If Tuesday launched me into a sugar coma, then today was nothing short of complete carbohydrate overdose. Just telling you the menu is almost embarrassing. The sheer number of different recipes we’ve produced in the past two days- about eight hours total kitchen time- is impressive. The learning curve? Steep. The assembly of our carbohydrate feast today- work of art!
And how about the tasting? Every bit as good as it looks, for the first few bites. And even for the next couple. But by lecture time- not so strategically placed directly after our meal- all eleven of us are completely worthless. It’s six in the evening and we’ve just eaten three months’ worth of sugar, butter, egg yolks and cream in about twenty minutes. Wow!
But we are now armed with the principles of baking to be able to produce all this craziness again and again… and begin to give each recipe our own twists and flairs… our own little signatures. And share it with people that will, presumably, eat it in slightly more moderation that we did tonight. And enjoy it thoroughly.
Since I cannot, unfortunately, bake each of these for each of you- though it might be fun to attempt- I’ll just start by sharing the menu. And of course the food photos. And if anything strikes a note with your palate, let me know and I’ll try to post the recipe…
Creme brûlée– sweetened, oven-finished custard requiring the always popular use of a blowtorch to create a thin caramelized sugary crust
Creme caramel– similar to a flan; also a sweetened, oven-finished custard cooked over a caramelized sugar base that is inverted to reveal a mahogany caramelized syrupy top
Dark chocolate pot de creme– these incredibly rich chocolate oven-finished custards were served in white teacups- silky smooth, decadent chocolate-lovers’ heaven *Note- these were so rich that many of my classmates couldn’t eat more than one or two bites- I took one (or three or four) for the team and did my part to minimize waste; probably will do nothing to minimize my waist.
Brioche– rich, airy bread dough with a higher proportion of butter and egg yolks giving it a beautiful yellow color, moist texture and wonderful flavor; also perfect leftover for making french toast
Quiche in four varieties made on classic pate brisée crust
Soft dinner rolls– brushed with melted butter just out of the oven, this is THE perfect dinner roll recipe (sorry Mom!)
Cinnamon rolls– made with brioche dough base and glazed with a blood orange syrup
Sticky buns– also made with rich brioche dough base, baked, and inverted just before service to reveal the sticky, gooey surface; irresistible
Fougasse– flattened bread, leaf-shaped, and flavored with sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary and garlic
Grissini– tall, slender, crispy breadsticks with a thin layer of toasty cheese running through the center; fun dinner presentation arranged in a vase or tall glass