Sunday, April 11, 2010

Apparently chocolate doesn't give me as much steam as I thought...

Chocolate Sculptures. The bane of my existence.

With Monday off (Easter Monday), we had a shortened week, and spent two days creating our chocolate "masterpieces." I don't know if it was because it was near Easter weekend or what, but the only molds we worked with were of eggs (of assorted sizes), chickens, and fish... interesting combo. Nonetheless, on Tuesday, we each produced a farm- or sea-themed sculpture. It was a long and tedious process.

chef tempering the chocolate

In order to temper chocolate so that the chocolate would be shiny and "durable" for sculpting, we had to melt the chocolate, then bring the temperature down to 27° by pouring it all over the granite/spreading it around, bring the temp back up to 31° by placing it near the oven or putting it over a bain-marie, and then quickly working with it before it got lumpy and cooled down again... it might sound doable, until you mix in the factors of chocolatey hands, unreadable/chocolate-covered thermometers, granite counters covered in hardening chocolate, and lumpy chocolate. yea, it was quite the mess. It didn't help that to make the molds, we had to make two layers of chocolate, letting the first layer set-up before pouring on the second layer (and keeping the chocolate at the right temp)!

my "masterpiece" ... ugh it was difficult. I think I need to envision something before I actually try to assemble the pieces, rather than trying to improv...

The next day was a miscellaneous day. We practiced making chocolate cigarettes, which we used to decorate our coffee-whisky entremet (which was used for the cafeteria!).

biscuit base, crème brûlée mousse, with a coffee-infused bavarin on top? hmm it's been awhile... anyway, it was really good!

Do you see our dessert on the bottom shelf?? yay!

We also shaped our croissants, which we didn't get a chance to finish during boulangerie class last week.

step-by-step process in shaping the croissants

mmmm delicious buttery warm goodness, just out of the oven!

Then we did the mise en place for Thursday's restaurant service. My group was in charge of a "dome" with nougat ice cream on the inside, apricot sorbet on the outside, with a biscuit base. We also made thin halo-shaped cookies for decoration, and savarins as a pre-dessert.

the plated dome

cross-cut of the dome -- deeelicious!!!!!

The other group made a pre-dessert kind of rice pudding... and a dessert of marmitte luttée with kiwis, oranges, bananas, and pineapples in a bowl, topped with a roof of puff pastry... kind of like an individual chicken pot pie, but with fruits/syrup instead.

in the marmitte luttée, this is what awaits you once you break the puffy barrier. Surprisingly really good!

top-bottom: dome, rice pudding, savarin, marmitte luttée

Friday was another chocolate sculpture day... and once again, I didn't seem to have the inspiration or something... Recently I haven't been feeling as imaginative/I feel like I'm lacking something. Am I in need of a break? It's only been 8 weeks! How am I supposed to carry on for months, let alone years, if I can't seem to get through a few weeks? Then again, I'm hoping it's just the chocolate sculpture phase. My "hot" hands definitely didn't help me through this process... all my spirals and butterflies were as delicate as in reality, especially once they landed on my lava-like hands.

At least I got my full intake of chocolate this week :)

1 comment:

  1. Boy, still like eating chocolate? I hope it was the dark type...looks absolutely beautiful!!!