Baking Class Week 13

Hard to believe we’re coming down the stretch already.  Hard to believe it wasn’t just yesterday that I walked into the bakeshop at Midwest Culinary Institute for the first time, as a total pastry noob who was likely to put my eye out with the pointy end of that cake I just oafishly brutalized in what would be construed a war crime in several foreign jurisdictions.

Just thirteen short weeks later, and I have improved my bread-baking skills, worked my way through sweet dough, éclairs and Parisian macarons, and made tons of ganache.  I have experienced the joys and sorrows of both French and Italian meringue.  I have learned to work with puff pastry, gained a least minimal competence with pies, cakes and tortes, and delved into the mysteries of custards, mousses, crème brȗlée, crème Anglaise, tuiles, chocolate coins and fruit coulis.  I even know how to use a piping kit, a chef’s torch, a tuile template, gelatin sheets and a candy thermometer — not all at the same time, of course.  That would be awkward.

Hard to believe I can now make this:  an orange chiffon torte, with a touch of Cointreau and raspberry marmalade, frosted with whipped ganache and enrobed with poured ganache — I told you, we make tons of ganache in this class.

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We even hand-made those little decorative chocolate motifs — how cool is that?  Anyway, just wanted to take a few minutes to share what I have been doing with my Monday nights since late August — continuing to chase my passion for the kitchen.  I like to think I’m better for the experience, even if I still prefer to sauté and flambé to get my jollies.  Until our next culinary adventure together:  Eat well, my friends!

 

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