Friday, March 19, 2010

Lemon Bouche'

HOT. Damn hot. Hot and toasty! Just add oven. WHAT?!?! Yeah, the hottest day of the year so far just HAPPENED to be the day of my baking lab. And I thought the bakery was hot days during last semester. Nothing compared to Tuesday's lab. Ick. The cool thing was that everyone moved to the other kitchen so we pretty much had the bakery to ourselves for over an hour.

So, my partner didn't make it to class. I thought maybe he just missed the bus, but he missed Wednesday's lecture too so maybe he was out sick? At any rate, I hope everything is okay with him. I thought I was going to have to do things myself which would have been totally fine with me, but my previous partner (the one that rocked) had been out the week before and didn't have a partner so he got partnered up with me. So, as you could guess, everything ran very smoothly.

The cool thing about Lemon Bouche's is that even though they are kind of difficult, anyone could make them at home with pre-made puff dough bought at the store. Now, they won't puff up as much as a home-made dough would, but they will still turn out pretty good. I wanted to take pictures of the steps in class but since you really have to work fast, there was no time.

First you have to roll out your dough to 2.5 mm. Luckily we have a sheeter in the bakery so it goes a lot faster. After it is rolled out, you cut it in half and then throw it in the freezer. Once it is frozen (happens pretty fast because it is so thin), you take it out and mark the cuts with a cutter and then use a smaller cutter to cut out center holes. Because it was so hot, we had to freeze it again before stacking. Once it was frozen again, we egg washed the second piece and placed the piece with the holes in it (and markings for the big cuts) on top. Then you use the markings to actually cut the pieces out just like cookies. You end up with little shapes with another shape on top of it with a hole cut in only the top part. So, you are sort of making a cup. I hope that makes sense!

So, we baked the puff shells and made the lemon curd. Oh that lemon curd! SO YUM!! It is similar to what would be in a lemon bar, but more liquidy. When the shells are baked you let them cool slighlty, shake some powdered sugar on top, and then fill with the lemon curd. Oh that proved to be a mess since I thought after chilling the lemon curd it would be thicker. haha I actually put a big pastry tip in a bag that was about the size of the hole thinking that would work perfect. Not so much. Lemon curd is a lot runnier than I thought so I just made a mess. The shells got filled okay, but my partner rescued me but grabbing a pastry bag and just cutting the tip of it and using that. It worked so much better! Definitely a better choice.

In the end, they looked great. I was really proud. Plus they tasted great! haha The whole class produced some yummy items that night. (I have those pics on my facebook for those of you that are my facebook friends). The class as a whole also made Palmiers (YUM!), Fruit Strips, Apple Turnovers, and Napoleons. Everyone did a pretty good job. Below is a picture of my (and my partner's) Lemon Bouche'.

Next week is midterms! We have to make 5 Bouche' shells from pre-made dough (easy for me since I did them this week), chocolate mousse (which I will be making this weekend to practice), and buttercream. Then we will have to pipe a 12" shell border and 5 rosettes with the buttercream. I am confident with the shell border but i guess I should practice the rosettes this weekend. :-) Then we get to fill our Bouche' with the chocolate mousse we made. YUM!

Lets just hope the drama is kept to a minimum during the midterm because even though our lab rocks when it comes to what we do, there seems to be a lot of drama and it is rediculous! Sometimes I want to just slap people into reality and make them realize they are acting like immature, rude jerks. Hmmm....maybe I just will..... ;-)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Opera and Chocolate Taffy

Sorry it has been a couple weeks since my last update. My art class was kicking my butt with deadlines. But the last two weeks of baking have been so fun! I have been wanting to update but just haven’t had time.

So, two weeks ago we made Opera cake and Tiramisu. I ended up with Opera because of the type of thin layer cake that my team made a few weeks before that. Almond Biscuit Jaconde. YUM! It has mostly almond flour in it so I was able to eat it and not have very many allergy effects. It made me a little bit tired but I was so willing to deal with that!

Opera cake is built from bottom to top in this order: Biscuit Jaconde that has been slathered on the bottom with coating chocolate and hardened, then chocolate ganache, another layer of jaconde, coffee butter cream, another layer of jaconde, and then a smooth layer of coating chocolate that hardens on top. YUM! Some might switch the ganache and coffee butter cream depending on the look they want when it is cut. Let me tell you….that coffee butter cream is A-MAZ-ING! I don’t usually like that strong of a coffee flavor in my desserts but oh my was it good! My team got a big A for the day (I had an awesome partner) and a few compliments along the way which was very cool.

Last week we moved on to candy. YAY! I now feel I can make candies at home and not freak out. Haha My team made chocolate taffy. I ended up with a partner that was more eager to do the taffy than the puff dough we had to do first so I did much of the work by myself. Then when we got to the taffy he turned the sugar mixture on full flame and didn’t have a wooden spoon. YIKES! I rushed to get the spoon and we managed to save it and our taffy turned out pretty good in the end so I was totally fine with it all.

Next week we work with the puff dough. My team (unfortunately with the same person but hopefully he steps it up this time) will be making Lemon Bouch├ęs. I am excited! Not something I can eat, but my Mom likes lemon so at least they will get eaten.

Tonight I worked on some cake balls a’ la Bakerella. So when I finish them tomorrow I will take pics and post. So far so good with them. They are chillin in the fridge overnight.