Day 27 Demo & Decorating
Posted by richardpholden
As I typed “Day 27″ in the title I had the feeling I was on some seafaring adventure from years gone-by and that I may be logging the days adventures on the off-chance I might never return…Maybe it was the beer I had with dinner but what a strange thought indeed! Maybe I just need to get in a kitchen and actually make something. I mentioned last week that the staff at school are doing a great job of keeping everyone calm during the exam period but I think I just need to get in a kitchen and make something because it feels like there have been a lot of demo’s lately. That said, we are getting to see food in the demos that is definitely moving the bar higher.
The first course today was a vibrant Watercress Soup. Chicken stock was used, although Veg stock could be substituted for a true vegetarian soup. As Al pointed out through, it just tastes better with the Chicken stock! :-) With a soup like Watercress the idea is to capture the flavour and colour so it’s important not to put too many other flavours in the pot. The vegetable base was simply shallots and thinly sliced potatoes; the shallots giving an extra dimension and the potatoes act to thicken the finished soup. The Watercress leaves were the final ingredient to be added and were stirred through for at most 10 seconds before the whole thing was transferred to the blender. As soon as the soup is of the right consistency it’s important to pass it through a fine sieve and chill. To achieve this the soup was passed straight into a metal bowl that was on ice. To allow the soup to remain at room temperature would simply allow it to discolour. If you’ve ever had a green vegetable soup in a restaurant and it’s more brown than green this is likely why. Chilling the soup retains the vibrant colour and flavour and you then reheat the soup on an as need basis. Once chilled the soup would keep for 1-2 days at most if you were making this at home but in a restaurant you would expect to make your soup fresh daily.
Up next were Escalopes de Veau Viennoise or Veal Escalopes with a Viennese garnish. Bashed out then dredged in seasoned flour, egg wash and fine breadcrumbs the Veal escalopes were simply fried off in Butter with a little Oil. Remember that by adding a touch of Oil to the pan you allow the Butter to reach a higher temperature before it will burn. As the butter cooks over a medium to high heat it will turn a nutty brown colour (Beurre Noisette). If the butter gets too hot or looks as though it’s going to burn, by adding some more butter you will reduce the temperature of the pan and reduce the colour of the butter so you can continue to cook.
The fine garnish here is of Boiled Egg Yolk that has been passed through a fine sieve. Next there is finely chopped Parsley, and then finely chopped Boiled Egg White. On top of the Veal Escalopes the garnish is a slice of Lemon, a ring of finely chopped Parsley and a rolled Anchovy sitting in the middle of it all. This dish is more about cooking technique than it is something you’d put on a menu in a restaurant today. That said, it is still quite tasty.
For the sweet things we were spoilt! 2 types of Ice Cream (Honey & Brandy and Plain Vanilla), Brandy Snap Baskets & Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce - Awesome! To echo the comment I made at the start of this post, the dishes may not look any more complicated than what we’ve been doing so far, but where previous items may have 2 recipes brought together in 1 dish, we are now seeing 3 and 4 recipes coming together in 1 dish. Queue the Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce…
Here you have Pate Choux (Choux Pastry), Creme Patissiere, Chantilly Cream and Chocolate Sauce in what some may consider to be a very humble bowl of Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce. The Choux is a basis Choux as it’s the first one we’re making. The Creme Pat and Chantilly Creme are combined to make the filling for the PR’s and the Sauce Chocolat is just poured lovingly across the top to add an extra layer of deliciousness :-)
And this afternoon we had our second Cake Icing class. This has to be one of the most frustrating classes I’ve taken so far. I think it’s made all the more frustrating because of the years I have sat and watched my Mum decorate cakes and I never thought of asking if I could learn how to do these things. It’s the stupid stuff like I can actually pipe but I’ve not been the one who made up the icing so I trip up getting the consistency right. The first lesson we had on this last week was pretty much a waste of time and I achieved little more than the square root of nothing; or so it felt like it. I had hoped that I’d have spent Thursday morning doing some practice with Mum but it seemed one of her horses had other ideas and I ended up taking her to the hospital for a check up. A little shaken but everything was OK!
Today was another day though. I was determined to go in on the assault. I had done some research for lettering, flags, imagery, etc, and I went in with everything printed off. This allowed me to get some templates made up to pipe over. It may not look like a lot but I got the outline of my Canada/UK Combo flag complete along with a few other things that will remain secret until the cake is finished next week. The final cake may be a slightly abbreviated version of my original design but next week I’m going to have to unleash another full-out assault on this thing if I stand a chance of getting it done by the end of class. I hope today is an indicator of what I can do if I’m prepared and can get on with things.
About richardpholdenChef living in Henley-on-Thames working for Weber BBQ's UK. Passionate about food and championing local/niche suppliers. Available for private catering, in-home cooking lessons and menu consultation. In this blog I hope to honestly share some of my journey with you, the highs and the lows, as well as post thoughts that have provoked me and made me think about something in my life, or in the larger world, in a slightly different way. These are my thoughts and my interpretations and questions on any given topic. I love the kinds of questions that make us look at an aspect of our life and delve into it more than usual. I hope you enjoy!
Posted on October 31, 2011, in Tips, Updates and tagged Cake Decorating, Day 27 Demo & Decorating, Escalopes de Veua Viennoise, Profiteroles au Chocolat, Richard Holden Food Blog, Watercress Soup. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.