Right. So to show the world that I haven’t been wasting my winter away in a dark cave somewhere (not entirely untrue), I’ve decided to post pictures of the plated desserts I created this past quarter at pastry school.
It was very interesting to see the progression of plated desserts and the very distinct styles of each of my classmates as we, for the first time, received complete creative control over our creations from start to finish. I, for one, absolutely loved it. If I had to describe my own personal style, I would probably call it whimsical or playful, but clean and sharp. Whimsical with a purpose, if you will. Never whimsically haphazard mind you, but occasionally peculiar and capricious.
So without further ado, here is Sara’s 4th quarter at pastry school!
Ginger Brownie Love; rich, spicy, warm, autumnal
My favorite, as far as flavor goes. A dense chocolate fudge brownie with bits of candied ginger throughout, covered with poured gananche and topped with sliced candied ginger. Served with a molasses tuile spoon (you don’t even want to know how many of the handles I broke or how many swear words flew out of my mouth while forming those little miscreants) and a spiced whipped cream.
Orange Cardamom Creme Brulee; caramelized, delicate, citrus, aromatic
The most traditional. A standard creme brulee recipe with added cardamom orange flavor. Except for the fact that it didn’t really turn out cardomom-y or orange-y. Note to self, and all other: you really really need to infuse flavor to get the full impact. It fell short of what I wanted, but it still had a very good texture and flavor.
Candybar Trio; decadent, nostalgic, chocolate, varied
Probably my most inspired. I loved the way this turned out. From left to right, mint bavarian sandwiched between dark chocolate couverture, chocolate fudge candy with salted honey roasted peanuts on top, puff pastry coated in semisweet chocolate. The fudge with honey roasted peanuts on top tasted like heaven, and induced the same reaction as crack. There was a half a sheet pan extra, and the students who sampled it came back for seconds, thirds, fourths, and stood with tear-filled eyes, shaking violently, offering money, future children and limbs if I agreed to sacrifice the fudge actually reserved for customers. It was sad.
Candycane Frost; bright, creamy, fresh, festive
Absolutely, the most adorable. A peppermint mousse (layered in pink, white, pink, white, etc.) with a chocolate cookie crumble base and a light vanilla whipped cream. Served with a snowflake tuile cookie, and garnished with crushed candycane and a chocolate cigarette. As you might guess, this was done near the holidays.
Carnival Fare; fanciful, sweet, salt, crunch
Certainly the most fun to execute. This was my last dessert and I decided to go all out, thematically. “Carnival Fare” is two mini funnel cakes sandwiching piped salted caramel ice cream on top of a raspberry sauce and topped with spun sugar ‘cotton candy.’ Chocolate ganache piped on the plate mimicking old-time carnival signs and an abstract roller coaster. It sounds like a lot going on, but holy cow, when you tasted everything together, it was literally like a little state fair lighting up in your mouth.
Next up: A post that will not take 4 months to post. I’m shooting for a week…