04 September 2009

Plated Desserts: Week I

Well, it's Friday, which means week one of plated desserts is complete... and my classmates and I are all still alive (maybe a pound or two heavier). We have entered a zone of hardcore production, which began on a somewhat intimidating note because of a) the amount of recipes, and b) Chef En-Ming Hsu. Chef En-Ming served as Captain of the US team at the 2001 World Pastry Cup, held in Lyon, France. The team took the Gold Medal, winning with the widest score margin ever recorded. Suffice it to say she knows her stuff.

Now that we have become acclimated to Chef En-Ming's teaching style (and her soft voice), we realize what a fountain of information she is. The amount of things she has to cover in one day is astounding, and I'm impressed with not only her efficiency, but her ability to thoroughly convey processes and techniques. This week we built and completed the following desserts:

Warm Vanilla-Roasted Pineapple with Mango Sorbet and Pineapple Chips
The pineapple was roasted and braised for hours, while frequently basted.

Vanilla Chiboust with Fresh Red Wild Berries, Honey Wheat Tuile, and Madeleines
Chiboust is a combination of pastry cream and meringue.

Classic French Souffles

Chocolate Molten Cake with Coffee Ice Cream

Citrus Soup with Honey Ice Cream and Grapefruit Tuile
Grapefruit and Orange in their own juice, sprinkled with candied zest

Warm Papillotte of Exotic Fruit with Strawberry Sorbet and Spiced Tuile
Pineapple, banana, and berries baked in parchment paper with butter, vanilla, and brown sugar

Red Wine Plum Stew with Linzer Tart, Spiced Ice Cream, and Florentine Tuile
This is when I realized I had not taken a picture, and the ice cream had begun to melt...

Creme Caramel
Flan... Delicious flan...

I went running this week. Really. Will I keep it up? With this weather and these desserts it'd be difficult not to. Also, I get to spend some quality time on the south side with Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett, et al. during this beautiful, much needed three-day weekend. Here's hoping you all have some fun plans, too!

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