All posts tagged: Chocolate

Writing in Chocolate, Midnight Adventures and French Skills: Week 11 in the Kitchen

“So…You do the opaline and the mignardise and everything else…And I’ll just be over here. Okay?” Sunday, I once again needlessly showed up 45 minutes in advance of my shift starting, and Stan and I had so little to do that he literally made the largest tiramisu I have ever seen while I slowly and calmly finished everything for the evening and then started on tasks for the next day. It was a win-win-win situation, as it allowed us to pass a calm day, me to learn more and become more independent in the kitchen, and everyone who works at Belles Rives to have an incredibly enjoyable staff meal that evening. So. The apprentice is scared of bananas. Like, not only does she not like eating them, but she doesn’t like touching them or looking at them. So naturally when Stan found out, he promptly left pastry and went and grabbed a banana from the cold storage room to put on the counter beside her. As the night went on, the banana remained in the kitchen—and …

Gastronomicom Week 11: Final Chocolate Week

It is with surprise that I write that I am sad that my final week of chocolate has ended. I know, I know–what spirit has possessed me and is forcing me to write that I enjoyed chocolate week, right? Well, its true. This past chocolate week was filled with not only amazing recipes, but also with amazing teamwork and camaraderie between the students and our Chef. Structured like entremets/plated desserts week this time—we finished approximately one completed dessert per day which was built using several recipes, ingredients and textures. By now we are capable enough to handle putting several recipes into one dish—we can temper chocolate without having Chef glued to our sides and we are slightly faster at preparing things like our ingredients and completing recipes. Monday we went back to the techniques from the “snickers” from the last chocolate week,  since it hadn’t gone perfectly last time for most of the students but everyone still enjoyed the flavor and the process. This time our creation had an almond twist, and a reconstructed dough …

Gastronomicom Week Seven: Chocolate Week

Chocolate, my new arch nemesis, has returned. On Monday we first tackled two types of dough to use later in the week before getting anywhere near chocolate, which I was grateful for. But then we moved on to tempering chocolate in order to make some spiced chocolate bars–and somewhere between going to get a thermometer and putting my chocolate in the top of my double boiler, all my confidence went completely out the window. In theory, I understand that chocolate needs to be tempered in order for the correct crystal structures to form, leading to a stronger, shinier chocolate that doesn’t melt at room temperature or when you slightly touch it. But that doesn’t stop my exasperation of needing to temper chocolate, and watch with anxiety as the thermometer somehow jumps from 40 degrees C to 60 degrees C in seconds–when I am aiming for my chocolate to cap out around 55. Chef just looks at his chocolate and knows what temperature it is. I think he might have super powers. The tablet we made turned …

Gastronomicom Week Six: Entremets Week

Guess who has another test in pastry this week? *inserts hysterical laughter* Yeah, its me. And before that, each day will hopefully see the completion of one entire entremets. The one recipe that isn’t able to be made within one class time is the inverted puff pastry–which needs two days to rest in the fridge–so we started off our week by gathering the ingredients for that recipe as well as for the rest of the recipes for todays Strawberry Entremets. Much like with plated dessert week, each team of two people was in charge of one recipe which would later be added to the larger, complete cake. My lovely partner and I were in charge of the Vanilla Biscuit–which smelled like absolute heaven! The recipe originally called for vanilla beans, but instead we used a really good quality vanilla extract. And let me tell you, it was liberally added to the biscuit. I kind of wanted to stick my face into the bowl directly, but I refrained. After the biscuit was completed, we went table to table …

Dark Chocolate Jasmine Cakelettes

I wish I were cool enough to pick a random word and use that as the title of my new flavor combination. It can’t be something too mundane, it probably shouldn’t be in English, and it has to be vague enough that allows for it to represent several flavors and an entirely new idea of dessert. But alas, I am a relatively boring person who lacks creativity in the naming department. So this little “cakelette” or small cake is just named for the main flavors it carries–dark chocolate and jasmine. It also features raspberry and tonka seed, though those are a bit more subtle, and are present to enhance and deepen the flavors of chocolate and jasmine in the rest of the dessert. The idea for this dessert came to me while I was on the train from Agde to Paris last weekend as I was traveling to London. Though I should have been studying French, I was instead doodling in my sketchbook, thinking up new ideas and jotting down thoughts I’ve had on previous …

Gastronomicom Week Three: Chocolate Week

There was an…incident…with the oven. Let’s just say that something that shouldn’t have been volcanic, was. But back to the beginning of the week. Who knew something so small and innocent looking could be so messy and complicated?! Let me start off by saying I love chocolate. I really do. I even enjoy making it. But, oh dear god is it hard to make properly! Monday was the first time I had ever attempted to temper chocolate. I thought the day was going well because we started by making a praline—roasting almonds in a pan with sugar and a variety of other ingredients, going through various stages of melting sugar, crystalizing the sugar onto the almonds, and then remelting the sugar while it was still coating the almonds before pouring it out onto some silpat. It smelled great, looked great, and unfortunately had to be put onto a rack to be stored and used the next day. We moved on to a caramel spread of some sort—and since you probably know how I feel about …