Friday, May 28, 2010

France: Days 1-3

Bonjour from Caen in the Normandy region of France.  I arrived safe and sound, albeit later than I intended.  Thankfully there were no major hicups in travel!  And I've had virtually no jet lag.

For those of you who do not know, one my my dearest childhood friends, Kelli, is studying abroad in Caen this semester and I've come to visit her during her last days in Caen and then we will tour other areas of France with another girl before heading back to the US.  Kelli writes a simply wonderful blog, and I encourage everyone to read it.

I am SO EXCITED to be in France and one of my biggest goals is to eat as much as I possibly can, particularly at as many patisseries and boulangeries (pastry shops and bread bakeries) as I can find.  After all, I need to "research" for my education :)  And in Europe, one does so much walking (I've got the blisters to prove it) that eating is no problem what so ever!  

Here's a few random pictures from my trip thus far.....   Some food-related, and some just travel ones.

Day 1&2: Charleston to Atlanta to Paris to Caen  
A slightly exhausted me on the train in Paris to Caen

Kelli making soup for dinner on her super sweet induction cooktop!  We're currently eating cheap to save our Euros for later in the trip 

Speaking of eating cheap, did you know that you can get perfectly wonderful chocolate mousse for like the equivalent of $.25?  Mium-Mium (the french equivalent of "um-yum," the spelling of which I may or may not have butchered....)

Old-town Caen at night

Day 3: Caen
A patisserie I passed by! 

My first laminated dough product in France: jalousie 
(croissant dough with almond frangipan inside and pearl sugar outside) 

Sainte Etienne le vieux, a church in Caen that was destroyed around D-Day.  
Actually much of Caen was destroyed during that time.  

A lovely book store

Baguettes with the best stipples I've seen so far.... 
unfortunately we were on our way to dinner when I saw them, so I have yet to try them....  

Traditional Norman Galettes for dinner! Galettes are made with buckwheat flour..... 

Crepe Caennaise:  Crepe with apple filling, apple sorbet,
 and a flambe'd shot of Calvados, a Norman apple brandy 

Day 3: Bus trip to Lion-sur-Mer
Visiting the beach in Lion-sur-Mer


Picnic lunch: heavenly Comte cheese, a baguette, nectarines, nutella, cornishons (spicy pickles), Orangina, and cookies!  Mmmmm! 

Kelli, channeling Sean Connery in "The Last Crusade" and frolicking on the beach with her parapluie. 

Preston, willing to risk his own life and the welfare of the cider he bought for his mother, to protect us girls from the potential perils of the squatty-potty (and not just a squatty-potty, but one that has a motion detector to flood the floor with water once one braves a step inside. 

Photos from Day 4 (today) to come next post!  

p.s. I failed to mention at the beginning of this entry that I am composing this blog at McDonalds (McDo here) because they have the best free internet around! And this is the most chic McDo I've ever seen (and who thought "chic" and "McDo" would ever be used in the same sentence).....    They even sell French Macarons?  Pictures to come next post...... 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Daring Bakers May 10: Piece Montee/Croquembouche

The May 2010 Daring Bakers' Challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake.  Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montee, or croquembouche based on recipes from Peter Krump's Baking school in Manhattan & Nick Malgieri.  

How appropriate to be doing a French challenge when I've been preparing to go to and currently am in France!  I was super excited about this challenge because while I've made nearly all the components previously, I had yet to construct a croquemouche on my own before.  

I've grown to really like choux paste (what is used to make the puffs and swan) over the past year....  I've used it to make cream puffs, eclairs, even apple fritters!  In fact, we had to properly execute cream puffs and eclairs for my final in Bakeshop Production last fall.  

