Whew! I really thought after having experienced cooking schools before and being week 4 I would be cruising along with a veteran like style. Not so! This school is still kicking my butt. There always seems to be a group panic near plating time. Everyone scurries around trying to get all their dishes plated and beautified. I was far from successful with my Chelsea Buns, as was dutifully pointed out by one of my instructors. I had uneven cooking, unraveled buns, and a noticeably sloppy frantic application of apricot ‘glaze’, which on my funky buns looked like blobs of sick.
I’m trying to wrap my head around staying on task and on time AND getting everything beautifully presented, Oh, and of course delicious. I’m not completely in the back of the bus, but I ain’t drivin’ it, that is for sure.
Today I need to present Italian Bread (similar to a focaccia), Blackberry Jellies, Tuiles and Chocolate Mousse,. I let you know how it goes.
Some Time Later…
Well, THAT could have gone better. Apparently my Italian Bread was too thin and slightly overcooked. I kinda liked it but could see the instructor’s point. Then my Tuiles seemed to have too much sugar and also overcooked…yeah, I’ll give ‘em that. My Blackberry Jellies could possibly ‘jell’ if I do a dance and maybe donate to some deserving charity; did I mention I forgot to bring the simple syrup to a boil and simmer the aromatics? The gelatin should fix all that, I hope.
Then finally my chocolate mousse. Where to start. I guess the first screw up was over mixing the egg whites – how to fix this – start over, et voilà! Right? Eh, no. Then we take the new egg whites, whipped to perfection, and add them to the chocolate forgetting the egg yolks. How do we fix this – start over, et voilà! Right? Again, no. Egg whites whipped to perfection, egg yolks fluffed as directed, more chocolate melted to desired heat level, mix all carefully and lovingly as to not to deflate the perfectly whipped whites! Pour into ramekins and cross fingers. Fingers crossed, check!
If I had to transpose a school grade to the final mousse, I guess I would say I earned a B-. Whah?? What went wrong? Whites whipped to swan’s neck, yolks aerated, chocolate just melted, folded together with so much love I nearly shed a tear, ramekin filled and tapped, fingers crossed in the proper crisscross formation. Maybe it was the tapping? Did I over tap?! I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight pondering the unknown factor…the X factor.
I have definitely lost my mojo; hopefully this is only temporary. Being mojoless is a frustrating place to be. I’ve made an executive decision to try to regroup/ remojo if you will. How, I’m not exactly sure but hopefully it will include some more interesting photographs and delicious, inspirational dishes cooked by some one else. Until next time!