There are three plated desserts units in the FCI pastry program, and in our second one we moved on to some more complicated desserts and some more polished plating. The style of plated desserts we do at FCI is VERY polished - a lot more so than I see my style evolving. On every plate there will be a dessert, a couple sauces, a tuile (thin cookie), a chocolate doodad, some fruit, a garnish, more garnish. Don't get me wrong, it all looks very pretty, but just a little too "done" for my taste.
What's been interesting to me has been the combinations of flavors we put together that surprisingly go well together. I like experimenting with this, and our chefs having a lot more experience than us and have been good leaders. When I read the dessert descriptions the night before class, I'm sometimes skeptical about how things with pair, but it's all been good so far.
The highlight of the second plated dessert unit was the Evening of Desserts we hosted for our friends and family (more about that in another post), but a close second was the Saturday morning Chef Peter made breakfast for the 8 of us who had showed up for class. Poor Chef Peter, the only male in a group of 16 women, has to put up with a high chatter volume, lots of giggling, and a ton of Christmas carol singing (don't ask...) from us. The biscuits he made nearly brought the 8 of us to tears, they were so good. Buttery, light, flaky. I've never had biscuits this good before. I still dream about them.