Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cake anyone?

I've resurfaced to share with you the various delights I've been working on.

Over the past few months I've made a lot of cakes, pastries and various sweets. Some of which I shared with friends and neighbours. I've been doing a lot of that lately. Sharing. You see, I have a sweet tooth and it's beginning to show.

Strawberry shortcake

 learning to mask a cake -
we used whipped topping (Nutriwhip) bleh!

 Black Forest cake

 learning to decorate a cake with Italian buttercream 
and using the various sugar flowers I've made

 inside view of above cake with mocha buttercream

 more cake decorating with buttercream -
I can say without hesitation that Italian buttercream is delicious!

 seriously delicious Swiss jelly roll - we made two of these
one with lemon curd and the other with raspberry jam

 Fruit Flan with pastry cream flavoured with Triple Sec -
we used Triple Sec often for flavouring our desserts

Napoleon Mille Feuille with strawberries

I've also made bread. I like making bread. It's so satisfying. Tastes much better than store bought supermarket bread. I wanted to register for the bread making course but it was full. Oh well, it'll have to wait until September.

 Irish Soda (yeast-free) bread
Cheesy herby monkey (aka pull apart) yeast bread

A while back, I also entered a culinary student competition. Unfortunately, I didn't make it as a finalist. Even so, it was a great learning experience and I found it challenging when it came to making up my own recipe using pears as a main ingredient.

For my submission to the competition, I made this Caramelized Bosc Pear and Butternut Squash soup. I also made Bosc Pear and Pecorino cheese biscotti. The savoury biscotti was delicious! Piquant and cheesy. The soup was scented with thyme and sweetened with roasted Cipollini onions.

I'm still taking courses and learning a lot. French pastry class is running up until May. I have learned to make puff pastry from scratch. What a bicep developer making puff pastry is. Especially when it's part frozen. Apple strudel, strawberry-rhubarb turnovers and other delicious buttery pastries like Palmiers (elephant ears) have been made and consumed.
Hello hips!

Next month on my agenda is a pie-making course.
Then I'm stopping with the baking courses until September because...

1) it's Summer and I need a break;


(insert drum roll)

2) I'm now working as a part-time production pastry chef at a local bakery making pies, cookies, and tarts and helping the head pastry chef with cake decoration. Yeah!