Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Menus, Projects, And Menu Projects!

Hello again, everyone. This entry is going to concern the projects we put together for our plated dessert unit, as well as our wedding cake project. Our class put a lot of effort into our projects, and I think they came out really well.
First, to end our second plated dessert unit, we held an event called Evening of Desserts. We came up with a dessert menu, as a class, and then we were all able to invite some of our friends and family to come and try our items. We all had a great time doing this project, and we loved being able to share with our guests. Unfortunately for me, I didn't get a picture of the dish I made, which was an amuse bouche consisting of a plum consomme topped with a Thai spiced sherbert. I thought it was really good, and the sherbert was delicious!

Here's the menu:

Here's me being all super serious about plating the semifreddo

Laura and Sirisha are working to plate the mendiant

The chocolate hazelnut mendiant.

The panna cotta

Pistachio Semifreddo. This is the one I helped plate with Nicole.

Next up we have our big menu project. This was a very intense, but still kinda fun project to work on. We were given the assignment to invent our own establishment (restaurant, dessert bar, truck, etc) and to develop an 8 item dessert menu for the place. We had to define a style to the establishment and a story to go on. Like I said, it was a lot of work, but it was really fun to get to be so creative. I invented a restaurant, named Patterson, which would be in Astoria. It's a sort of new American style, neighborhood spot, that emphasized seasonality and pulled influence from the neighborhood. Here's my back story, as well as a copy of the menu!

So yeah, it was really exciting and fun! And thanks to my brother, Todd, for helping me out with the logo and layout...a lifesaver, as usual. Our chef picked two items from the menu that we had to make. We had two days to get everything done, which was busy, but enough time. I made the sticky toffee pudding and the strawberry rhubarb compote.

Sticky toffee pudding with a bourbon salted toffee sauce and espresso granita. I threw in a few espresso beans for decoration. Although, looking at this, perhaps a color other than brown would've been a nice touch to perk up the plate.

Strawberry rhubarb crostata with basil ice cream and a strawberry rhubarb reduction. The crostata opened up a little, but it tasted great, especially with the basil ice cream! Too bad it was so hot in the kitchen, and ice cream started melting instantly...it ruined the look of my plate!! Bastard!

They turned out very well. My chef made some constructive critiques, but overall, she really liked it.

Finally, we have our penultimate project...the wedding cake. We were given a theme by another class, which was Ancient Rome, and it was a same sex wedding on Cypress. The colors were royal purple, orange, and gold. Yes, that's not a lot to go on, and the colors are really gross. And yes, Cypress is more Greek than Roman. But we got what we got, and we made our cakes accordingly, although I don't think anyone was too thrilled with it. Anyway, here's my cake. For the record, it's a white cake with honey buttercream, covered in fondant, decorated with sugar paste laurel leaves. Cake decorating has never been my forte, but I think I pulled it off decently.

Phew, that was a lot to tell you all about, but we're almost there. The end is nigh!!!!

Next up....the final project. 5 days of intense work to prove that I've actually learned something in 9 months. Crazy!

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