Sunday, October 4, 2009


Soooo this weekend was fun....
I signed up for a community education non credit course in french pastries at MDC.
I live like 45 mins away from the campus on a good day and the class starts at 9:30am.
I'm a notorious night owl so that time on a weekend would usually be impossible for me. But I literally sprung out of bed all movie like at 6:45 am thinking "pastry class!" To convince myself i wasn't completely psychotic I made myself go back to bed until 7:30.
So after getting appropriately lost thanks to my trusty discounted GPS and my inherited bad sense of direction, I arrived at the classroom at 9:00am...

I walked in and it was *angels chorus* ..a fully functioning professional kitchen. I looked around and i saw walk in fridges, professional sinks, industrial ovens and mixers oh my!

..I was in my personal heaven. I never wished I was a culinary student more than I did at that one moment....
that was the second angel chorus this week....the first was when i found a new cake supply store on my way home that has EVERYTHING and will soon be offering classes. (I 'favourited' it in my GPS....that's the sign of a good find to me)
anyway.....i digress.....
So the teacher was already there (she looked french.....but she wasn't..her name was Debbie...which bummed me out a little I'm not gonna lie lol)
Just me and another lady were there at that time, and we got to talking....she's Colombian and move to the US and became a personal chef. She goes into people's homes and cooks all day and makes meals for the week...pretty clever gig if you ask me. She thought so too....I felt like she was giving me not-so-subtle hints that I should do it as well to cuz it was in demand and paid well. In her words "These americans hate to cook, but are now realizing the benefits of cooking your own food. So they want the home cooked meals.....but they still hate cooking"
It's not just Americans. Trust me. lol.

Eventually a few more people trickled in and we began. So we were doing 4 things that day: Choux pastry, pastry cream, ganache and almond tuilles.
We made the pastry cream first since that had to chill. enter my biggest "fear" in the world....touching raw eggs. The teacher cracked and separated the eggs with her hands and I swear I almost cried. But I didnt want to look like a cooking wimp so I took a deep breath and jus did it...
It's pretty basic stuff, it's just a matter of technique...heat milk then mix milk with flour, temper eggs, mix eggs in, stir till thick, but not glutaneous.
Meh, I hate cstards and the texture of custardy things so I kinda didn't really look forward to that recipe.
So we let it refrigerate in the fabulous walk in fridge (which I want!) then onto the choux pastry.
Choux pastry is a cooked dough that is used to make eclairs and profiteroles (puffs for my trinis)
My mom actually makes a signature dessert that uses choux pastry and it's a staple at every family event (and going on my future menu) so I'm familiar with the technique. And I've made the puffs a few times before so yeh...I got
The recipe was a little funky: it used shortening instead of butter which I believe may actually be a cardinal sin in France. The teacher explained it made it a little more "idiot proof".
what a blight... call me the ultimate idiot cuz for some reason my puffs decided to rebel and refused to 'puff'..I'm going to blame it on the funky recipe tho



I've made them before so I know I can (edit: see bottom of post). I did learn some good tips from the teacher and from the colombian personal chef that I was very grateful for. Example: Did you know if you add eggs to sugar the sugar will actualy cook them? It's a catalyst for the reaction don't add sugar to an egg mixture and just leave it.

We made a quick chocolate ganache to go on top of the finished desserts and got our pastry cream out of the fridge.
Ta Da!

Do we see the stainless steel? Doesn't it just make you happy? no? just me?
So onto our last recipe
Almond tuilles.....
So these were pretty cool....I could definitely see myself using these in future recipes....the technique itself was good to learn as i think it's a pretty versatile the risp almond cookie immediately reminded me of something my mother would request so I mae a mnetal note to memorize the recipe.
I kept thinking of all the other things I could fill these little cookie cups with.....I shall have to experiment
I learned the hard way that the cookies are unforgiving if you let them cool to much and they will harden up pretty damn quick so you have to work fast or they WILL shatter......

here's my best 2

ooh look at the sexy shape

and the teacher's:

I think mine are better....just sayin.... :P

Anyway, i had a great time. Just being in a full size kitchen with ingredients to burn was well worth the money. I have never wanted a kitchen more. I began to think of the SATC movie scene where Big basically proposes to Carrie in her massive walk in closet and thought to myself....her reaction was the only thing I could compare it to.
Google Pioneer Woman's kitchen.....I'm in love.

Oh and just cuz I'm psychotic i decided to try my hand at the famous Bakerella cake pops when I got home...
I've made truffles before as gifts but never with cake and never on a stick lol
I intended to make them into Hello Kitty pops but I realised that the red velvet cake i used gives a reallllllly grotesque image when u bite into the mini cat's I gave them to my crackhead/stoner neighbours....(who are currently singing/screaming/being killed at the moment...)
these took a while to perfect....mostly cuz I suck at reading directions.....

oooh shiny :)
I also practiced piping on them in royal icing but those r meant to be shipped as surprises so I can;t post those pics :)

Tomorrow begins the last Wilton basic course.....course 4!

PS I wish I had a good camera

EDIT: I made the pate de choux again with my own recipe....and ta-da!
they poofed.
I'm not an idiot :)

ignore the edamame in the corner.  :)

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