Monday, May 17, 2010

Flooding

My friend Kathy wanted to learn a new way to decorate cookies. So, I thought it would be fun to teach her how to flood them. This is a really fun way of creating dazzling cookies that look like a million bucks.  First... you start with naked sugar cookies.

Then you make royal icing. This recipe is really easy. It's not, however, the recipe I use when making cookies for my own children. My youngest son is severely allergic to eggs. This recipe uses them.
Chose your shades and color your icing...
this is the really fun part!

Line up your squeezy bottles... ready, get set, decorate!

Here's Kaitlyn... hard at work, but obviously having a lot of fun on the job!

Our completed cookies!  

Royal Icing:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 lb icing sugar sifted 
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
Combine egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add a couple tablespoons of the sifted confectioners sugar, then start mixing away.

Once stiff peaks begin to form, start adding sugar a couple tablespoons at a time.  This will produce an incredibly stiff royal icing.  In order to make it runny so you can use it to flood and fill, add water - a drop at a time, until you achieve a runny consistency.

EGGLESS Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • assorted food coloring

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
  2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shoes, Revisited

In a post I made two years ago, about shoes, I made a comment about Klogs kitchen shoes being the most comfortable things ever, well... besides Crocs. Yea, don't hate.  Anyhow, I simply can't believe I ever wrote that. Since I surprised myself by finding that, I just had to correct it.

The most comfortable shoes on the planet are not Klogs, by any stretch. Don't get me wrong... they work. But, if you are going to be working in a professional kitchen, up on your feet alllll day long, the best thing you can possibly buy, for the money, is Dansko Professionals.
I can wear these things sun up till sun down, on cement floors, with no ill effects. To tell the truth, I have a problem with the arch in my left foot and I highly prefer to be barefoot. However, I can seriously keep these things on, comfortably, while working long hours in the kitchen - and that is going to come in handy over the next year while I'm working in the bake shop on campus. I'll be baking from 7AM till 2PM on Thursdays and then again from 10-3 on Fridays, then working in the bake shop on Friday evenings. I really can NOT wait.

I have to add, also... knowing just how demanding the Pastry Arts program is, and knowing how HARD the students work is motivating me to really buckle down to get in shape this spring/summer. I'm afraid if I don't... I'm going to kill myself in the classroom.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The practical is over... phew!

So, I did well. I got a 95% on my practical. I'm not really all that happy with it but the reasoning behind it is a long story. My dish was, for all intents and purposes, flawless.  My Chef, however, said that the vinaigrette on my salad was too light. I really don't like heavy dressings for salads so to me... it was quite perfect. So, anyhow... this is my actual finished plate. I took the photo about 2 minutes before Chef T stabbed into it with a fork. My coulis was incredibly tasty and I was quite impressed with it. My practice attempt wasn't as good.

My balsamic reduction wasn't as fluid as I would have liked it, so the design was a bit flawed. All in all, however, the taste was spot on - exactly what I was going for.

My french toast was made with gluten free bread from Udi's Bakery in Denver. =)

Only one more week till I get to say, "See ya!" to American Regional.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

American Regional Cuisine Practical Exam

So, my practical in my American Regional class is Monday. This exam is way different from my other practicals for other culinary classes. Thus far, the practical exams have consisted of every student making one dish... the same dish. One semester is was sauteed chicken, roasted root vegetables, and cream of whatever-they-had-left-in-the-pantry soup. For my second professional cooking class it was Arroz con pollo. We were told what to make but were responsible for finding and converting recipes (small scale, 1 serving) and making it.

This semester we were given a list of ingredients and told to "create" a vegetarian entree from said ingredients.

Ugh!

The assignment was given on Monday,  5/3. I've been going absolutely crazy trying to think of something that would be quite out of the box. I finally succeeded and created something I'm really quite proud of.  Without further ado...


~ Menu ~
Napoleons of Pain Perdu
layered with a Red Lentil & Parmesan Puree
in a roasted tomato coulis.
Baby Greens with a Rosemary infused Vinaigrette

I did a practice run this evening and I wasn't happy with the way I'd decided to plate it. So, it's back to the drawing board on that subject. The taste, however, was quite delicious!!  I surprised myself.  There are still a couple tiny changes I will make, but all in all.... I'm happy!! I can't wait to get in the kitchen to get cooking.  I'm really hopeful Chef T will like it!

PS - I WILL be using gluten free bread for my pain perdu. =)

It's Teacher Appreciation Week!

So, what's a girl to do?  Bake, I say... bake!  These are the macarones I made for the teachers at my kids' elementary school.  The pink is getting a bit redundant, I know. They were supposed to be green and yellow, for their school colors. However, I made way too much pink buttercream with the last batch and vegan butter is really expensive so I thought it best to not let it go to waste.

I really love the way these turned out. Their little "feet" are perfect!! 


Saturday, May 1, 2010

More Macarones!

I can't say this enough, I just adore these fussy little French confections!!  These ones are orange flavored with an orange buttercream. I've just discovered these wonderful baker's emulsions from LorAnn Oils and they are amazing!  The flavor does not bake out in the heat of the oven as does the flavor from so many other extracts.

These were the macarones I made for the Great American Bake Sale.