With computer back in action and 2 weeks worth of pastry photos uploaded, it's time for show and tell!
The weeks before and after the holiday break, we worked on pies, tarts and pate a choux. Clearly, we have arrived in the land of desserts. Sugar, cream, eggs, butter. The sheer thought of the volume of these ingredients we have gone through thus far is aversion alone. Honestly, after tasting one teeny, tiny cream puff or eclair, I've had my fill of cream laden sweets. It's fantastic to create, but God almighty, it's near impossible for me to taste (or 'evaluate' as we refer to it in class) each item we make. I forge ahead however, in the name of food. As a general rule, I can't handle a lot of sweets. Ironic? Sure. Perhaps it's this oxymoron which will keep inventory control at bay. I've been told I'm the only girl who has uttered the words 'I don't particularly care for chocolate'. It's true. Whenever I've made chocolate chip cookies, I always cut the chocolate chip quantity in half. Brownies? I'll have a few bites, but that's all I need for a good, long while.
With my low tolerance to sweets, it's still pretty damn great that we are getting the chance to create such a wide array of European pastries, most of which we may not have the chance to even see in real life. Not all of us are members of the fancy-pants country clubs or eat at high end restaurants. As rare as it is, I'm always intrigued in class when we make something I have never seen before, let alone heard of. I am further opening my foodie horizons, and sharing my discoveries along the way.
Prepare yourself for a serious tour of the world of pastries in which I have been frolicking for the past few weeks...
Mixed berry pie with a lattice top of flaky pie dough.
Tip: when mixing pie doughs for lining pies, it's best to mix a bit further to create a 'mealy' or 'short' crust'. This is more compact and more resistant to the moisture of the filling. Use less mixed, flakier pie dough to set atop the pies, whether in a full sheet or a lattice top. This will remain flaky and crisp longer, as it is above the high moisture filling.
In case you've been living under a rock and are unable to deduce just what kind of pies these are: pumpkin pie, mixed berry pie, apple pie.
All of this was our material before the 2 week holiday break. Once we rubbed the sleep out of our eyes and back to 7:00 AM starts, we launched into tarts and choux pastry.
-Chocolate tart dough
-Chocolate cremeux (a rich, creamy chocolate filling)
-Black glaze (a fluid chocolate sauce which coats the tart)
-Gold foil garnish
Keep in mind that every single thing we make in class is made FROM SCRATCH.
-A cookie like base of tart dough. Salty, sweet, crunchy and chewy.
This has taken the title of the BEST DESSERT I HAVE EVER EATEN. I immediately gave mine away, knowing that if I were to take it home, it would quickly become my dinner. I'm still regretting this lapse in judgment.
Besides the fact these were miniature sea monsters out for the blood of sailors, they were bona fide pastry cream bombs. Hats off to anyone who can eat of these in it's entirety and not fall to your knees out of sheer sugar coma. Alka-Seltzer anyone?
Paris-Brest. A ring of choux pastry filled with a hazelnut cream. The rings are meant to represent a bicycle wheel, as the Paris-Brest is a famous cycling race from Paris to Brest and back again. More info on the race here. I'm pretty sure these were invented to restore the caloric loss while cycling from one city to the next and back.