Days 56 and 57 – I smell chocolate

21 Sep

For the past 2 days, I have been smelling chocolate while we cook. It’s most definitely from the pastry folks in the pastry program and today it got the better of me. I begged Chef Tomm to include chocolate chip cookies in my menu of salad nicoise and thick cut pork chops with greenpeppercorn sauce and pommes darphin. From the picture above, it’s obvious he said yes! So, in the middle of our cooking, Rachelle and I made a double batch of cookies. And, our class had cookies and milk. Yeah, so fun!

And, after another stage at Commonwealth tonight (I love Chef Ian – he is so knowledgeable and a really good guy), I came home to eat part of my leftovers from what I made today, along with gorgeous tomatoes from our CSA box. I LOVE tomato season in California. These were soooo sweet. Here’s my snack:

And, paired with a terrific Shiraz, this was a great ending to a great day (along with watching Harry Connick Jr. sing. I’m a sucker for a southern accent, his big band style and voice, and his pedigree – being born to two lawyers). For $19, this 2004 Shiraz from Victoria is out of this world. I highly recommend it:

So, we’re at T minus 2 days for our mid-term. I learned today that some of the points for our midterm grade will come from how clean our chef’s whites stay while we’re cooking that day. I better do darn well on the food itself, as I’m a disaster when it comes to keeping my clothes clean in the kitchen. I’ve always had that problem; I love to wear what I eat. I try really hard to stay clean, but I swear the little kitchen gremlins throw stuff all over me when I’m not looking. Or, maybe it’s just one of my “two little brothers” in class – Bobbie or Mark.

Tomorrow, my menu is bass in parchment paper with mushroom duxelles and tomato compote, and pot de creme (baked custard) with “cigars” (tuiles). Since it’s unlikely I’ll blog tomorrow night, I’m posting the pot de creme recipe tonight. It’s delicious, as the base is creme anglais (vanilla cream), which is the base for both the fruit tart we’ve made and our vanilla ice cream. The creme anglais is a very versatile item to have in your cooking repetoire.

Here’s the pot de creme recipe:

Ingredients for creme anglais custard: 1) 14 oz milk, 2) 4 egg yolks, 3) 70 grams sugar, and 4) 1/2 vanilla bean split and beans scraped into custard base.

Ingredients for Tuile batter: 1) 190 grams butter, 2) 190 g sugar, 3) 5 egg whites, and 4) 110 g flour.

Directions for making custard: 1) Bring milk and vanilla to a boil in a saucepan, 2) beat 4 eggs yolks with sugar in a separate bowl until well incorporated and the mixture is light yellow, 3) Pour hot milk-vanilla mix into egg-sugar mix and stir, 4) Bring a pot of hot water to boil, 5) Fill porcelain ramekins with the custard you just made and put a tinfoil lid on each one separately, 6) put the pots de creme in a deep rectangular pan lined with parchment paper and pour the hot water until it it halfway up the pots de creme, 7) Bake in 325 degree F oven approximately 35-40 minutes, or until the surface of the custard no longer shakes when moved back and forth, 8) Remove pots de creme when done and chill. This is a cold dessert, so it should be well chilled prior to serving.

Directions for making Tuiles: 1) Melt butter and combine with sugar, 2) Add egg whites one by one, stirring well after each addition without whipping air into the batter, 3) Sift flour and stir into butter mixture, 4) chill until cold, 5) on a pan lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat, paint batter with a spatula over 4 circle stencils (take a round measuring cup and trace it onto a piece of cardboard, then cut a square about an inch on each side of the circle and cut out the circle inside it, so you have a circle stencil), 5) Remove stencils so you’re left with 4 perfect circles of batter and bake at 350 degrees F until golden – 4-5 minutes; be sure to rotate the pan in the oven about 2-3 minutes after you put them in, so the tuiles brown evenly. These bake really quickly – like in 4-5 minutes, since the batter is really thin, so make sure to watch them carefully, 6) Immediately remove, roll onto something cylindrical to form a cigar-like cooke-cracker. Think of it looking like a pirouline (for a picture, go to http://www.pirouline.com). And, that’s it. Serve the pots de creme with tuiles.

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One Response to “Days 56 and 57 – I smell chocolate”

  1. frugalfeeding September 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Those cookies look deeeelish. I could kill a nice glass of red wine right now 😦

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