Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mini Treats

On Day 11, we made brownies and chocolate tartlets. Chef says that if it is a complicated recipe, it won't make a good brownie - you should be able to mix it by hand. These were really good, so I'd say she is correct.

Melt cocoa with butter, stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir in eggs. Stir in dry, just enough to bring together.
Here's where I got pissed off: she had written the recipe on the whiteboard because she didn't like the one in the packet. And right next to the temperature, she has down "45-60 min." Which seems odd, once you think about it, right? When do brownies ever bake for that long. But I didn't question it because it was on the board - you'd figure the chef would write her recipe correctly, right? Anyway, she starts yelling at us to check our brownies at after 20 minutes, and mine are totally and completely hard. And I look at the whiteboard, and loandbehold, the "45-60" has been erased - I can still see it, but it's clearly been erased. And she continues to yell at us for not checking our brownies. Now, okay, that's correct - we should be checking them. But if the recipe tells you 45-60 minutes, you don't start checking until around 40 min. Unbelievable! And how immature for her not to admit that she screwed up, but instead just erased what she had written up there.
Since we were going to be able to use these for the final practical, I made them again another day.

Huh. I apparently did not take photos this day. Well, they were really cute. You'll see a fruit one for the final practical. Make pate sucree, and roll out to fit 10 tartlet pans. Put together (I prefer a bowling pin formation), and lay out the pate sucree over. Press into pans, then par-bake. See baking I for those instructions. I used the chocolate tart filling because, well, it had the least ingredients. It tasted really good in the end - you think it's going to be hard because of the cracked crust on top, but it was moist and sweet on the inside.
But here's what I made for the practical on Day 10:
I got a 54/60 on the creme caramel - there were some bubbles in the batter and I broke one when I tried to get it to flip over.
59/60 on the Mexican wedding cookies - I do really well on these. She said I hard really good color, nice dipping, and the flavor was right. Oh, but as you can see, I had one runt - so that was the lost point.
60/60 on the Devil's Food Cake. She said this was done perfectly. It was the right thickness, and excellent flavor. Here's what it looked like when she cut off the top:

You want to eat it, don't you? Well, invite me over to your kitchen with a real oven and I'm happy to make you one!

Lessons Learned:
If the time doesn't look right, challenge it. And accept that even chefs make mistakes, so it's okay if you do as a student.

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