Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Pate d’ Fruit ( Pate d’ Fruit )
This is a gelée candy, fruity, tart, and sweet. It isn’t gummy, but has a great ‘jelly’ like texture. Coated with sugar, it’s a fun candy to create and enjoy! You can make almost any flavor by using a variety of different fruit purees. Here I used a Black Currant puree. It isn’t too sweet, but is bursting with an intense black currant flavor. ( It is like a sweet wine flavor, kind of like the wine flavored gummies from England. )
It’s hard, crunchy, and deliciously buttery. Covered with chocolate and slightly toasted almonds, it’s the perfect combination of flavors.
The Wedding Cake
Orchids. My mother’s favorite flower; that was the only thing that came into my mind as the highly anticipated ‘Wedding Cake’ project soon approached. This would be my very first attempt at making gum-paste flowers, let alone a three tier cake. I’ve always wanted to have a reason to create a beautiful fondant cake, and now here I was, face to face with this project. I have to admit, I was terrified. Working with fondant in the past left me nervous and doubtful. And having only five days to complete an entire cake seemed almost impossible to a cake noobie like myself. But nonetheless, I was excited and extremely willing to try my best. My chef started off with telling us to imagine our dream wedding cake. I was instantly inspired. I’ve always wanted to create a simply elegant cake, and with orchids as the main flower, I had the perfect idea. And voila, this wedding cake I created was an exact representation of my first idea.
In order to create the flowers, we made a 50 / 50 mixture of fondant and gum-paste. Gum-paste is an edible sugar dough that after a few hours, dries up and becomes hard, and virtually lasts forever. Gum-paste alone would dry out extremely fast if not kept properly. By using fondant with the gum-paste, we are able to extend the life of the gum-paste.
After properly combining the fondant and gum-paste, I rolled out thin sheets of the sugar dough, and with my fondant flower kit I bought at a nearby craft store, I cut out my orchid leaves. With a few sponges and ball tools, I was able to thin out the sides of my leaves and use silicone molds to create the veins to make my orchids more realistic. I rested my finished pieces on cheese cloth covered egg cartons, and let them to dry in various shapes and positions.
After I made sure they were completely dry, I took a small sponge and various brushes and hand painted each petal with non-toxic chalk. With non-toxic chalk, these flowers are still edible, but if this were to be a real client, I would use edible paint. And that is pretty much it. I tried my best to keep the colors as realistic as possible, as orchids naturally come in a variety of bold colors. I have to say I am extremely happy with my end results. I know it is extremely simple, but I am really content with this design. To me, it is a true representation of my mother, as well as a shadow of what my future wedding cake could possibly be.
Vanilla Pavlova with Chantilly
Layers of espresso buttercream and honeycomb drizzled with buttery caramel. Delicious.
Chocolate Genoise Cake ( Chocolate Genoise Recipe )
Happy Birthday Mom! Yup, I did it. I made two perfect sponge cakes. Just imagine the fluffiest, softest cake, and here you go. They turned out perfectly flat with no dome, which meant no wasted cake. I used half the recipe to make two six inch cakes! I let them cool, then wrapped them in plastic and popped them into the freezer until I needed to use them. They freeze extremely well and just need to be defrosted and they are good to go!
Honeycomb ( Honeycomb Recipe )
Honeycomb! Oh how I love this candy. I’ve made this concoction many times before. It’s a sweet, crunchy candy that tastes just like honey! It is aerated with baking soda and is extremely fun and easy to make. But what inspired me to whip up such a random dessert? Well, my parents just returned from a month long trip to Italy. While they were visiting Naples, they planned to meet up with my Uncle from England. Upon their return, I was delighted to see that in their gift bags were a few of the delicious Crunchie bars. My Uncle gives us the hook ups when it comes to yummy goodies in the UK! So, due to this and the fact that my Mother’s birthday was coming up, I decided to make some honeycomb. I used a bunch of crushed up honeycomb to add texture and a different flavor to my Mother’s birthday cake. With the leftovers, feel free to dip them in chocolate. It’s friggin’ delicious.
L’ Opera Cake ( Joconde Cake )
A classical cake made with layers of Espresso buttercream and ganache sandwiched between three layers of spongy Joconde cake. Hands down one of the yummiest cakes I’ve made so far.
Mini Ice Cream Filled Puffs
Ice Cream Puff
My idea of a plated dessert for my food portfolio. I tried to make a sugar cradle to hold my puff but it didn’t work out all too well. This photo documents a lot of ‘first attempts’ when it comes to the fine dining aspect of baking. Filled with a scoop of leftover Marshmallow ice cream and placed upon a pillow of fluffy whipped cream.
Chocolate Covered Biscottis
These yummy cookies need to be twice baked. Shape them into a roll, bake it off, then cut them into individual cookies once cool. Place them back into the oven and bake till crispy.
Marshmallow Ice Cream
A light and fluffy dessert that tastes like sweet marshmallows.
Creme Anglaise Ice Cream
About two weeks ago I applied for Disneyland, interested in their Pastry Chef / Baker position. I nearly gave up any hope when those two weeks passed with no contact from Disneyland whatsoever. But just as I began to doubt myself, I received an email explaining that I was a candidate for the job position and was asked to take a web based interview. From their I was in, well, almost. I’m eagerly awaiting my personal interview with a recruiter a day from now! So, to be prepared, I had to do a lot of research. I had heard that a fellow student of mine was accepted into Disney World in Florida and I decided to ask her a few questions about what I should expect from my upcoming interview. With all the tips she gave me, a few things really made me think. I had to deploy a few menu items that could be adult and kid friendly at the same time, and fit into certain standards of dining; ( casual, buffet, fine dining, tableside ). This is my attack on a menu item I would describe to the recruiter for fine dining- a creme brulee with creme anglaise ice cream. I guess it isn’t anything too fancy, but with the right plating, it could be!
With plastic wrap I smoothed down my scoops of ice cream and created a flat top. Because my hands were fairly warm I placed my ice cream in the freezer to firm up. As soon as it was chilled, I poured sugar over the top, just as I would a creme brulee, and torched it rather quickly to avoid melting the ice cream below. Quick and easy! This Creme Anglaise ice cream has a strong vanilla flavor, and due to the yolks in the base, it’s very eggy and delicious! It is extremely rich and it just melts in your mouth as a creme brulee would. The burnt layer on top adds a sharp sweetness with a slight bitter after taste from the caramelized sugar. This is one ice cream you must make at least once, because you have no idea what you’re missing till you’ve tried this!