Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lesson 1

Last Monday I had the first lesson of the pastry chef course I have so long been waiting for. I loved every minute of it, even though we started at 4 p.m. and finished at 1a.m.! The first few hours were lecture and I took 9 pages of notes(!) - there's going to be a test at the end so I'd better pay attention! Then we spent the rest of the evening practicing what we had learned. We broke into groups of 4 and I must say it takes a bit of getting used to working in a kitchen with 3 other bakers. I am so used to my own way of doing things and so is everybody else! Good lesson in cooperation.

This week the topic was basic mixed cakes. These cakes are based on one of two kinds of fat- oil or butter. The difference will be in the final result. Butter will produce a tighter, more pound cake- type quality and oil will give you a lighter, airier, but less melt-in -your -mouth taste. When using butter, it must be at room temperature, not melted, just soft to the touch. Usually it is creamed with the sugar first- a process called "cremage", to produce an emulsion.

Cakes made with oil have a more liquid batter and do not need to be creamed, just mixed. There are lots of other things we learned about the qualities of leavening and the characteristics of baking powder and baking soda ( a real chemistry lesson!), when each is used and what reaction takes place, but let's leave that for another time ( or not). More important are the pics of what we made and a few of the recipes for anyone interested.

First, we have Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins- great combination!

Recipe for Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins

makes about 10-12 muffins depending on the size of your muffin pans

220 grams flour
120 grams sugar
3 grams baking powder
3 grams baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs ( room temperature)
200 ml. milk
70 grams yogurt
100 grams melted butter
20 grams corn syrup
2 well-ripened bananas cut in cubes and lightly mashed ( still leave some chunks in there)
150 grams chocolate chips

Streusel Topping

50 grams flour
50 grams cold butter
50 grams brown sugar
dash of cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 180 C. ( 350 F)

2. Prepare the streusel topping- In a food processor, process all ingredients to a large crumb stage. Chill .

3. In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients for the muffins- flour, baking soda and powder,salt and chocolate chips.

4. Melt butter and corn syrup together in a small pot.

5. In a separate bowl combine eggs with sugar and mix until well combined. Add milk, yogurt and the butter-corn syrup mix.

6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients. Mix only until combined.

7. Add the mashed bananas and lightly mix in.

8. Pour mixture into muffins tins. Bake 10 minutes, then remove and sprinkle streusel topping on top. Return to oven for another 8-10 minutes until a toothpick comes out with damp crumbs- not dry.

Genoise cake

Carrot Cake( lower ) and Marble Pound Cake

Lemoncella Pound Cake

Basic Pound Cake
English cake or kugelhof or ring pan ,greased and floured
preheat oven to 180 C( 350F)
200 grams butter at room temperature
200 grams sugar

200 grams eggs (3-4)

200 grams self-rising flour

200 grams buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

Marble cake- 150 grams bitter chocolate
Halva and Honey cake- 3 tablespoons tehina paste , same amount of honey and 30 grams chocolate chips
Lemoncella cake- 80 ml. lemon juice ( reduce the quantity of buttermilk accordingly), zest of 2 lemons + syrup for moistening the cake ( 100 ml. water, juice of one lemon , 60 grams sugar, 1-2 tablespoons lemoncella liqueur)

1. Cream butter and sugar for 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and mix for an additional 3 minutes.
2. Add alternately the buttermilk and the flour- beginning and ending with the flour. Continue mixing just until the mix is all incorporated then a quick 5 sec pulse on high.
3. At this pint you can add any of the ingredients for the upgrades.
4. Pour into greased and floured pan ( either English cake, kugelhoff , ring) and bake at 180C ( 350F) for 40 minutes.
5. When the cake is ready, take out of oven and rest in pan for 10 minutes. Turn over and cool on a rack.

1 comment:

  1. Wow...those cakes are beautiful...You'll be a professional baker before this is all through! Love to hear about you classes...kind of always wanted to do that myself..takes a lot of courage...Thanks for the post...keep them coming!
    Your friend,


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