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Archive for the ‘Culinary School’ Category

Well folks, we’ve come to the end of another school block, so you know what that means.  More culinary school snapshots!!

The cakes section was a ton of fun and incredibly informative (if not down right confusing sometimes – there are so many different kinds of cakes and icings, and each one is only a tiny bit different from the other).

Here are a few pics from my adventures in cake making.  Enjoy!

Carrot cake with cream cheese icing and marzipan carrots

German chocolate cake

Traditional yule log with meringue mushrooms and marzipan holly


Chocolate peanut butter and Coconut cupcakes

Sacher torte

Chocolate mousse joconde cake

Tiramisu cake

Lime and black pepper rice pudding dacquoise cake

Espresso mousse joconde mini cake

Petit fours – carrot cake, red velvet cake and traditional raspberry

More petit fours – opera torte, dulce de leche and macarons

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Yesterday I had the joy of taking a hobby class at my Culinary Institute about pulling sugar.  The 4-hour class only skimmed the surface of sugar pulling, but we had a ton of fun!

It is definitely not easy – the sugar is incredibly delicate and burns are common (thankfully nobody in the class was too terribly burned yesterday).

I cannot wait until we get to the full-length sugar course in a few weeks, so I can learn a lot more.

Here are a few pics of my work from yesterday.  Not bad for a first-timer, eh?




(you probably can’t see it all that well, but sticking up from the ‘sculpture’
is something called ‘bubble sugar’ – it’s awesome stuff)

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We just finished final exams for our American and European Pastries course, and I figured this would be a good time to share some more snapshots.

I am still LOVING culinary school – even though this winter weather made us miss a bunch of classes this section and we didn’t get to everything we wanted to accomplish in this course – we still got a lot done and had a lot of fun!

Pate a Choux Swans

Cannolis

Strawberry and Cream Crepe Napoleon

Warm Pomegranate Souffle

Traditional Napoleon

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Tartlet

Banana Chocolate Frozen Souffle

Our next course:  Cakes!  Stay tuned for more pics coming soon!

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Desserts and Wine

Today, I had the opportunity to attend a hobby class at school that focused on pairing desserts with wine.  We made a bunch of wonderful desserts and discussed the kinds of wines that would go well with each (many came from the DiGrazia Vineyard in Brookfield, CT) … then, of course, we did a tasting.

I’m so glad I took time out of my Saturday to attend, I learned so much!

I’m certainly no sommelier (some of these wines really tasted like feet) but, if I had to give one piece of advice it would be this – whenever pairing wine with dessert you always want the wine to be as sweet or sweeter than the dish you are serving.  Easy as that.

Below are pics as well as a short description of each dish and wine pairing.  I hope you enjoy!

Flourless chocolate cake with raspberries and raspberry coulis
paired with
Brachetto d’Acqui rose – a lovely sparkling wine from the Italian Piedmont near Asti

Capuccino creme brulee with candied hazelnuts and hazelnut wafers
paired with
Malmsey Madeira – full-bodied, wonderfully rich with a hint of chocolate that pairs well with coffee

Pear frangipane tartlet
paired with
Yankee Frost – A sweet Vidal Blanc, an ice wine (the grapes are left on the vine until after the first frost)

Bosc pear, gorgonzola dulce and hazelnut wafers
paired with
Blacksmith Port – a hybrid St. Croix grape with added grain alcohol

Panna cotta with apricot compote
paired with
Quady Essencia – an orange, apricot and almond flavored muscat grape from California

Almond biscotti and chocolate truffles
paired with
Harvest Spice – a blush wine with flavors of pumpkin and spices

 

Oh, and just in case you were wondering…the Yankee Frost, Brachetto d’Acqui and Quady Essencia were my favorites.

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Since we just finished our 3rd course – Artisan Breads – I figure I should do another culinary school snapshots post.  The breads course was amazing.  We made so many different types and styles of breads.  Below is just a small sampling of what was made.

I’m still having a blast in culinary school.  I’m pretty proud of still maintaining my 4.0 average and 100% attendance record.  I miss my husband (a lot) but I know the time apart will all be worth it in the end.

Brioche a Tete

Epi Baguette

Bagels

Multigrain Sourdough

Soft Pretzels

Light Rye Bread

English Muffins

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Everyone seemed to love my last installment of Culinary School snapshots – so I’ve decided to do another.  School is going fabulously well.  We start the Artisan Breads course on Monday…I can’t wait!!

I hope you enjoy these pics!

Boston Cream Pie

Chocolate Coconut Roulade

Chocolate Mousse Spoons

Pear Caramel Cheesecake

Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bites

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Culinary School Snapshots

I had mentioned a few posts ago that my wonderful husband finally convinced me to go to culinary school so, I thought I would give a quick update on how it is going.

In a word – AMAZING!

I’ve been wondering for so long what I’m going to ‘be when I grow up’.  It really kept me up at night.  Not anymore!  I’ve never been so passionate or eager to learn about something than I am with baking.  I find myself reading ahead in my textbooks for fun and (not to toot my own horn or anything) currently have a 4.0 average.

Below are snapshots of a few things we’ve made in class.  I may post recipes later, but they’re all measured in grams (instead of cups) and I’m not sure how many of my faithful readers have kitchen scales.  For now, please enjoy the pics.

Yeasted Dinner Rolls

French Bread

Classic White Sandwich Bread

Croissants

Assorted Danish

Apple Pie

I hope you enjoyed the pics!  Please feel free to comment below if you would like any of the recipes.  I’d be happy to email them.

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