Almost There

Saturday, September 10, 2011

This will cover weeks 8 and 9. I didn't post last week, week 8, because it was only a one day class due to Labor Day, and because my dish turned out horribly. I think we all need days like that sometimes to keep us humble. haha. I had a good idea for the dish, but it just didn't work out like I wanted it to.

I wasn't too thrilled about the recipe anyways, but disliked it the least out of all the other recipes. The recipe was for Warm Berry Soup. *pauses to let this sink in* It was to be served with a mint ice cream. This was where I ran into the first problem. We were low on mint. One table used all that was left, so I went down to the "herb garden" to pick more. There was hardly any there. This meant I had to overcompensate for the mint taste by adding more creme de menthe than the recipe called for. It was ok tasting, but definitely not what it could have been. I put it in the freezer to hold it and finish setting up while I worked on the other components.

The soup itself called for raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries simmered and slightly mashed. I hate, hate, HATE raspberry seeds. I simmered the strawberries and raspberries, strained them to remove the seeds, them added in the blueberries for the chunks of fruit. This component worked well and tasted good, but a warm berry "soup" doesn't stand well alone.

The recipe said to serve with the ice cream in the soup. Right. Cold ice cream melts when it hits warm soup. So I decided to make a tart dough bowl for the soup, then serve the ice cream on the side. This would have worked, except someone turned off the oven somewhere during the tart baking process so they didn't finish in time. My ice cream was also SUPER soft (maybe due to the added liquor?) so it wasn't holding up when I tried to plate it on the side. This meant I served the soup as the recipe said and it looked like a disaster. I was so annoyed. I didn't even want to talk about it when I got home that night. And I definitely didn't take a picture. Oh well. Can't win 'em all, right?


This week was a different story. Thursday I made a chocolate almond flourless cake. I cheated and used almond flour instead of toasting the almonds and pulsing them in the food processor. This recipe also called for just chopping up the chocolate finely and folding it into the batter as opposed to melting it down and folding it in.
I had the idea of making this plate into a s'more type dessert. I saw a recipe for graham crackers on The Busty Baker's Blog a few days ago and really wanted to try them. I made some tiny ones for garnish, as well as a couple larger ones to use as the base of the dessert. Then I made a simple meringue to pipe on as the marshmallow portion of the s'more, as well as to give it the melty texture that s'mores are known for. I toasted this with a torch. I also made a ganache to use as decoration on the plate, and to fill the cake with for the melted chocolate element.

I also chose to make a chocolate cake shot to go with one of the plates. This is equal parts vodka and frangelico served with a lemon wedge dipped in sugar. You take the shot and immediately bite into the lemon. It tastes just like chocolate cake!!!

Friday I chose to make Salt Cod and Potato Pancakes. Apparently this is a staple dish in Europe that everyone grows up eating. It was to be served as an appetizer. I chose to make a lemon sauce to go with the cakes made by sauteing shallots in butter and olive oil, followed by adding some roasted garlic and fresh thyme. I strained this, then, and whisked in some white wine and lemon juice. It went really well with the cakes. I also took some shredded parmesen to bake and make discs for a garnish, along with some fried thyme. I was surprised by how well it all tasted together. I wasn't thinking that I would be a huge fan of the dish, but I actually enjoyed it with all the components.

Onto week 10!!! Two weeks left in this quarter, then I will be in my LAST QUARTER!!!!!!! It can't come soon enough.

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