Sunday, January 25, 2009
A new year, a new blog, and a new Daring Baker! YAY! for new!! YAY! for baking!!!
This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux. It was quite good timing for tuiles, as we had just done them in class, so when we had a free day to practice what we'd learned, I was able to make my challenge cookies. It was far less challenging than it had been, having just made them and having my chef instructor there when I did them again. I was also able to use school silpats and school ingredients as well as a professional bakery oven and full sheet pans, which wouldn't have been available to me at home.
Tuile batter is one of the easiest recipes to remember, as they are made from equal parts flour, butter, powdered sugar, and egg whites. This makes it easy to make as much or as little as you would like. I did:
120g unsalted butter, softened
120 g powdered sugar
120 g all-purpose flour
120 g egg whites
Sift together the powdered sugar and flour and mix into the butter until smooth. Gradually add egg whites to make a smooth paste. If you add them all at once it'll be harder to mix all the lumps out. To make the chocolate paste I added cocoa powder to part of the batter until I liked the color, then added a couple of drops of water to make it the proper consistency. I baked them at about 350°
I used an unassembled cake box to make my stencil, although I think thin plastic might have held up better. I piped in chocolate stripes, filled in with plain batter piped between the stripes, and gently scraped it to cover with an offset spatula. Unfortunately, my offset was bent and I didn't know it, so they ended up with a few thin spots in the middles.
I made chocolate cake rounds (recipe) to fit inside the "hugs" and topped each with whipped cream and homemade raspberry ice cream and garnished with edible flowers.
They were tasty, although I probably should have served them the same day they were made or at least stored them with dish of desicate to keep them crispy, as they got a little chewy. Next time I'll make the hugs smaller so the ice cream scoop is closer to the same size, but I'd definitely do them again.
I don't like coffee, not the smell, the taste, nothing, but it was an assignment, so I made it, and I made it pretty. We pretty much destroyed the rest of the pan of dessert to get the couple of pieces out for plating. The pieces were to be topped with croquant and chocolate shavings/fans. I didn't get any good fans, but I thought the wrinkled ribbon of chocolate was pretty cool, so I used it.
Posted by Sarah J at 9:52 PM
We had quite a time making baked Alaska with a freezer that kept creeping up to 30 degrees and higher. The meringue was slipping off the ice cream and the ice cream was leaking out the bottom. It was worse once we started to blowtorch the meringue. They ended up being such a mess. We were supposed to make our own ice cream (really we were supposed to Paco Jet frozen ice cream base) but the freezer didn't work, so they went out and bought us some at Luckys. I took my base home and added frozen mashed raspberries to make a lovely raspberry ice cream.
Posted by Sarah J at 9:24 PM
When I heard we were making a caramelized banana and chocolate tart made with phyllo dough, I thought it would be an actual tart, not a stacked dessert with blowtorched bananas on top. I might play around with the idea and come up with something more tartlet-like, and maybe something not so heavy on the chocolate. We also got to play around with spun sugar, which is lots of fun but super messy.
Posted by Sarah J at 6:39 PM
Here's a gingerbread cupcake with a lemon icing and large crystal sprinkles. They look better than they tasted, unfortunately. Next time I'll do a lemon cream cheese icing or a brown butter icing and put more spice in the cupcakes, maybe even some crystalized ginger for crunch and pizzazz.
I'm in pastry school and having a lot of fun learning new things. I'd like this blog to be a place where I can show things I'm proud of and maybe share some of what I'm learning at school. I'm 24, just finished college last spring and have moved back to California and back in with my parents while going to pastry school.
Posted by Sarah J at 4:21 PM