Because I've been challenging myself to think in terms of plated desserts, I decided to try to make something a little different that just a huge croquembouche.....  Thinking in terms of plated desserts isn't  something I've often done and is now required for me to do for my new job.  So, I decided to make a Banana Cream Mini Croquembouche with a Chocolate Cream Swan, Caramelized Bananas & Caramel Sauce.  Though my finished product doesn't quite look as good as it looked in my head prior to the challenge, I'm still pretty happy with it.....  I'd like to practice doing more swans in the future.... I seem to struggle with making the head proportionate :)  

One component I had no experience with was the caramel threads.  I've had terrible luck with burning myself this spring, thus I was extra cautious and probably not as adventurous as I could have been, but I still tried :)  

Ironically, I ran out of milk right before I'd planned to make the pastry cream; however, I did have almond milk (which is my milk of choice for consumption these days).  So I had my first experience making almond milk pastry cream, which also is an egg free pastry cream and thus vegan....  It's relatively easy to make, just almond milk, sugar, cornstarch and a little salt.  Then I added some chocolate to half the batch and bananas to the other half to make my flavored creams.  Even though the cream was chilled over night, it still has a much more loose consistency that the regular pastry creams I've worked with.  I think if I were to make it again, I would probably add some gelatin, unfortunately not making it vegan any more but it would hold up better.  And the bananas added to the pastry cream do discolor it slightly, so do not be alarmed and do consume it quickly!  

Since I am still relatively new to the South, I'm still learning about traditional southern desserts, but one that I'm growing to greatly love is a Banana Puddin' (note the lack of a "g"....  it's important to leave it off when pronouncing, haha).  Banana Puddin' is basically a layered dessert of Vanilla Wafer Cookies, Sliced Bananas and Vanilla Pudding.  My Croquembouche variation has some of the same flavors as Banana Puddin'  but it is a bit more elegant and exotic.  I had absolutely no trouble consuming the entire thing!  


Pate a Choux 
¾ cup (175 ml.) water
6 Tbsp. (85 g.) unsalted butter
¼ Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup (125 g.) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
For Egg Wash: 1 egg and pinch of salt
Pre-heat oven to 425◦F/220◦C degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Preparing batter:
Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.
Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.  {NOTE: I cook mine several minutes  longer (at least 3 minutes, if not longer) to allow it to dry out further, which in turn allows it to better absorb the eggs. A starchy film should form on the bottom and that film should develop some color) 
Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon to cool slightly. 
Add the eggs one at a time.  The batter will appear loose and shiny.  As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes. It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs. 
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip (I piped directly from the bag opening without a tip). Pipe choux about 1 inch-part in the baking sheets. Choux should be about 1 inch high about 1 inch wide. {NOTE: I made minis} 
Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly curved on top.

Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with pinch of salt).
Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 350◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-colored and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool.
Can be stored in a airtight box overnight. {NOTE: I froze mine for a week until I had time to complete the rest of the components.... I just allowed them to thaw at room temp before using} 
When you are ready to assemble your piece montée, using a plain pastry tip, pierce the bottom of each choux. Fill the choux with pastry cream using either the same tip or a star tip, and place on a paper-lined sheet. Choux can be refrigerated briefly at this point while you make your glaze.
Use one of these to top your choux and assemble your piece montée.
{NOTE: because I made minis, i simply filled the cavity of the nearly assembled croquembouche with cream instead of filling the individual puffs} 
Hard Caramel Glaze:
1 cup (225 g.) sugar
½ teaspoon lemon juice
Combine sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan with a metal kitchen spoon stirring until the sugar resembles wet sand. Place on medium heat; heat without stirring until sugar starts to melt around the sides of the pan and the center begins to smoke. Begin to stir sugar. Continue heating, stirring occasionally until the sugar is a clear, amber color. Remove from heat immediately; place bottom of pan in ice water to stop the cooking. Use immediately.
Assembly of your Piece Montée:
You may want to lay out your unfilled, unglazed choux in a practice design to get a feel for how to assemble the final dessert. For example, if making a conical shape, trace a circle (no bigger than 8 inches) on a piece of parchment to use as a pattern. Then take some of the larger choux and assemble them in the circle for the bottom layer. Practice seeing which pieces fit together best.
Once you are ready to assemble your piece montée, dip the top of each choux in your glaze (careful it may be still hot!), and start assembling on your cake board/plate/sheet. Continue dipping and adding choux in levels using the glaze to hold them together as you build up.

