Saturday, October 31, 2009
A cheesecake can be unmolded by placing it on top on a pressurized aerosol can filled with cooking oil and using a torch heat up the edges of the ring to loosen the cake from the ring (middle of picture). Pull the ring down over the can and boom, you have a cheesecake (left of picture).
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I started off my first day in pastry with no one there. So, I ended up chopping lettuce for the first half of the day until someone arrived. I made so beautiful chocolate dipped strawberries for a wedding at the hotel. Tip: Do a bouncy thing with the strawberries, so that less chocolate is used and there are no "shoes" (pools of chocolate) under the strawberries.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Okay, tip for anyone that has to blanch multiple (or even one) batch of greens. Grab a large pot of water, salt it and heat it until it boils. Find a basket that will fit into the pot, so that when the greens are added, they are resting in the pot and do not need to be fished out with tongs or a skimmer. Then have an ice bath ready, that is large enough to fit the basket. When you’re done shocking the greens, lift the basket out of the water and squeeze dry. This method saves sooooo much time, because you don’t have to dig around the pot with tongs and don’t have to freeze your hands unnecessarily in the ice bath.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Tunneling is when there are holes that are created because the gluten strands hold in the air and it cannot escape:
Here's the carrot muffins, which were too wet and did not rise properly:
They were mixed until moistened and you can see that there is no tunneling in the muffin:
Friday, October 09, 2009
Top left corner - a biscuit that was turned four times compared to the bottom right corner - a biscuit that was cut after the dough was first rolled out. The secret to nice browned tops? An egg wash. Our group was super efficient and had enough time to make a blueberry sauce that all the chefs thought was wonderful.
Blueberry sauce recipe:
1 cup of frozen blue berries
2 lemons, juiced
10 oz sugar
1 T vanilla extract
Corn starch slurry, as needed
Mix it all together. Continually whisk over heat until reduced by half. Add corn starch slurry to help thicken up the sauce as needed.
I thought our muffins looked bad, but then I looked at the group next to ours and their muffins looked a little worse. Here are our muffins:
Here are their muffins:
Turns out they used old baking powder that did not give rise to their product, In addition they over stirred, which resulted in a tunneling (pockets inside the muffins). Finally, their mixture was too wet and all the blueberries settled to the bottom.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
*"Feed the Beast" is a reference to Kitchen Confidential
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
I must admit because of my previous job experience, I have become rather critical of ice cream and the importance of certain textural elements. In a nutshell the ice cream was comprised of huge ice crystals that gathered together into a massive blob. The tiramisu was to die for, the ladyfingers were soaked in a perfectly flavored espresso, alcohol mixture.
Hey! They have a sense of humor:
We stopped in a for a quick snack in Chinatown. Rick had reservations eating at one of the places I was leaning towards because it was near a pet shop and smelled like pets. We settled on ?, which Samantha Brown from the Travel Channel had visited at one point in time. The food was subpar and MSG laden. T-B: wonton noodle soup and black bean pork ribs
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Yum! Rick and I were expecting to eat chocolate sundaes in Ghiradelli Square until I spotted Kara’s Cupcakes. I can not walk past a cupcake bakery without stopping in (they are my crack-cocaine equivalent). We settled on the pumpkin, fleur de sel (one my new obsessions), and double chocolate cupcakes. The pumpkin cake was moist and the pumpkin spices were perfectly balanced and the cream cheese icing was unbelievably smooth, not one hint of graininess. The double chocolate icing intrigued me, it was light and fluffy. I almost suspect that they use a siphon because that’s how aerated the delicious chocolate buttercream icing felt as it collapsed in my mouth, while coating each taste bud with the buttercream flavor.
Rick and I toured the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, CA. What a fun tour, sometimes I wished I didn’t work in the food manufacturing industry, so that I wouldn’t be so critical of the facilities. A tiny part of me continues to audit any facility I tour and pick out all the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) violations. That aside it was neat to watch their videos of how Jelly Belly’s are made and what they do to ensure that only “perfect” jelly beans get through their process. Imperfect jelly beans are called “Belly Flops” (I know! I thought it was the cutest most clever name ever) and sold in their store.
Here’s a bear made from Jelly Bellys:
A duck sculpture: