April 19, 2009

Sunday School

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I've started taking pastry classes. I'm enrolled in the Pro Baking program at The New School of Cooking, a small culinary school in Culver City, and for the next 16 weeks I will spend 4 hours every Sunday learning the fundamentals of all things pastry and you are coming along. I won't be posting the recipes we receive in class (you can find our textbook, Baking At Home With The Culinary Institute of America, on Amazon) but in my Sunday School feature, I will be sharing some of the things I learned, as well as my failures & success during practical.
This week, Custard Week, I had both the former and the latter but first, some Dairy Facts:
Whole milk is 8-10% fat. Half & Half 18%. Cream 20-40%. Milk from a cow milked in the morning has more fat than afternoon milking milk. Butter left out of the fridge is safe because fat is a preservative. So is sugar. Egg whites are all protein. The yolk provides fat (flavor) & lecithin (emulisification)

This week's practicals included Chocolate Pudding, Creme Brulee and Bread Pudding. The Chocolate pudding I made in class had good flavor but a consistency that strongly resembled spackle. Definitely over cooked. Very disappointing. When I got home, I made it again and cooked it slowly at a lower heat to a much shinier, smoother & creamier result. Yum.

This was my first creme brulee- I never make it a home because I don't have a torch and after scaring a few of my fellow students as well as myself through the handling of the class torch it is obvious I need a lot more practice. The custard itself was silky and delicious, especially with the high quality, plump and shiny vanilla beans we used. Gotta get me some of those.

This was also my first Bread Pudding (I tend to avoid them because just the idea of one makes me feel like I have to go work out) and I'll be sampling it this evening. Along with the Pudding Redux. Yeah, maybe going to the gym isn't such a bad idea after all.
Join me next Sunday School Sunday when our subject will be Souffle and Pate Choux. In the meantime, if you have any questions just post them in the comment section and I will try to ask them. Class dismissed!


Anonymous said...

I love hearing about your classes. Keep up the good work.

Barbara said...

I'm so impressed!

I just bought a copy of Shirley Corriher's "Bakewise" and recommend it highly. It has all sorts of good "baking science" information. That is, if classes leave you any extra money ;) ...