Thursday, February 3, 2011

B&P Practical 2

Phase 4, Week 4, Days 16 & 17

Again a two day practical. We needed to produce 6 eclairs, pastry cream (for the filling), and a blueberry pie with a lattice top, and take a written test. The strategy was to make the pie doughs, pastry cream and pate a choux, and bake off the choux on day one and take the test, fill the elcairs, top them, and make the blueberry pie on day two.

Day 1- Had a few issues on day one. My milk got too hot for my pastry cream because I walked away to ask Chef a question as the milk was heating. When I returned it was boiling. I didn't think it was too big of a deal at first, until it began to thicken very rapidly. I knew it was not right, but I continued figuring the taste was ok and I didn't want to loose an entire point for starting over. My second major issue was that my pie dough was a bit dry. Not knowing I could simply add more water to it (remember I missed that day), I was afraid to alter the recipe after what just happened to my creme. So I left it like it was.

No issues with making the elcairs.

Day 2- Took the written test and got an 88%. Day two was a bit rocky as well. Got started on the pie first. The dough was a bit too dry and there was not much I could do but mess with it. My lattice was ok, but kind of on the short side. It was not long enough to wrap around the edges of the crust. But it was kind of falling apart at this point, so I went with it.

When I got the pastry cream out it was like silly putty not like pudding. Crap! I whipped it a bit to get air into it and just went with it too. I filled the eclairs until pastry cream was seeping out of the sides to be sure to get enough in them. When the choux bakes off it creates large air pockets inside (see below), that's why they are perfect to fill. The eclairs looked beautiful. The ganache was applied perfectly, no dribbles or lines down the side.

Pie- Nice flavor, tart. Crust was tough, result of overworking because it was dry. Lattice needed to be a larger. Score: 9.0
Eclairs- A bit small in girth, which leads to not enough expansion and a hollow inside, which lends to difficulty filling with cream ( which was the issue with 2 or 6 of my eclairs. She of course graded me on one of those). Slightly over baked. Pastry cream was too thick. Score: 8.5

Not my best, maybe Baking and Pastry is not my best?

Not the prettiest, but good
My eclairs, split so you can see the inside cavity.
Jeremy eating leftover cream over the trash can, classy.

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