Saturday, April 2, 2011

Exam Time!!

I mentionned before that I have practical exams to do for my course, and we had two of them last week! The hot dessert assessment was on Tuesday, and the cold one was on wednesday. The idea is that we get three hours to produce the best possible dessert that we can, -that you might see in a fine dining restaurant, complete with sauces, garnishes, etc. and all sorts of paperwork to go along with it. There was a booklet of recipes, costing sheets, ingredient order forms, equipment order forms, and even a vague work schedule that we had to include in our portfolios that sat on our workbenches as we worked.

For my hot dessert I had planned on making passionfruit souffles, with white chocolate sorbet, raspberry vodka jellies, and a tuile biscuit. Because I'd been so busy with competitions and other school-related but totally voluntary extra-curriculars, I hadn't had a chance to send in my food order form to the stores until the day before our exam! But it was going to be fine, right? Right?! I sent in my order sheets for both the hot and the cold exam on the day before the first exam was to take place, even though I wasn't due in at college, I e-mailed them to my lecturer who signed it and passed it on for me.

What's the best way to start off an exam day? -Sleep in, of course!!
So I arrived at college an hour late, but that was okay, because we were going to wait until the afternoon to have the practical exam so that we could have all morning to prep (and finish the paperwork!) I checked over my box of ingredients which had arrived from the stores. No passionfruit puree to be seen. I went to the stores, and appologised for having assumed that they would have it, and asked what other fruits of fruit purees they might have on hand instead. A punnet of frozen raspberries, a bag of frozen blackberries... Not much to fit in with my dessert! Until one of the managers mentionned a coconut he'd seen rolling about the back of the fridge. Brilliant!! I left the stores with a coconut, a tin of coconut cream, and a shot of malibu.

I opened the coconut and combined the milk with the shot of malibu, a couple dollops of coconut cream, and some fresh grated coconut to create my own 'puree' to use in the souffle.

Coconut souffle with white chocolate sorbet, raspberry vodka jelly, and a tuile spoon

My souffle was really delicate, and it turned out that the coconut cream was probably a bit to heavy to add without the addition of a starch (cornflour, probably) to stabilise it, so my souffles fell. But overall, my lecturer really complimented my dessert, saying that she was surprised by how well the jelly went with both the souffle and the sorbet. And saying that she really liked something means a lot when it comes from a pastry chef who's done so much. And in case you're wondering, to make the tuile spoon, I used a piece of plastic with the spoon shape cut out as a template. We'd actually used the template for an international competition, but I couldn't find the final version, this was just a dodgy predecessor!

1 comment: