Sunday, January 31, 2016

Becoming a chef - week 5...

The time is literally running away, for me anyway.... Soooo quickly that I haven't even noticed that it's the end of week 5, halfway through my chef's training at JustCooking. This week we've finished the "pastry week" which was week 4, as there was so much to do in that topic that we haven't been able to fit it all in one week. This week saw us also producing some restaurant quality dishes and.. there was first bloody event in the kitchen...

Chocolate fondant (aka lava cake in the USA), yes I am a chocoholic, and even that I've never made that sweet treat myself. Well, that's about to change! I'm already thiking how to "spice it up" and use orange chocolate, salted caramel chocolate, coconut one and many more... Mmmm....

Chocolate fondant

Chocolate fondant aka Lava cake

Ok, so we haven't made our own puff pastry, but honestly now, which professional kitchen will make their own puff pastry from scratch - unless it's high end fine dining, 5* establishment or a patisserie... huh? So yes, we did have shop bought puff, but there's nothing wrong with that! Pastry cream was made from scratch (which I already made on few occasions, for example when making Polish kremowka). So... thin puff pastry sheets, with pastry cream and fresh raspberries. Delicious!

Millefeuille of raspberries and pastry cream

Friday, January 29, 2016

Crème brûlée...

The chef's training at the JustCooking is in full swing. Can't really describe how much I'm enjoying it all and what;'s more - how much I'm learning! I have to admit that even though I love crème brûlée, I've never made it myself, from scratch. Those few times I ate it was always in France, in either a bistro or some restaurant - loved it every time!
I was so happy that crème brûlée will be one of the desserts that we'll get to make during week 4, which was concentrated on pastry. As it turned out it's not so difficult as one might think! There are few crucial moments you have to be careful with, so you will end up with beautiful, creamy custard rather than sweet version of scrambled eggs ;)
If you like custard, even more - if you like crème brûlée, do try to make it yourself. You'll be surprised how straight forward the process is and how delicious the result is! As to the satisfaction which gives, first the tapping of that caramelized sugar, then cracking it and getting into the velvety inside... Well, you'll have to find out for yourself :)

creme brulee

"Crème brûlée also known as burnt cream, crema catalana, or Trinity cream is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. It is normally served at room temperature. The custard base is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but can have a variety of other flavorings." - by wikipedia.org

creme brulee

How to make it...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Becoming a chef - week 4...

The time is flying, already end of week 4 and almost half way through my chef's training. Things are getting serious now ;) We've finished with kind of general cooking, knife skills, making stocks and sauce bases, we're now into restaurant dishes and how to make them during busy service.

Parmesan sable biscuits with crushed chickpeas

Chef Mark showing us how it's done :)

The week started with canapes and general finger food, party food. Some were more refined - appropriate for a wedding reception, banquet; and some were perfect for a birthday party or more informal occasion. Who knew there might be so much flavour and different textures in one, single bite!