Monday, February 3, 2014

"Life seems..."

"...but a quick succession of busy nothings." - Jane Austen

This week has been a blur, it went by so fast! Monday and Tuesday are always kind of crazy days working with flaky pastry, and then the rest of the week was just dessert after dessert, I barely remember all their names! But I'll do my best to recall everything...

So to start off the week, we made an apple pie. I don't think it has a special name, if it does, I didn't catch it. Basically we just cubed apples into a pastry shell and then covered the top with strips of pastry in a sort of basket weave. We also made little amuses-bouches - savoury little stuffed treats. Some had caramelized onions, some hot-dogs, some cooked mushrooms, some cheese, and some ham & cheese! And then we made a chicken tort, which was delicious! We filled it with potatoes, carrots, green onions, mushrooms and cheese in a kind of sauce made of milk, cream and eggs, with a layer of marinated chicken in the middle. Really tasty!!

Apple pie

Savoury  bites

Chicken tort


This is a really chocolate-y dessert, with a hint of orange. To start off, we made an almond/hazelnut praline sheet cake. We cut a band from the cake to wrap around the inside of a round mold, plus a round of cake on the bottom of the mold. Then we placed a panna cotta disc (flavoured with orange liqueur) between layers of chocolate mousse. To finish off, we used a comb tool to make a wave design down the middle of the cake, and airbrushed the top with chocolate to give it a velvet-y look. Then we decorated with chocolate squares and candied orange peels.

So the primary flavours of this dessert are chocolate and passion fruit. First we made 2 flourless chocolate cookie discs, and a decorated cookie sheet like we made for some of the other cakes (which was cut in a band to go around the inside of the mold). But this one is dabbed instead of using a parchment cone or a stencil. Next we made a passion fruit mousse, a chocolate mousse, and a passion fruit coulis, which we alternated in layers with the cookies. To finish the top, we used the comb tool to make the same wavy design, but covering half the top. Then we covered the smooth half with plastic wrap and airbrushed the waves with chocolate. After removing the plastic wrap, we smoothed passion fruit coulis (with a few passion fruit seeds stirred in) over the smooth half. Mine didn't turn out quite as I would have liked, but not too bad!


From the other side
To make the Romantic dessert, we started by making a chocolate-almond cookie, and a chocolate-praline sheet cake. We also made a praliné feuilletine disc and a chocolate mousse. The sheet cake got wrapped around the circle mold, and the cookie went in the bottom. The feuilletine is the next layer, followed by a layer of mousse with sliced canned pears, then more mousse, and then we let the whole thing set up in the freezer. To finish it off, we marbled clear miroir with coffee syrup and smoothed over the dessert and added little chocolate twists and crushed hazelnuts.

The primary flavours in this dessert would probably be caramel and orange. For the cake part, we made a sheet cake with powdered hazelnuts and orange zest in it. This was mounted in a square mold. After the first cake layer, we spread a thick salted caramel before another cake layer. Next a layer of orange flavoured mousse, a layer of creamy caramel with morello cherries in it, another layer of mousse, cake, and more mousse. To finish, we sprinkled the top with cocoa powder and then clear miroir gel. We could then add any decorations we wished, so my friend and I put chocolate squares and candied orange peels.


Different angle
We also made a sort of lemon loaf. I didn't take a picture because it's nothing terribly special or exotic (but very yummy! Especially warm!). Strangely, the French call this cake. It's an extremely dense cake, developed ages ago as a durable food for sailors to take on long voyages. This particular recipe can also be called a quarter cake, because it uses equal parts flour, sugar, butter, and eggs, plus whatever flavourings are being used. All it was missing was a lemon glaze on the top! ;)

This week is going to be short because we have today off and Friday we`re going on a field trip!! We are going into Montreal to visit the Je t'aime en chocolat! event. Very excited! Friday isn't the best day to go to one of these events, of course, but it will still be fun. :)

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