Hee, hee. Sorry folks for keeping you hanging. Last week was crazy! I left you with just my tart and disappeared...
I did work on the caramel nut tart that next class, well, I went early. Hot bubbly stove work and a room of people often leads to injury so I wanted to do it when less people were there to distract me. I have made caramel before but not with an understanding of how it should be done. See, I have a family heirloom. A hand written, water stained recipe that is pretty incoherent. It might have been from when the Alzheimer had finally set in. I still use it and guess every time what is meant but the instructions. I have changed it enough that I can't tell anymore what I have tried and what has worked. Now I have my school recipe to help me. As for the tart, I used cashews. It was buttery, salty, sweet, and just the right amount of chewy gooey.
Well, next up was pear frangipane and lemon meringue. The pear frangipane is a tart shell, filled with a sweet almond paste fillings, decorated with a poached pear, and baked. Chef and the whole class learned that unfortunately, it should have been a par-baked tart shell but o well, that is why it is called learning! All of them had soggy bottoms. I was really sad because I love almonds and pears and it smelled divine. It smelled good and tasted funny, raw funny.
Lemon meringue is what I thought I was making when I made lemon chiffon. I hadn't made either so I was confused but now I am straight. The trick with lemon meringue is in getting the right ratio of tart lemon curd to sweet Swiss meringue. The meringue was fun to pipe out and then torch (picture is pre-torching).
Next up, breads! Finally. I again decided to work hard and learn more by coming in early and staying late. I have managed to stay on top of things and really work at getting my skills down. I have a few things left on my list but nothing I can't finish.
Anyway, back to breads. We started with the baguette and breadsticks. My breadsticks were all funky so I had to do them again (picture to the right is the good ones) but the baguette worked out well. It is weird to make one when you have always just bought them in the stores. They seem so simple and yet the take time. For the breadsticks, we got to choose our internal garnish so I filled mine with Parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary. MMM. Tasty!
Next up, butterbraids and olive rolls. I don't care for the taste of butterbraids but the actual braiding is quite fun. It is like braiding hair. My table mates tried fancy 4 strands, I stuck with a 2-strand and a 3-strand. I figured I will work up to 4. :)
Next up, multigrain loaf, potato rosemary loaf, and whole wheat rolls. I really liked the smell of the potato rosemary. The multigrain was ok but not something I would eat regularly. And the rolls... a pain. Rolling tiny balls of dough into perfect, puckered, smooth balls takes forever. My fingers don't want to bend the way they need to to get the pucker right. We also over proofed ours so they didn't turn out.
Finally, Friday. Friday of week 4. I couldn't think of anything better to make than pizza, pita, and of course, a good review for our Baking 111 test (which was today, Tuesday). We have a favorite pizza and place in Eugene and my goal was to try and copy it. Thin crust, olive oil, blue cheese, roasted garlic... Ok, thin crust is all about letting your dough rest. Olive oil, blue cheese, and yummy roasted garlic, check! I added a bit of creamy garlic sauce and a bit of fresh basil with the olive oil just to add a bit more yummy goodness. I couldn't wait to bring home the goodies to Alan. He loves pizza and pita. I think the Chefs must have colluded because someone made a big batch of hummus so I got to take fresh hummus with my fresh pita! Sadly, the pita didn't puff correctly so I have to do them again. I am not sad though, it means more pita! The pizza was so thin and tasty, I could have cried. It is so amazing to just know and do it and then EAT IT!!!
Whoosh. Another week. Not only is time just flying by but we have to set up our externships already. My options in Eugene are slim compared to the vast foodness of Portland. I am frustrated about my options but will make do and find something.
If nothing else, I will work for cupcakes...