This was a great week but I don’t have any pictures to show for it yet, hopefully I will in a few days.
Wednesday’s baking class was all about making custards and sorbet. We had four recipes to make; raspberry sorbet, crème anglaise, bavarian cream, and bread pudding.
We first started with the bread pudding recipe where we used loaves previously made just for this and pear rolls that weren’t selling well in the pantry. As my partner chopped those up I assembled the liquid mixture of cream, eggs and sugar. Once the liquid was in a bowl I added melted dark chocolate to the centre and gently made circles with my spatula until everything was blended together. From there we simply poured the chocolate liquid on the chopped bread chunks and dried cranberries, mixed, and let it sit to absorb.
After that we added the ingredients for the sorbet to the ice cream machine. Quite a simple task. Just poured it in and let it go.
Next came the bavarian and anglaise. After a demo from chef I was a little nervous but actually tackled it really well. Chef wanted the anglaise to be creamy so it was a mixture of milk and cream that I warmed and added to the mixed eggs and sugar. Once everything was blended together I added everything back to the pot to cook until it started to thicken. As it reached the right consistency I poured it through a sieve and went about moving the absorbed bread chunks to pans to cook.
Now here is where my mistake popped up. A friend came over to look at my sorbet and asked why it wasn’t red. Instantly I smiled and said in a I know I’ve screwed up voice, “Because I used passion fruit puree instead of raspberry.” Well I went and told chef and she said it was her fault because she had all of the passion fruit puree stacked out in the open and it would be confusing. As a Canadian I went about saying it wasn’t her fault because it’s not like the substance is even red. So we had a good laugh.
Well during that time and popping the bread pudding in the oven my partner became upset because she over cooked her bavarian and turned it to scrambled eggs. The mistake was easily fixed since we just split the anglaise up and used it for our other needs. For the anglaise we poured it into litre cups and put it in the fridge for later use and the bavarian we folded it into whip cream and poured that into parfait cups.
For the end of class we got to each take home a pan of bread pudding, which turned out really delicious. The chunks of pear rolls gave it a sweet burst with the chocolate. We also got to eat some of the sorbet. Since they didn’t need my flavour we ended up eating it all and everyone said they preferred it over the raspberry!
Thursday was meat day and it was a very tasty day.
There were many different types of sausages we could make (breakfast sausage, hot Italian, pepperoni, salami, and English sausages), and since I was the only one early for my group I volunteered us for bratwurst. The whole class was actually really simple. The pork had already been ground up from our pork week so we only needed to grind the fat and mix in the spices.
To make sure it tasted alright we wrapped some of the mixture in cellophane and boiled it till cooked. Once done the chef and our group tasted it and agreed it needed a bit more salt. So after the adjustment we began the fun task of casing the meat. The whole thing can be done by one person, but this was our first time so all three of us worked on it. I turned the handled to feed in the meat, one person adjusted the casing as it came out, and another placed it on a tray and turned it carefully.
We made a double batch so we ended up with around 5-6 full casings that looked pretty decent. Once we tidied up a bit we began rolling the casings to make 6-inch links and started cutting them up and traying them. From the pile we picked the four worst and began the different cooking methods that we were set to do. Cooking in the oven at 275 and 400, grilling, and boiling.
Well once all four were done we had to agree that cooking them at 400 looked tastier than the other methods, but maybe if the sausage had some grill marks it would have been the other way around.
Next we proceeded to cook them all to an internal temp of 165, chill, and package them in bags of eight to be sold in the pantry. Additionally we got to take some home and try everyone else’s. It was like visiting Costco’s and chowing down on samples. By the time we left class I was almost too full to have anything for lunch.
As for our retail class my group made pear and cranberry jam and pulled pork. Not much really happened since the pears and cranberries just needed to be chopped up and boiled, while the pork shoulder we had needed to be rubbed down with spices and the shoulder from the previous day pulled apart and mixed with BBQ sauce. It had to be the most dull assignment ever. Two of us began pulling apart the 16 lb. shoulder enthusiastically. After an hour we were bored and it felt like the shoulder had not grown any smaller. Later we began to recruit others who finished their jobs to help out. It took around 2-2 1/2 hours to rip it apart and it was a relief when we were finally done.
By the end we added our rubbed down shoulder to the smoker, had the pulled pork vacuum packed, and all the jam jarred. As I left class I had half a loaf of farmer’s rye bread, bag of pastrami, 4-inches of pepperoni, and 6 bratwurst sausages. I could have made a meal just from that! It really was a great day though and I felt like I learned quite a bit.