Sunday, May 1, 2011

Recap: Petit Fours & Mini Pastries, Spring 2011

Let me preface this post by getting something off my chest: I am supremely bothered that this course is grammatically incorrect by being called "Petit Fours" instead of "Petits Fours" or "Petit Fours."  

Moving on, haha.

Petit Fours & Mini Pastries has been my most challenging course to date.  The students were wonderful, but the planning and paperwork side of things was much more labor intensive than any other class.  While the class was previously taught by another instructor, there was not any record of a syllabus or how the class was structure.  The lack of record meant that I could virtually design the course myself while staying within the catalog description of the class.  But designing a course takes a lot more work than one might initially think....  I thank all my students for their patience this semester :)

I also wish this course was longer.... or that there was a Petit Fours I and a Petit Fours II.  There was so much material I'd have liked to cover, but there simply was not enough time.  So, I made due with what I could.

And let me state one further item: Petit Fours does not simply mean glazed cakes with flowers piped on them. That is only one category of Petits Fours.  Most people think glazed cake, but true Petits Fours are SO MUCH MORE!

There are four major classical categories of Petits Fours: Sec {"dry", like cookies}, Frais {"fresh," like mini fruit tarts or mousses}, Glacé {"glazed," like the glazed cake previously mentioned}, & Deguises {"disguised," like candied fruit... not so common these days}.  Then, there is the Salé category {"Savory," like mini quiche, vol au vents, etc. with a pastry base} and the most advanced Prestige {any modern dessert in miniature form}.  We concentrated on the classics first, then branched out, and finished with group projects and practical finals.

We not only created Petits Fours, but we also presented them, in various capacities.  Following production, all the product we made that day had to be plated appropriately (different guidelines for different days) and presented for grading.  Then we delivered the platters around school for others to enjoy!  People rather liked us :)  

So, here's a pictorial recap of our semester.

WEEK 1 & 2
 Red Velvet Cake Petits Fours 
with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing, 
Pecan Dust & Chocolate Garnish

 Our red Velvet Cake Petit Fours, Lemon Vanilla French macarons & 
Grand Marnier Marshmallows for the Vintner's Dinner

WEEK 3 & 4: CLASSICS
 Opera Cake 

 Pyramide Petits Fours 

 Petits Fours Glace

 Classical Petits Fours: Lace Tuiles dipped in Chocolate, Financiers, 
Opera Cake, Pyramides, Glace, Domes

 WEEK 5: CONFECTIONS
 Charleston Pralines, Salted Caramels, 
Marshmallows (experimenting with some including egg, some not), 
& Pate de Fruit

WEEK 6: TEA PARTY
 Scones, Mango Earl Grey Opera Cake, Madeleines, Matcha Dacquoise fingers

WEEK 7: PATE A CHOUX
 Paris-brest, Raspberry Chocolate Eclairs, Chocolate Swans 


WEEK 8: CHARLESTON WINE + FOOD FESTIVAL
 Chocolate mousse for a wine seminar held at the Palmer Campus 

 Traditional Chocolate Mousse, Vanilla Bean Chantilly Cream, Chocolate Cigarette & Mint

WEEK 9: TROPICAL/EXOTIC WEEK 
Coconut Rice Pudding with Roasted Pineapple, 
Mini Tarts with Passion Fruit filling, 
Macadamia Stickies
(sorry for the poor quality cell phone pic)

WEEK 11: "NUTS IN THE KITCHEN" GROUP PROJECT
 Almond Cakes, Chocolate Pecan Tarts with Bourbon Cream, 
Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache
Peanut Butter Mousse in edible Chocolate Cups 

Almond Cakes, Chocolate Pecan Tarts with Bourbon Cream, 
Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache
Peanut Butter Mousse in edible Chocolate Cups

 Joanne, Mandy, Gilly & Carol

WEEK 12: "THE 80'S FLASHBACK" GROUP PROJECT
 Laura, Neecee, & Corley (and I assisted)
 "Purple Rain" Purple Velvet Petit Fours; 
Chocolate Petit Fours with Edible Album Cover Art; 
Mini Frozen Yogurt cones, 
"Rockin Krispy Treats" with rice cereal 
(Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles, Rice Krispies) and Pop Rocks

WEEK 13: "CUPCAKES" GROUP PROJECT
 Lemon Cupcakes 

 Key Lime Cupcake

 Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake

 Pineapple Almond Cupcake 

Noel, Marilyn, Jeff & Rita 

 WEEK 14: OPEN SKILLS
 Fresh Fruit Tarts, Candied Orange Peel, 
Chocolate Walnut Glazed Petit Fours, Fromage Blanc Panna Cotta, 
Cake Bon Bons 

 Fresh Fruit Tarts, Candied Orange Peel, 
Chocolate Walnut Glazed Petit Fours, Fromage Blanc Panna Cotta, 
Cake Bon Bons

WEEK 15: PRACTICAL FINALS 
 
Each picked their own unique them and planned three petits fours 
(that fit in to different petits four categories) around that theme 

 Joanne's Honey Theme

Laura's Chocolate Theme
(her Salted Chocolate Caramels were one of my favorites of the day)

 Rita's Fruit Theme 

 Marilyn's Cinnamon Theme 

 Noel's Pistachio Theme

 Gilly's Lemon Theme 
(her Rosemary Lemon Shortbread cookies were one of my favorites of the day)

 Corley's Christmas Theme

 Carol's Traditional Italian theme 

 Mandy's Pie Theme
(She had one of the most creative and whimsical themes of the day)


 Class shot! 

WEEK 16: WRITTEN FINAL & CLEANING
And here's my class!  Taken with the lovely assistance of my camera timer, the ice cream machine & a measuring cup to prop the lens.  :)  


2 comments:

  1. love the recap! and the photos! thanks for sharing!

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