Updated: Jul 21
Today, I spent 14 hours at Gastronomicom.
In Pastry, we made a heavenly dessert that is something I would actually order if I took a peak at the menu We made a hazlenut shortbread cookie and cut it into squares. After it cooled, we microplaned the edges to round them up. Atop the cookie, we put sauteed balls of pear and Granny Smith apples (honey, sugar, and butter) We then piped sweet vanilla cream between the balls. Beside the square is a mini jar with Siphoned Apple Cider (essentially aerated cider with a straw). The next items is a plain shortbread with a swirl of Granny Smith Apple Sorbet and a julienned pear. To finish it all up, we poured a healthy serving of peanut caramel down the side.
In Cuisine, we cooked Chicken breasts at 61 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes in a Sous Vide. It cooks low and slow, but manages to keep everything extraordinarly moist. The dish was delicious - despite its desperate need for green veggies. We made a dome of potatoes. Using a mandolin, we sliced the potatoes. After we slice all of it, we use a cookie cutter to make perfect circles. Season with salt, pepper and frech marjoram. Keep the scraps because those will be the filling! Do not rinse the potatoes. The starch is a valuable part of this method of cooking. We brushed melted, clarified butter around the mold and layed out the first round of circles. once you cover the bottom, fill with the scraps and cover with the rest of the circles, raising 5mm above the height of the mold. Outwardly, it cools like everything was very precise, but you won't waste a potato. Every few layers, brush with more butter. cover with foil and bake. Wehnt ehy are crisp and ready, pop them out and serve of cover with a delicious chicken-crawfish glaze, like we did!
I had signed upf or the 2-day chocolate class with Chef Cyril. We made a 'cho-piece' (that's how Chef pronounces showpiece). You can see how it turned out. It made a huge mess that was nearly impossible to clean up. It was tempermental as most chocolate seems to be. It was also as tricky as it looked. We used milk chocolate for the pumpkins and as the glue throughout. We used White chocolate for the skull and the flowers, and dark chocolate for the rest. We even practiced with the airbrush to color the chocolate.
THe most interesting part were the creepy branches that I made. It is a blend of cocoa butter (1 part) and cocoa powder (2 parts). We blended them in the food processor until they became a dough. This 'dough' cools very quicky and overheats just as quickly, too. Grab the dough and work it on a neautral temperature board (stryofoam)until it is smooth. Quickly, scrape it up and try to roll out these twigs or any other design. If it cracks, then it is too cold to mold. Scrap it and start again. When you get the hang of it, it goes quicker. I'lI still need some practice, but I guess I am well on my way to being a great chocolatier!
All in all, this chocolate took us 9 hours. Chef Cyril claims it would take him only 4. I guess i'll have to take his word for it this time. After we finally crubbed the choclate off the walls and the floor, we headed back and finished up at a grand total of 14 hours at school.
Kind of Home Sick
Worried that Vicki might have given me chicken pox
Spooked by my chocolate sculpture