Lesson 86: Custards

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This week feels really weird. Only 2 days of classes and then it's the weekend again?! Today was a bit of a reality check as we realized we were already in lesson 86! Next week we will be completing module 4 and getting ready to move into our final module in culinary school!

Since our practical exam is next Friday, we began today's class with some skill drills. I got a little better at writing "Happy Birthday Allie!" I still need more practice before the exam though. I'm becoming a pro at making cornets. I practiced making some yesterday at home, so I breezed through making them today.

After we cleaned up all of our melted chocolate scribbles, we got started on today's recipes. All of our recipes were focused on custards, both stirred and baked variations.

I worked with the other Allison to start our creme brulees. These started out with a mixture of cream, sugar, egg yolks, and a split vanilla bean. We had to simmer the cream, sugar, and vanilla and then temper in the yolks. We filled up ramekins to the brim and baked them in a water bath until they were set, but had no color. (2 of ours in the back of the oven did get some color..)

Once these were done, we wrapped them with plastic and put them in the freezer for tomorrow. We will be TORCHING them and EATING them in tomorrow's class!

Next, we completed our bread pudding. We had the choice of making individual ramekins or one large casserole. Allison and I decided to make the individual versions. Desserts are always cuter and somehow less sinful when you get your own small serving :)

The custard in this baked dessert was very similar to the creme brulee (with the addition of some whole eggs). We added a touch of rum to the custard at the end (but not too much.. I hate boozy desserts!) For some of the ramekins, we used cubed French baguette. I brought in some of my mom's homemade Easter bread for the class to try and there were a few slices leftover. I decided to cube those up and use it for some of the puddings. It turned out great--really soaked up all of the flavors of the custard!

I never was a fan of bread pudding, but I LOVED these puddings! I brought some home for my parents to try and my mom went crazy over it (and she isn't a huge dessert person). She said it was the best dessert she ever had and now wants me to make some for Easter!

Later on in class we made creme anglaise, which is a slightly thick cream sauce for desserts. We served our bread puddings with it and a sprinkle of powdered sugar...... amazing.

We also made a batch of ice cream in each group (that we will complete tomorrow). The custard for the icecream was much like the other custards except it was cooked a bit longer to cook out the eggs (because it's not baked). We were able to choose a flavoring for our icecream. I'm really excited about the one we chose: Ginger! We made the flavoring sauce by simmering water with some grated fresh ginger, vanilla, cinnamon stick, and lemon zest. After straining the liquid, we added it right to the ice cream custard. I loved the slight kick the ginger brought to the ice cream. I'm so excited to try the final product tomorrow! Here's Allison trying some of our un-finished ice cream:


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