Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Week 17: More Petit Fours

Week 17 continued with petit fours, and it was delicious. Mini cookies, cakes, candies...what's not to like?

We started off the week with langues de chats (cat's tongues....ok maybe this sounds gross), pate de fruits (jelly candies for grown ups), and coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate. The pate de fruits my partner and I made was raspberry apple and extremely sugary and addicting.

On Thursday, we made our Opera cakes. Opera cake is made with a hazelnut cake layered with coffee buttercream and chocolate ganache and then the top is glazed with chocolate. The whole cake is then cut into bite-sized pieces and decorated with chocolate piping. This was my coworkers' favorite item of the week. It seems like the inherently know which items took the most amount of time and effort to make, and pick those as their favorites.

On Thursday, we also made nougat, a candy made from basically sugar and nuts. We used a combination of whole roasted nuts- almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, and some I'm probably forgetting. Then we cooked two sugars to different temperatures - one just sugar and the other with honey (which has a lower browning temperature than sugar), and poured them over an egg white foam. Once the mixture was whipped to be white and fluffy, we added the nuts, and poured it out over a nonstick surface. The nougat is dusted on both sides with A LOT of cornstarch, which I found to be odd and kind of unappetizing, and then cut into pieces. Alas, I will never know though because with all the nuts in this candy, it was strictly off-limits for me. Judging by the rate my classmates were eating it, however, it seems like the cornstarch couldn't have been that bad. I got a major workout cutting the nougat - it was HARD.

We also made a coconut version of puff pastry Thursday, which unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of my tiny bear claws and vol au vents. I also just forgot about them, leaving them in class for I guess whoever came in after us. The palmiers made it onto our tray though. We also made madeleines - which immediately made me think of this Friends episode where Freddie Prinze Jr. plays the male nanny who bakes madeleines. "Lighter than air... But that's not the point."
(For my Friends-loving friends).

My team's tray. Left to right: nougat, coconut macaroons, palmiers,
langues de chat, opera cake, madeleines, pate de fruits

Whole class's trays

Saturday we tackled two types of cookies using a chocolate and vanilla dough together: swirls and checkerboards. These cookies look pretty, but they were a serious pain. Neither of the doughs wanted to roll out nicely, and it took a lot of effort to get the final results. In order to speed along the process, I felt the need to consume half the raw cookie dough (it was so inner 8 year old was exposed, sneaking pieces of cookie dough). Unfortunately, the dough tasted better than the baked cookies (isn't that the worst?), which were just sort of boring.

Florentine is another sort of candy we made with a sweet tart dough base with a caramel mixed with almonds and candied orange peel poured over the baked dough. It's then returned to the oven for some final baking.

I'm almost all caught up with my petit fours posts! One more left, this past week that ended with our exam (which was one of the worst baking days I've ever had). Stay tuned for that sure to be dramatic story (sorry, Dad, I'll try to tone down the drama).


Anonymous said...

OMG, I need you to make me that nougat! And dad said tone down the dramatics :)

Blog Design by Delicious Design Studio