserts - like Panna Cotta!
Panna Cotta is creamy, ultra smooth pudding like product that sets up when chilled. We made Vanilla and Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta. So good!!!
Gelatin is also used to make Marshmallows -
I made the white ones which were vanilla and got a few samples from my classmates of their lemon, coffee and rose flavored marshmallows.
Roger tells me that his mother loves homemade Marshmallows so I'm looking forward to making these for her the next time she visits!
Gelee (fancy jello) was our last gelatin based dessert and I made Pomegranate Gelee that had great flavor because it had a splash of balsamic vinegar in it. We topped it off with whipped creme fraiche which made it more delightful! I didn't attempt to transport a cup of gelee on the train, so no pictures. But basically picture a dark red jello with pomegranate seeds as garnish! : )
Next week we have our first Quiz and a field trip scheduled. It will be a surprise where Chef takes us, so I'm looking forward to sharing about that experience next time!