Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lesson 15: Novelty Chocolates & Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter everyone! Hope you had a great weekend!!

On our last day of chocolate lesson, we made novelty chocolates using fun-shaped moulds.

I made 2 different types of moulds - a Chicken and a Snowman.

It took some time to make it as it was important to make sure that the chocolate is tempered correctly before using it to fill up the chocolate moulds.

We had to fill.tip.turn.tap.set!

Check out my masterpiece!

Happy Easter! :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lesson 14: Truffles

Truffles are quite expensive if you buy it from the shop. It is pretty easy to make.

It starts with making a ganache.
Then roll it into a ball.

Coat it in tempered chocolate.

Roll it in cocoa powder.

Another way is to buy the ready made truffle shells.

 Just pipe in the ganache. 

Coat it in tempered chocolate. Set!

Hope you've been enjoying all the chocolate lessons with me because I've got a special post on Novelty chocolates tomorrow!

Enjoy! :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lesson 13: Filled Chocolate Moulds with Ganache

Next on, we got to play with ganache! 

Ganache is made from heating the cream in a pan, bringing it up to boiling point before pouring it in a bowl over the chocolate to melt it. Mixing it together and letting it set before using it.

Depending on the ratio of the cream to chocolate, it changes the consistency of the ganache. The more cream to chocolate, it makes the ganache more liquid/soft, while if you have more chocolate to cream, it makes the ganache harder.

Here are my filled chocolate moulds with Kirsch ganache..

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lesson 12: Unfilled Chocolate Moulds

We got to play with chocolate moulds today!

Do you know that it cost so much just to buy 1 mould. I was told it is around $50-60 each! As the material is different from the ones that you get from the consumer retail store.

Every chocolate lesson, we have to temper the chocolates correctly before we can move forward. Otherwise, it'll be such a waste - Using an untempered chocolate means the chocolate doesn't set properly, and when it doesn't set properly it will not come off easily from the moulds. You'll end up with 3/4 of the chocolate stucked to the mould. Also, if the chocolate is untempered, fat or sugar blooms can be seen on the surface. Chocolate should look shiny, glossy and free from air bubbles.

I chose 3 different types of moulds to make my unfilled chocolate moulds.

How it is done...
1. Make sure chocolate is tempered correctly.
2. Clean/Polish moulds with a soft cotton pad. We must never ever use detergent to clean the moulds but warm water and a soft cloth.
3. Fill up moulds with tempered chocolate from the center and spread to the sides.
4. Scrap off excess chocolate using a palate knife.
5. Vibrate the mould to remove all the air bubbles in the chocolate.
6. Scrap off excess chocolate again.
7. Leave it to set in the fridge just until the chocolate contracts from the mould.
8. Remove by turning it upside down on a clean bench. Use gloves to handle chocolate.

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lesson 11: Tempering Chocolates (Seeding Method) & Almond Clusters

Tempering Chocolates using the Seeding method is one of the preferred way used at school. I know it is definitely my preferred method compared to the tabling method.

In my opinion, I find it less messy and lesser items to wash :)

So tempering chocolate using the seeding method is simple yet complicated..i know, confusing right!?

First off, melt 2/3 of chocolates in a bain marie on gentle heat.

Once all the 2/3 chocolate are melted, add 1/3 tempered chocolate into the melted chocolate. Stir, manipulate it to bring the temperature down before heating it up on a bain marie for a few seconds before it is ready to work with.

To know that the chocolate is tempered properly, we test it out using a sheet of grease paper.

The difficult part is that you have to make sure that you're melting it at the right temperature in the first step. Cooling it down at the right temperature in the second step and bringing back up the temperature at the end. If you over heat or bring the temperature too low, you would have to start all over again. And trust me, I've had one of those days before and it can get pretty frustrating.

We also made some Almond Clusters/Almond Rochers. White and Dark chocolate.

Learning how to roast the slivered almonds in the oven ~ 180°C for 15-20 minutes on a baking tray lined with greased paper. Making sure to cool it down before working with it.

Here are my Almond Clusters where I've also help raise funds for Japan

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lesson 10b: Tempering Chocolate - Tabling Method (Video)

Tempering chocolate isn't easy. It takes years of practice to master this skill!

If chocolate is tempered wrongly, sugar and fat bloom can be seen on the surface of the chocolate just like the picture below.

One way of melting the chocolate is to melt it over a Bain marie

Once chocolate has been melted, there are 4 ways as mentioned before to choose from. I have a video for you to watch on the Tabling method. It is a method where a palate knife, scraper and a marble top are used to manipulate the chocolate.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lesson 10a: Introduction to Chocolate

We're finally here!!

Are you a chocolate person?! I know I am! Come to think of it, I think everyone is a Chocolate person!

So let me explain to you a little bit about chocolate!

There are 2 types of chocolate:
(Left) Compound and Couverture (Right)

Photo by dapurcokelat

Difference between the 2 types:
Couverture chocolates are expensive compared to compound.
Compound chocolates comes in blocks.
Couverture chocolates do not last as long as compound.
Compound chocolates does not get processed as thorough as couverture.

It is important to temper the chocolate before working with it. What do I mean by tempering?
Basically melting and cooling down the chocolate at the right temperature according to what chocolate you're using.
White chocolate is very sensitive to heat.

There are 4 types of ways to temper chocolate:
Vaccination/Seeding method - Melting 2/3 chocolates then adding remaining 1/3 tempered chocolate.
Direct warming method - Using a tempering tank with a thermostat.
Tabling method - Pouring 2/3 melted chocolate onto a marble top, manipulating it before adding it back to the 1/3 balance of chocolate.
Water bath method - Melting chocolate in a hot water bath then transferring it immediately over to a ice cold water bath.

There will be a video and more about tempering chocolates in the next post!

Enjoy! :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lesson 9: Stew Beef in Red Wine Pie, Apple Fritters, Cinnamon Sugar Donuts & Exams

Yet another busy busy day!

Learning how to stew beef in red wine. Made some pies. Chopped up some apples. Played with dough and cut them into rounds to make doughnuts!

Can you imagine how busy we were in the kitchen. Running about here and there. Okay, not really running as we're not allowed to run in the kitchen EVER! but you get the picture.

So now, pictures. pictures. pictures.

 Stew Beef in Red Wine for Pie Filling

Stew Beef Pie 

Trick to remember that you've got all your ingredients before mixing it up all together is to make small pockets in your flour to check that you've got everything, our dear teacher taught us that!

Played with dough! Donut dough!
So we did some punching!

Cut rounds for the donuts!

Deep fry them and toss it in cinnamon sugar to finish it.
 Hot Donut rings and balls

Don't you think that the apple fritters and donuts look so alike?

Feel like a donut now? I know I do!

The next day, we had exams. We are tested on making the beef in red wine, mashed potatoes, and apple fritters!
 This is how I presented mine...

I also took the liberty to show you how my classmates presented theirs...
 Can you spot mine?

Apple Fritters served with Ice cream & Passionfruit topping!

Finally, no more cooking!! I'm sure many of you is so looking to the Chocolate class just like how we couldn't wait to learn about chocolates! Therefore, next class would be on chocolate!

See you then! :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lesson 8: Tarts, Pan-fried Fish, Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Crepes

Today was a really hectic day. Did so much as you can see from the title of this post. But I won't bore you with words and would just let you look at the photos.

We made tarts again, as I've moved on to full-time, we made these again. Custard tarts can be made 2 ways, freshly made or using a custard mix.

Look at this picture and take a guess which is freshly made and custard mix.

L-R: freshly made custard, custard mix

We also had to learn how to cook a whole fish. Simple easy and garnish!

Made mashed potatoes with steak as well. Told you it was a busy day!

And finally, we got to made some crepes, but due to time constraint, we did not managed to plate it up nicely with toppings and proper sauces. I'll show you what we did anyway.
It doesn't look all that great, please forgive me.

That's all for today!

Sorry I've been behind on the lessons here. I know you're more interested in the pastry bit! Don't fret, it's going to be all about Chocolates soon! I just need to post it up here.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lesson 7: Roast Chicken

Time to catch up on lessons shall we...

So in this lesson, we did roast chicken with vegetables.

We had to prepare all the ingredients before all is to go into the oven.

Learning to plate it up is also important.

Bon Appetit! :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sweet Honey..

Here's a fun fact!
(Photo: Masternewmedia)

"Bees need to collect nectars from 4 million flowers to make 1 kg of honey."