Well hello friends! Sorry for the week off, it’s been really busy around here. School and work are in full force and with summer pretty much here, if I’m not cooking then I’m outside. What is July going to feel like if it’s already 90 degrees? Well, it’s a good thing I love the heat and a better thing I love my class that starts at the crack of dawn and finishes by noon.
I think I am finally adjusted to the 5:45 a.m. wakeup call. Maybe it’s getting into a routine or maybe it’s the excitement I have for my class, but I really am enjoying the first baking phase of many. I have never enjoyed the restrictions that come along with baking, but I am finding I really like the science and math that goes along with this class, there is a method to the madness and I appreciate that. This week we started custards, creams and sauces. I am learning that with every recipe of a custard, cream, or sauce, there are base ingredients and a similar method for each type cream or custard. There recipe is most likely eggs, sugar, and cream—and with some variations a starch is added as a thickener. Tempering is a technique we have been focusing on and I have found it is used in just about every recipe that includes a cream or filling containing eggs and a hot liquid.
This week we have made cre’me brulee, bread pudding, pot de crème (divine-the chocolate pictured below) and flan. Today, we made cheesecake, pastry cream, and crème anglaise– the mother sauce of dessert sauces. The few photographs I’ve managed to snap do not do these decadent sweets justice. We spent 2 hours learning the techniques and tools to use in lecture and then four in lab putting our knowledge to practice, it’s a lot and I love it.
And here’s a shot of what was for supper tonight. Homemade hibachi, again. Bowen and I are getting good at this one. We’ve got it down to an art. He makes the rice and pink sauce early in the day (needs to rest for at least a day), then we sauté zucchini, onion, mushrooms in a pat of butter, add soy and get to work on the fried rice. Here’s a recipe I’ve adapted for the pink sauce.
Japanese Pink Sauce:
1 c. Hellman’s mayonaise
2-3 T of ketchup
1 large clove of garlic grated on a microplane
1 T grated onion
pinch of sugar
1/4 of kosher salt
1 T of melted butter
Combine and let rest in the fridge for at least a day