*Sigh, where does the time go?
Today marks the official end of my first year of Culinary School! Hurray! What a year it has been and I simply cannot believe how fast it has gone.
This semester has been extremely demanding on many levels. I've had some challenging, time-consuming courses (like "Retail Baking" and "Candies & Confectionaries" which I've got detailed posts about coming in the near future).... And then I've been doing some soul-searching as I try to figure out what exactly it is that I want to do with my life. So, once again, I apologize for the lack of posts.... I've even had to sit out this month's Daring Bakers challenge because of finals :(
What I'd like to do with this post is do a sort of re-cap of the most exciting things I've learned this year. Some I've posted about, and others I haven't.... Some I've got posts about coming in the future.
(Photo coming soon)
This is the very first thing I made in school, on the first day of "Intro to Cakes." What a crazy day that first day was! I was so nervous! And then I was nearly late because I couldn't find a parking space anywhere on campus..... And this was also before I started taking my camera to class, so this image is taken with my Blackberry.
Hand-Stretched Austrian Apple Strudel
Laminated Dough was my favorite class of my first semester and we learned this strudel early in the semester. Then, when I went back home for Fall Break, I was able to teach a class on it at the UND Wellness Center.
Another favorite from Laminated Dough: Puff Pastry, Frangipan filling and Apricot jam. Mmmmm....
Pate a Choux Swans
When I went through orientation before starting school, we were served Pate a Choux Swans for dessert. I'd heard about them previously, but had never tried any myself..... So, it was rather exciting when Chef Fritz showed my Bakeshop Production class how to make them! They really are much easier than I had thought.
Parisian Croissants & Pain Au Chocolat
Oh. My. Gosh! These were the most amazing croissants ever! Eating them was like eating a memory of my times in Europe, only a better memory than what I originally had! My original post can be found here.
Chocolate Mousse Torte
This torte was one of the biggest disasters of my Cake course. I screwed up the chocolate mousse icing. FYI, it doesn't work to make faux chocolate mousse without powdered sugar.... And it REALLY doesn't work to try to add it later.... Post can be found here.
Banana Coconut Cream Danish, Apricot Cream Danish, Apple Fontain Danish, & Cranberry Apricot Scrolls
These danish were the ones I carefully packed into my carry-on when I flew home for Fall Break. And they were the ones I fought for when the Gate Agent in Detroit tried to tell me I had to check the bag they were packed in! More about them here.
Key Lime & Coconut Cake
You know, I've never really been a bagel person. There are many other things I'd much rather eat for breakfast. But I've come around to bagels after this class, but only to artisan bagels. We made both savory bagels and cinnamon raisin. I'm a fan of the cinnamon raisin, personally :)
Super Fruit Bread
Not only did we make the best Pizza Marguerite I've had since France, but we also made the mozzarella!
Normandy Apple Levain
Bread by Jeffery Hamelman. And I decided to try to make this bread, which featured our Charleston sourdough starter, homemade apple cider, and homemade dried apples. The "icing on the cake" was the apple stencil a classmate helped me make to embellish the top flour tattoo.
The Honey Competition
Wine + Food Festival: Pinot Envy, Bubbles & Sweets, Culinary Village
Piping, Piping, Piping.....
A great majority of my semester has been spent piping royal icing (or tooth paste at home for practice--try it! it works). And my practice paid off when I totally rocked the practical final, although my arm & had hurt so badly after the exam that I couldn't even drive! We piped six 20 min increments of 20 ornaments with 10 mins between sets.
Pineapple Frangipan Tart
In Retail Baking, we held bake sales each Friday. Our class was split into groups and rotated through different product stations every couple of weeks. My group came up with the idea to make Pizza Croissants and they sold like crazy! Probably one of the hottest sellers of the bake sale season.
Sparkling Wine: Sabering
Marzipan Centerpieces: Animal Theme and Fruit Theme
Royal Icing & Pastillage Centerpiece
Retail Final: SILA croissanteria + tapas bakery
Lemon Meringue Tart with Raspberry
So, that's the highlights of my first year! I can't wait to see what the rest of my classes have to hold :)