Sunday, May 16, 2010

Week 18: End of Petit Fours & Exam

Last week was the end of the petit four unit, and the exam was on Saturday.

We started off the week with some caramel mou (pronounced moo). It's a soft caramel that has chocolate and butter mixed into the cooked caramel, which is then poured out and cut into pieces when it cools. It sort of had the texture and taste of fudge. On one of our pieces, we sprinkled fleur de sel over top the caramel mou. I just love the combo of sweet and salty. Not my favorite item of the week though. I don't think this was really special enough to warrant making again.

The lemon cookies were sandwiched with raspberry jam and dipped in chocolate. They were a little bigger than the size of a dime, which means they were teeny tiny. If I made these again, I would make them bigger. American cookie-sized, as I call it.

We also made some glazed petit fours - pyramids, domes, and the traditional petit four cakes I initially thought covered the whole petit four spectrum. The picture below shows the pyramids and domes before they were glazed in chocolate.

Once the pyramids were glazed and set, we cut them into small, bite-sized pieces. There were three buttercream flavors in this one - raspberry, vanilla bean, and chocolate. This was one of my favorite items from all of Level 1.

These iced petit fours are soooo cute. I can't wait to make them again for a fancy tea party (now I just need an excuse to actually have a tea party). The cake was an almond sponge, sandwiched with raspberry jam, with a layer of marzipan on top. The whole thing is then covered with an icing glaze, and decorated individually. They are VERY time-consuming.

Thursday we "trayed up" all the items we had stowed the prior Saturday and Tuesday.

Thursday night we also made Chef Cynthia's tahini cookies. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds, and it's used in making hummus. I wasn't sure if I would like tahini and how it would work in a cookie, but these were awesome. The tahini is kind of nutty and I sandwiched them with grape jelly, so it was reminiscent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I previously mentioned last Saturday's petit four exam, and what a disaster it was. It would take way too much space here to describe all of what went wrong, so I won't. If I had to give the incoming Level 1 students any advice, it would be: Do not drink on the night before an exam. It was a really, really bad idea. I had an off-the-charts hangover, the kitchen was hotter than normal, and everything was just going wrong. In addition to three petit fours we picked at random, we also had to prepare an original petit four of our choice.

My three random picks were chocolate macarons, tartelettes with passion fruit curd, and raisin cookies. My original petit four was a tartelette with a tangerine honey caramel and chocolate ganache, sprinkled with citrus fleur de sel. The flavors paired really well together, and it was by far the biggest success on my tray. As much as it was 4 hours of baking misery, my evaluation by Chef Cynthia went pretty well. There was no hiding the fact that my chocolate macarons were burnt, but she was a big fan of everything else.

My tartelettes next to my partner Aoi's mochi

Some other classmates' trays:


The Beso Team said...

Dear Tara,

Thank You for entering the Bake Up Summer Sweets Contest. I hope you are given the opportunity to own a new KitchenAid mixer so you can whip up your crushcake's margarita cupcakes recipe with ease.
Thank You and Good Luck!
The Beso Team

Cooking Foodie said...

These look good...

fragolina said...

yummiiii petit fours...

Blog Design by Delicious Design Studio