Spring fever…..That is what I am going to blame for the shocking lack of posts during these last months. I can’t even begin to tell you how frantic and busy my life felt as I was wrapping up my first year of culinary school. Especially towards the end when you have to pack up your whole life (AGAIN) and move. Did you know my whole life can fit into that back of a small car? It is truly amazing because it feel like I have so much…strange.
Wow, I’m not even sure where to begin this big catch-up session. I guess I should begin with the statement that I have never taken more interesting and fun classes. ALL of my sophomore labs ended up being superduperextracalidocious amazing. The teachers…ugh, so smart and funny and talented. My classmates were great people, and I actually liked working in the kitchen with them (I know, this must come as a shocker after my previous horror stories, but it might have to do with the fact that we were a super small class, usually about 13, and we had four! Yep that’s right, FOUR boys in the class.)
The first class after my plated deserts class was Advanced Artisan Breads. It is truly amazing I did not explode from the ridiculous amounts of bread I managed to consume during that nine-day class. We made sourdoughs, rye, decorative shapes, croissants, danish….the class was basically heaven on earth. The best part was the project; usually we have to compile a tedious and annoying notebook for the class, however for this project we got to create and produce our own special sandwich with the bread we made in class!! So unbelievably awesome. The best part…..we got to eat everyone else’s (for constructive criticism of course).
Next came Sugar Artistry. Now, you may be pondering “What is sugar artistry?”and I am happy to provide photographic examples of what it is. I think you ‘ll agree with me when I say, SO FREAKIN COOL. Everything in both of the show pieces below are pure sugar. We either poured, molded, rolled, blew, or pulled the sugar in some way and these were the results. The fish showpiece is about two feet high, while the swan is slightly smaller.
The final two classes of the term were both cakes classes of a sort. The first was specialty cakes, and though I can still say with conviction that I don’t really like cakes, I do have to admit that I enjoyed myself in this class. We mostly made traditional tortes, which were glazed in chocolate, but we also got to make a two tier wedding cake and a dummy cake. A dummy cake is just cardboard circles covered in fondant on which you can do any kind of decoration. I made a mother’s day cake for my lovely mama.
Probably one of the coolest things we did in specialty cakes was make gum paste rose bouquets. Gum paste flowers look crazy realistic and that is why they are very popular cake decorations. No one ever tells you how LONG it takes to make just a few flowers. It was a multi-day process. No joke.
Finally, the last class of the year was upon us. It was surreal. I am extremely happy we ended with this class because I loved building entremets! An Entremet is a variation on a cake. Instead of simply being cake and icing it instead has a layer of cake or some other cookie on the bottom and the body of the dessert is made up of a mousse or thick Bavarian cream usually. Inside the entreat there can be any number of inserts made up of different things. I really loved the class because I found it interesting to see the flavors and textures being paired together in ways I had never imagined.
It was a whirlwind of a year. It is summer yet again; I am delighted to be spending it in the wonderful city of Seattle. I’m working part-time trying to gain experience and hopefully a bit of pocket-money for when I study abroad in the fall. I’m not sure what is in store for me, but I’m nothing except excited!