Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Recap: Laminated Doughs & Breakfast Pastries, pt 1

Hello from hot, sunny Texas!  I'm away from SC for a few weeks visiting, resting & preparing for the busy summer ahead.  My 365 blog shows what I've been doing in Texas thus far. 

Anyway, I'm long overdue for this last recap: Laminated Doughs & Breakfast Pastries.  This one is so long that I've decided to break it into two posts.  So, watch for part 2 (all about the practical final) coming soon! 

I love, love, love laminated dough.  It was my favorite class as a student and just might be my favorite to teach too (but shhh... lets keep that one quiet).  There are several reasons why I love laminated dough.  First, the class is all about repetition.  We "laminated" dough nearly every class for the entire semester.  Most classes switch techniques every week, so it is nice to get some practice in one technique.  By the end of the semester (I hope) everyone feels very confident in their laminating abilities.  Secondly, this class is all about the details.  There are lots of small steps that contribute to a stellar end product.  Plus, there are infinite decoration options.  Thirdly, this class makes absolutely AMAZING tasting product.  Seriously. Nearly every class, I would declare to my students "This is my favorite product".... I obviously had a lot of favorites.  When I was in France last spring, I was all excited to taste their breakfast pastries after making them myself.  I was (mostly) disappointed: the Lamianted class makes better! 

We did five major "units" in this course: Other Laminated Doughs (think baklava... streudel...), Puff Pastry, Croissant Dough, Danishes, Other Breakfast Pastries.  By spending a couple weeks on each unit, student are really able to master the subject matter.   

Without further adieu, here is a pictorial representation of what we made this semester.   Quick side note, I did teach 2 sections of this class, so I may denote which class (Saturday, or Fast Forward) on photos. 

Other Laminated Doughs
 Saturday Baklava
Phyllo dough, clarified butter, spiced nuts

FF Baklava
Phyllo dough, clarified butter, spiced nuts

 Hand Stretched Austrian Apple Streudel 
Streudel Dough, Clarified Butter, Apples, Cranberries, nuts

Puff Pastry
Saturday Blueberry Lemon Chaussons 

 Apple Tart Tatin

Saturday Mustard & Cheese Saccristans 
Puff Pastry, Apricot Preserves, Frangipan, Apricot glaze, Confectioners' Sugar 

Puff Pastry, Apricot Preserves, Frangipan, Apricot glaze, Confectioners' Sugar 

Puff Pastry, Raspberry preserves, Frangipan, 
Apricot glaze, Confectioners' Sugar, Sliced Almonds 

Baked Puff Pastry Sheets, Creme Diplomat, Poured Fondant, Chocolate Striping

 Pain au Chocolat
Croissant Dough, Chocolate Batons, Chocolate Semper, Confectioners' Sugar 

Pain au Chocolat: Student Midterm
The midterm in this class is generally pretty brutal 
(working alone to make & laminate croissant dough, then turn it into 
Parisian Croissants & Pain au Chocolat).  
This student got the highest grade of both sections! 

Savory Croissants
(from evaluations, one of the students' favorites for the entire semester!) 
 Savory Croissants
Tomato Goat Cheese, Breakfast Squares, Ham and Cheese, Pizza
 Savory Croissants: Tomato Goat Cheese 
Croissant Dough, Mustard, Tomato, Goat Cheese, Parmesan Cheese
 Savory Croissants: Ham & Cheese
Croissant Dough, deli Ham, Swiss Cheese

(which can be made from croissant dough OR danish dough) 

Saturday Danish
Pepitos (Pastry Cream, Chocolate Chips, Apricot Glaze)
Apricot Creme brulee pinwheels (Pastry Cream, Almond Streusel, Apricot halves, Cherry, Apricot Glaze) 
Sunny Side Up Fleur-style (Pastry Cream, Apricot halves, Apricot Glaze... 
names comes from them looking like sunny side up eggs) 
Bee Danish Squares (Honey Almond Filling, Confectioners' Sugar)

Saturday: Bee Danish
Honey Almond Filling, Confectioners' Sugar 

Saturday Danish: Apple Cheese Streusel Strudel
Scandinavian Danish Dough, Cream Cheese Filling, Diced Apples, Almond Streusel, Apricot Glaze

 FF Danishes: All in a day's work

FF Danishes: Apple Fontains
Croissant Dough, Apple Honey filling, Apricot Glaze, Confectioners' Sugar

 FF Danish: Coconut Pineapple Twists
Croissant Dough, Coconut Cream, Roasted Pineapple, Cherry, Apricot Glaze, Toasted Coconut 

FF Danish: Cranberry Cheese Schnecken
Cream Cheese Filling, Cranberry Orange filling, Cinnamon Sugar, Apricot Glaze

Other Breakfast Pastries 
Some of these were used as fillers during days when we had down time (like when waiting for dough to proof) and some were used at the end of the semester. 

 Saturday Class: Coconut Quick Bread 

FF Class: Enormous Rhubarb for a Rhubarb Quick Bread 

One base recipe (adapted from this recipe) and then each group picked their own flavor combos

 Brioche a tete
("brioche with a head".... though most of ours lost their "heads")

Brioche-type dough, candied orange, anniseed, orange blossom water.... 
Like eating a memory of Dakota Harvest Bakers (for me anyway) 
FF: Homemade Pop Tarts 

Saturday Doughnut Day:  Apple Fritters
 Saturday Doughnut Day: Yeast Raised doughnuts dipped in sticky bun glaze 
a student came up with this combo.... and it was AMAZING! 

