Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ending Days of BPT

What a ride this has been. The last week of BPT was divided by the week long Christmas break. I personally would have rather pushed through it. To me the momentum was there and it was best to keep it up. It was so hard for me to go home and not have to rush, rush, rush. Then to come back and have it be finals and right back the grind. Very hard.

So the last couple of days we did our plated desserts. This was comprised of ice creams we had made. We had three groups and each group was in charge of an ice cream. And then it was the responsibility of one person on that team to do the ice cream while the others were working on other items. Yes yours truly was in charge of our ice cream, cinnamon ice cream and I was very excited to be making it. I had never used a fancy ice cream maker (chills that stuff down in about 7 minutes). So off I go and I’m cooking the eggs and cream and all the yummy stuff. And BAM out of no where my cream curdles. Son of a B@*$*&! This is a long process and I had to pitch it all, re-gather all the ingredients and start over. And this concoction has to chill completely before it goes into the ice cream machine. DOH! Yes I got it done and it was delish!

We also made 3 sauces to garnish our plates – Raspberry Coulis, Caramel and Crème Anglaise. Added to this was chocolate chip cookies, flourless chocolate cake, nut lace cookies, free-form apple tart, pavlava with fresh berries and tuiles cookies. Everyone had their tasks. I cannot figure out why our chocolate chip cookies looked like round golf balls even after they were baked. If you dropped one, it bounced. I’m not kidding, it bounced! All in all the dessert plates came out pretty nice. It was fun to learn how to plate them and the correct way to serve ice cream on a plate. There is a reason why you have a cookie with it. To put the ice cream on so it doesn’t melt and run all over the plate before it’s served. Who knew!

The next day we got to decorate the cakes we baked on the first day of BPT. Our butter cakes. We made 2 types of frosting, butter cream and shortening cream. The butter cream is mainly used to frost the cake and the shortening one to color and use for decorating. I do not have a flare for this. I don’t eat a lot of cakes and when I do I don’t even frost them. I even have just about every tip you could imagine. Not because I bought them, no, but rather my dear mother-in-law who passed away 4 years ago was an avid cake decorator and my father-in-law graciously gave me all of her equipment. I can only hope that rather than doing the Chef proud I did Marcella proud. My design? A martini glass complete with a green olive. I just did some scalloping around the edges and the base and wrote the word ‘Cheers’ on the top and did some different frosting in different colors to look like confetti. It was pretty cute. I wish I had had my camera with me.

Next day through us straight into finals. For the first day we mainly did prep for presentation the next day. With the exception of the dinner rolls. Those we did and presented the first night. I don’t know what it is. We all make our dough, we all put it into the proofer and mine rises 3 times faster than anyone else. Mine was proofed in 35 minutes and everyone else took about 50 minutes. My rolls were ‘ok’. Not great. I make them at home much better but I don’t use a proofer at home. And, let’s be honest, when it’s finals things sometimes don’t get checked as often as they should because you get so focused on all the different tasks that have to be done. I got everything else done and it’s all packaged up and in the walk-in for assembly the next day.

Last day of finals! We have to assemble our Boston Cream Pie, Lemon Tart and our Crème Brulees. I have to laugh at the Boston Cream. My Ganache, unlike my fellow students decided it didn’t want to pour nicely over the top of the cake, but rather set up as it was pouring. Most of my fellow students ganache didn’t set up at all but ran as the cake was cut. I had the most fun with the Lemon Tart and the meringue. I love piping that stuff out into fun patterns and torching it. I must say it looked rather pretty.

The Crème Brulee I decided to use raw sugar rather than the refined white sugar. I got much better results on the torching and crispy crust. Last but not least we had product identification. I don’t feel real confident about this. And I know the written final there were a few questions that I knew the answers to the minute I handed in the test with the wrong answer. Most finals I feel pretty good over all. This is the only time I’m leary. But we shall see.

I start phase 4 now. APCA – Advanced Professional Culinary Arts. This is the last leg and should be one of the most challenging. I can’t wait!!

Until then!...


At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Willa said...

Interesting to know.


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