Almond Milk Pastry Cream  from the Silk PureAlmond site. 
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups Silk Pure Almond Vanilla
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate and Semi-ripe Bananas {my additions}

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in Pure Almond. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking occasionally, until mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.  

Transfer to large bowl and cool completely, whisking occasionally, about 1 hour.

My Variation
I strained my cream right after removing it from the heat and then divided it into 2 containers.  One I added some semi-sweet chocolate pieces. In the other, I added some banana slices.  I allowed both containers to chill over night.  Then the following day, I pureed the banana cream in the food processor.  

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rhubarb Streusel Tea Cakes

Rhubarb is a comfort food to me.... The taste transports me back to childhood and the excitement when my Grandma would make "rhubarb sauce", which we ate in bowls with a splash of cream.   Grandma also makes a mean rhubarb custard pie that is positively out of this world.

I was super excited to find Rhubarb at Whole Foods a couple weeks ago as rhubarb is not an ingredient or flavor that is very familiar in the South.  I set about making some poached rhubarb similar to my Grandma's kind, except I mixed it with vanilla greek yogurt instead of cream.  I didn't have enough left to make a pie, but I stumbled upon a rhubarb tea cake recipe with a streusel topping on and decided it looked like a great one to try.

Tea Cakes sound fancy, but really, they're similar to muffins, only shorter and minus the lining paper (though I suppose you could use the papers if you like). They were super easy to make.  Even more importantly, they were a hit with my class at Church (generally speaking, it's not good for me to bake and keep things at home because I eat them).  

One thing I greatly appreciate about is the comment feature.  I read through the comments and made a few recommended adjustments.  I only wish I could have added a little more rhubarb.....

A couple baking and yield notes:

  • The flavor of these little cake improve with age, so wait until the following day to consume them, if you can.  
  • I also chose to use streusel both in the bottom of the muffin pan AND on top, because hey, who doesn't love the streusel part of a muffin!  
  • I used a sillicone muffin pan that was lightly sprayed with pan spray. I had absolutely no trouble at all getting mine out of the pan in one piece.  
  • I ended up with extra batter, but didn't want to wait to reuse my one and only muffin pan, so I baked the extra in a non-stick tart pan instead.  

Rhubarb Streusel Cakes
Gourmet Magazine, April 2003,
Yields 12 individual Cakes

For the Streusel {which I added on bottom and top and used a commenter's variation}
1/3 c brown sugar
3/4 c Oatmeal
1/3 c flour
cinnamon, to taste
salt, to taste {really important addition}
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the Cake Batter
1 1/4 c AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
generous sprinkle of cinnamon
1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter, at room temp
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla {or vanilla bean paste, if you've got it}
1/2 cup whole milk {though I used skim because it was what I had}
3 cups chopped rhubarb {I only had 2 cups, so that was all I used}

1.  Preheat oven to 375 F.  Generously butter muffin cups and top of pan {I used cooking spray in a silicone pan}.

2.  Make streusel topping:  Combine the flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, salt, and cinnamon.  Blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture forms small clumps.

3.  Make batter:  Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternately in 2 batches, beginning and ending with flour. Mix only until just combined.  Fold in rhubarb {my rhubarb was frozen so I added it frozen to the batter} by hand.

4.  Assembly:  Sprinkle a little streusel in the bottom of each muffin space.  Add a scoop of batter and top with more streusel.  Be careful not to fill cups too full.