FF Doughnuts: Cake & Yeast Raised
Banana Bread Doughnuts with maple glaze
German Chocolate Cake Doughuts with coconut pecan icing
Carrot Cake Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Icing & walnuts
Glazed yeast Doughnuts

With the exception of the final, that is nearly all the product we made in this class!  Though we had a busy production schedule,  the students still produced excellent product.  

Watch for part 2 coming soon! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Recap: Petit Fours & Mini Pastries, Spring 2011

Let me preface this post by getting something off my chest: I am supremely bothered that this course is grammatically incorrect by being called "Petit Fours" instead of "Petits Fours" or "Petit Fours."  

Moving on, haha.

Petit Fours & Mini Pastries has been my most challenging course to date.  The students were wonderful, but the planning and paperwork side of things was much more labor intensive than any other class.  While the class was previously taught by another instructor, there was not any record of a syllabus or how the class was structure.  The lack of record meant that I could virtually design the course myself while staying within the catalog description of the class.  But designing a course takes a lot more work than one might initially think....  I thank all my students for their patience this semester :)

I also wish this course was longer.... or that there was a Petit Fours I and a Petit Fours II.  There was so much material I'd have liked to cover, but there simply was not enough time.  So, I made due with what I could.

And let me state one further item: Petit Fours does not simply mean glazed cakes with flowers piped on them. That is only one category of Petits Fours.  Most people think glazed cake, but true Petits Fours are SO MUCH MORE!

There are four major classical categories of Petits Fours: Sec {"dry", like cookies}, Frais {"fresh," like mini fruit tarts or mousses}, Glacé {"glazed," like the glazed cake previously mentioned}, & Deguises {"disguised," like candied fruit... not so common these days}.  Then, there is the Salé category {"Savory," like mini quiche, vol au vents, etc. with a pastry base} and the most advanced Prestige {any modern dessert in miniature form}.  We concentrated on the classics first, then branched out, and finished with group projects and practical finals.

We not only created Petits Fours, but we also presented them, in various capacities.  Following production, all the product we made that day had to be plated appropriately (different guidelines for different days) and presented for grading.  Then we delivered the platters around school for others to enjoy!  People rather liked us :)  

So, here's a pictorial recap of our semester.

WEEK 1 & 2
 Red Velvet Cake Petits Fours 
with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing, 
Pecan Dust & Chocolate Garnish

 Our red Velvet Cake Petit Fours, Lemon Vanilla French macarons & 
Grand Marnier Marshmallows for the Vintner's Dinner

 Opera Cake 

 Pyramide Petits Fours 

 Petits Fours Glace

 Classical Petits Fours: Lace Tuiles dipped in Chocolate, Financiers, 
Opera Cake, Pyramides, Glace, Domes

 Charleston Pralines, Salted Caramels, 
Marshmallows (experimenting with some including egg, some not), 
& Pate de Fruit

 Scones, Mango Earl Grey Opera Cake, Madeleines, Matcha Dacquoise fingers

 Paris-brest, Raspberry Chocolate Eclairs, Chocolate Swans 

 Chocolate mousse for a wine seminar held at the Palmer Campus 

 Traditional Chocolate Mousse, Vanilla Bean Chantilly Cream, Chocolate Cigarette & Mint

Coconut Rice Pudding with Roasted Pineapple, 
Mini Tarts with Passion Fruit filling, 
Macadamia Stickies
(sorry for the poor quality cell phone pic)

 Almond Cakes, Chocolate Pecan Tarts with Bourbon Cream, 
Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache
Peanut Butter Mousse in edible Chocolate Cups 

Almond Cakes, Chocolate Pecan Tarts with Bourbon Cream, 
Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache
Peanut Butter Mousse in edible Chocolate Cups

 Joanne, Mandy, Gilly & Carol

 Laura, Neecee, & Corley (and I assisted)
 "Purple Rain" Purple Velvet Petit Fours; 
Chocolate Petit Fours with Edible Album Cover Art; 
Mini Frozen Yogurt cones, 
"Rockin Krispy Treats" with rice cereal 
(Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles, Rice Krispies) and Pop Rocks

 Lemon Cupcakes 

 Key Lime Cupcake

 Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake

 Pineapple Almond Cupcake 

Noel, Marilyn, Jeff & Rita 

 Fresh Fruit Tarts, Candied Orange Peel, 
Chocolate Walnut Glazed Petit Fours, Fromage Blanc Panna Cotta, 
Cake Bon Bons 

 Fresh Fruit Tarts, Candied Orange Peel, 
Chocolate Walnut Glazed Petit Fours, Fromage Blanc Panna Cotta, 
Cake Bon Bons

Each picked their own unique them and planned three petits fours 
(that fit in to different petits four categories) around that theme 

 Joanne's Honey Theme

Laura's Chocolate Theme
(her Salted Chocolate Caramels were one of my favorites of the day)

 Rita's Fruit Theme 

 Marilyn's Cinnamon Theme 

 Noel's Pistachio Theme

 Gilly's Lemon Theme 
(her Rosemary Lemon Shortbread cookies were one of my favorites of the day)

 Corley's Christmas Theme

 Carol's Traditional Italian theme 

 Mandy's Pie Theme
(She had one of the most creative and whimsical themes of the day)

 Class shot! 

And here's my class!  Taken with the lovely assistance of my camera timer, the ice cream machine & a measuring cup to prop the lens.  :)