Tuesday, February 3, 2009
my love begins to grow...
I want to start by correcting my last post's comments about "busy feet rushing around" over at the bakeshop. It just isn't true. In fact, it's quite the opposite. When I wrote that I actually had my class in mind and the way we behave in the foreign land. We treat it like the hot side...racing around as fast as possible when, in fact, the baking students travel half the speed and are very calm and collected, while still getting product out. It's very very strange, haha.
On to grander things. Yesterday my group and I made lots of fun things with pate a choux (pronounced patashoo), which is a "pre-cooked batter" that can be manipulated into an enormous amount of goodies, both savory and sweet. From the dough we produced cream puffs, swans (like a cream puff but with the addition of custard and berries), gougeres (cream puffs with cheese) and eclairs. I really enjoyed this day and all the assembly that took place. For some reason piping chantilley (sweetened whipped cream) into a little ball of pate a choux was strangely rewarding. It was also a good day because at the end of the night Chef liked my cream puff the best and set it as the example of what everyone else should have done. Maybe it's because I love cream puffs? Extra love perhaps??
As you can see I'm holding my award winning cream puff with a forced smile. For some reason I lost my knack for being photogenic....maybe it will come back some day.
The BEST day so far had to be today. I knew I had a small obsession with homemade angel food cake but I had NO IDEA I was this obsessed with it. I was the only one in the class to make it and I made it as if my life depended on it. I think Chef was a little weirded out. Before class, after requesting my team make it I told Chef I wanted to eat a whole cake for dinner....maybe that's why he thinks I'm strange. At the end of the night when he was reviewing our stuff he picked up a piece and asked if I was pleased and I said, "Chef, I seriously LOVE my angel food cake." I didn't realize how dumb I sounded until Burroughs repeated it to me after class. It was good alright? Don't tell me you're not wishing you had a piece right now...with those berries...and the chantilley cream...I don't know who could pass that up. Here is the glorious, fairly simple recipe:
ANGEL FOOD CAKE (makes one tube cake)
1 lb. egg white
1 t. vanilla
1/2 lb. sugar
1/8 oz. cream of tartar
1/8 oz. salt
1/2 lb. sugar
6.5 oz. cake flour
1. Combine first the sugar, cream of tartar, salt and vanilla. Add gradually to egg whites after they have whipped to a foam and beat until mixture forms a wet peak (soft peak)
2. Sift second sugar and flour together and carefully told into whites.
3. Pour batter into an 8 in. tube pan.
4. Bake at 325 degrees in a convection oven or 350 in a regular oven for 35-40 minutes or until cake bounces back and is brown.
5. Allow cake to cool before removing from pan
____So I'm sorry about the weight measurements...I don't know how to make them into regular ones. I would say, if you have some extra dough laying around to buy a scale. They're seriously really helpful. Kind of pricey...like $40-$50 I think, but worth it.
I do enjoy the class more now that we're out of bread baking. I don't know what my deal is with breads but I'm glad we're past it and I can just enjoy what others make and appreciate their hard work instead of laboring in frustration myself. Cheers to bread bakers!