5.  Bake in the center of the oven until the tops and golden and a tester inserted in the center of one of the cakes comes out clean, about 22 to 25 minutes.  Cool for 3 minutes then loosen the edges of the cakes.  Remove cakes from the pan and put on rack to cool slightly.  Store in an airtight container.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

When Pastry & Artistry Meet part 3: Pastillage & Royal Icing centerpieces

Not going to lie, I shed more than a few tears while in the midst of creating this centerpiece.  And I blame it for the growing number of gray hairs I seem to be noticing....

But, in the end, it was beautiful!  And I almost forgot the intense stress, nervousness, sleeplessness, and hand cramps that it unleashed. Almost.

I give you..... La Tour Eiffel and Paris in the Springtime!  

This centerpiece is constructed entirely of "pastillage", a sugar dough used for decorative work that dries quickly and very hard, and "royal icing", a thick icing that is made primarily from egg whites (pasteurized) and confectioner's sugar and is used for decorative work.  Ever seen beautifully decorated sugar cookies?   Yeah, those were decorated with royal icing.  I had to pipe a minimum of 8 ornaments to construct the center and a minimum of 32 ornaments for the sides.

Pastillage, used for the box portion of this centerpiece,  was rolled out, cut to size and allowed to dry for a week prior to construction. Royal icing had to be piped onto sheet protectors (like those you use in a binder), allowed to dry for several days, and then carefully, carefully lifted off the sheet protectors without breaking it.

Yeah, piping was the craziest part of this centerpieces....  And although I really am happy with my results, I still kick myself for picking something so difficult.  See, there are about 16 hours of PIPING ALONE in this piece.  Am I totally crazy?  Yes....

See, every color had to be outlined first, allowed to dry completely (i.e. not just a few minutes, but more like 12 hours or days) filled in with more runny icing (known as "flow") and allowed to dry again.  And I chose to do somewhere around 8 colors on just the Eiffel Tower portion.

Oh, and did I mention how completely fragile the entire piece is?  It can shatter in an instant.   So, not only did I need to pipe 8 large ornaments and 32 small ornaments, but I needed extras just in case everything broke.  If we were missing even one small ornament, the piece was not considered finished and thus we were not graded on it.  And not getting graded would basically mean failing the entire course because of the great weight these centerpieces held in our grading system. So, needless to say, I piped many extras.....  Can you see why I spent over 16 hours piping?

So with this project, not only was there concern about the quality of the piping, but then there was concern about if they would dry in time..... and concern about if they could be successfully transported back to school (what if I got into a car accident?  What if they somehow "melted" What if it was windy or rainy and that compromised them)..... and concern about whether they would come off the sheet protectors intact..... and concern about if I could construct the final piece sans breakage.....   Whew!  I'm getting more gray hair just thinking about it again.

I had originally decided to "fill in" the  tower with a gray color; however, I discovered on a test decoration that while my outlining of the tower was beautiful, many of spaces left behind were too small to neatly fill in.  Bummer!  All in all, I like not having the spaces filled in for aesthetic and authenticity reasons, but that also meant the strength of the piece was greatly diminished....  I than had a much greater risk for breakage as I tried to carefully lift the pieces off the page protectors.

Once they were lifted off the page protectors, the ornaments were still not out of the danger zone.  They had to be expertly glued, using royal icing, to the base piece.  Our goal was to have the piece look nearly 3-D once completely assembled. Thankfully, the ornaments were stronger than I had first thought.  I only ended up breaking a few of the side flower ornaments while painstakingly placing them exactly 1" apart from each other.  At the end of construction, I actually had many left over.  What a weird feeling it was to throw away those extras at the end of the day...

Yes, I am overjoyed that this pieces is DONE and OVER and that it turned out better than I even imagined.  In hindsight, though, I still think it would have been better for my sanity to have picked a less complicated subject.  But I guess that which doesn't kill me makes me stronger :)    This piece was also put in the display case at school as well.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mom's Banana Bread

In honor of my Mom and of Mother's Day, I'd like to share a recipe from my mom!

I think that nearly every mom has what their family would refer to as the "best" Banana Bread recipe, but I would argue (perhaps slightly biased-ly) that my mom DOES have the best Banana Bread Recipe :)

As long as I can remember, Mom has been making this recipe.  It comes from a super old church cookbook from a teeny-tiny church in the middle of nowhere North Dakota.  But after all, that's where many of the best recipes can be found!  She makes it for special occasion, or just because.  I think one of my sisters requested it in place of a birthday cake one year.....

It really doesn't require any special ingredients or supplies.....  And it's a really great way to use bananas that are past their prime...  Personally, I prefer my bananas on the green side, so once they've developed any sort of spots, they are destined to become banana bread for me.  Subsequently, I seem to have many bunches of bananas in my freezer right now because I refuse to eat them once they get spots!  So making banana bread is a great way to help clear out my freezer.

You may be tempted to cut into the loaf as soon as it comes out of the oven, but if you can control your self (the smell is positively amazing), wait until it cools.  Or better yet, wait until the next day.  This bread improves with age.

Mom's Banana Bread

2 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt ( I usually cut this in half because I find it a bit much)
1/2 cup shortening (although my mom usually uses room temp. butter, or once she used coconut oil which was AMAZING)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 over ripe bananas, * mashed (large ones, or else add an extra small one)
3 tablespoons of cold water

1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

2. Cream the butter with the sugar (either by had or with a mixer) until nice and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture in two batches.  Finally add the banana mixture and mix until just combined.

3.  Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour and 5 minutes.  (Note: the most recent time I made this recipe, I baked it for only 55 minutes and it was a tish over baked, so maybe start checking it at 45 to 50 minutes.  This overbaking may have been the result of using a ceramic loaf pan or because I had used my oven at a higher temperature previously in the day.)  

*Although this may seem gross, I really prefer to mash the bananas with my CLEAN fingers.  I find it's the best way to completely mash them lump-less.

The best way to eat this bread (in my opinion)? With a slather of butter and a glass of cold milk.  Dunking is optional, although I am a dunker :)


Saturday, May 8, 2010

When Pastry & Artistry Meet part 2: Marzipan Centerpieces

The next two showpieces I worked on were for my Candies & Confectionaries course.  They were made from Marzipan, which is an edible almond/sugar mixture, not to be confused with "Almond Paste" which is much much grainy-er.  Incidentally, I've made that mistake before...

Fruit Centerpiece:

This centerpiece had several components: 1) the dummy cardboard cake (cardboard used so that it would have a much longer shelf life) covered in Marzipan, 2) a piped border on top of the dummy cake, 3) Marzipan fruits which were hand sculpted and airbrushed.

I decided to sculpt my entire fruit selection to all resemble citrus fruits for several reasons.  First of all, I wanted to challenge myself to see how many different citrus fruits I could make and I ended up with grapefruit, oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, lemons, Meyer lemons, limes, key limes, kumquats.  Second of all, I thought that doing all citrus would have a unique presence and be different than what many of my classmates were doing.  In order to make the marzipan fruits as authentic as possible, I went to Whole Foods (one of my favorite places) and purchased some real ones to look at while I sculpted and colored.  This project was the first time I had ever used an airbrush gun.  Fun, but a bit tricky!

I also decided to make the sides of my dummy cake an aqua/teal color because it would be a huge contrast from the colors of the citrus.

Overall, I was happy with the way it turned out....  I had a few issues with my piped border because I chose something more complicated than I probably should have (or I should have practiced a ton before hand....).  Still, my Centerpiece was chosen for the display case and can be seen when you first walk into the culinary building!

Animal Centerpiece
Conceptually, this piece took a great deal more planning and brainstorming.  We were told we needed to make an entirely edible centerpiece featuring animals sculpted out of Marzipan, only there were some other guidelines as well: 1) We needed to make three different kinds of animals;  2) we needed to make three of each of the different kinds (so a minimum of nine animals total) though not all the animals needed to be in the centerpiece (some could be presented on a separate board; 3) the animals must tell a STORY that a child would understand with little to no explanation.

I played around with several ideas, but many were not attainable due to the extremely soft nature of Marzipan.  It collapses and squishes quite easily, which is good while sculpting, but not so good when you want things to stand up....

I really love sheep, so I knew I wanted to make sheep.  And one of my favorite books as a wee child was "Goodnight Moon,"  So, I came up with the idea of making a rabbit in a bed with counting sheep around him/her, an owl standing guard over the bed, and a tiny mouse thrown in just for fun.

With the exception of the cardboard base beneath the "carpet" the entire piece is completely edible!  One of the trickiest portions to construct was the bed for the rabbit.  I made it a week prior to the other components, used spaghetti and linguine noodles as supports (they are edible after all), and hoped for the best :)  To give the sheep their "fluffy" appearance, I painted them with royal icing several times.  Aren't the little sheep tails just adorable!

My animal center piece was also chosen for the display case and can be seen when you first walk into the culinary building!

Creations from my class

Throughout this entire project it was truly amazing to see all the different subject matter my classmates all did.  No one's project was like another's project.  Isn't it amazing how different our minds work when given similar instructions?

Next up, the Pastillage and Royal Icing Centerpiece: the most INTENSE of them all! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When Pastry & Artistry Meet part 1: Dead Dough Sculpture

There are many principles of art and design that can be applied to culinary and pastry work on an everyday basis.  But sometimes there are times the artistry is used even more.

I studied art in school the first time around (graphic design and photography to be exact, with some ceramics & printmaking thrown in) and I honestly miss the daily artistic work I use to do when I worked as a graphic designer.  But I feel that my art foundation makes me a better pastry chef.

This past semester I was able to especially draw upon my artistic background while working on  "showpieces" in the Artisan Bread course (1 sculpture) and in the Candies & Confectionaries course (3 centerpieces).  Each of these pieces used edible ingredients, though you maybe wouldn't particularly want to eat all of them...  I'm going create a 3 part series about these "showpieces," starting first with my Artisan Bread's sculpture.

Dead Dough Sculpture: Artisan Breads

This sculpture is constructed of "Dead Dough" (aka non-yeasted dough) made with a sugar syrup, white rye flour and various natural colorings, like turmeric for yellow, spinach powder for green, beet powder for red, caramel color for brown etc.  Our only requirements were to make a sculpture that included something bread-related and to use only natural coloring.

My original concept and my final product were vastly different, but I did know I wanted to make a prairie girl in a wheat field with a tree somewhere in the mix.  I grew up in North Dakota, not quite on the prairie, but almost.  The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder are also a beloved part of my childhood.  My mom read all of them to my younger sisters and me.  Several times. We loved them so much that we went on three specific "Little House" vacations visiting the places where Laura had lived and even dressing up like pioneer girls (too bad I don't have a picture of that with me...).  I also had the now retired American Girl Doll Kirsten, back before American Girl was bought by Mattel. How I loved that doll!  She went with us on our "Little House" vacations.  So, pioneers have been a big part of my life. And often pioneers on the plains planted wheat, which kept with the theme requirements for the project.

This sculpture did take a great deal of time to create.  Each wheat stalk was individually made (thankfully, some classmates who picked less involved pieces/worked faster than me helped with some of the wheat stalks) and it was a bit of a puzzle to figure out how to make the girl stand up (she did get some extra non-edible support).

Projects like this one always take me longer than most.  I like to think things through. I like to work purposefully and make things right. But I greatly enjoyed this project because it reminded me of my prior ceramics classes, which I loved but really wasn't terribly good at.  I will say, though, that I spent way, way too much time working with the turmeric dough and even the smell of turmeric still makes my stomach roll a bit.  But hopefully I'll get over that with a bit more time :)

Want to make your own dead dough sculpture?  Here are some recipes for making dead dough.  

Stay tuned for Part 2: Marzipan Centerpieces!