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Monday, January 21, 2008

Springing Back

My how the weeks fly by when you look back at it, huh? When you're in the day to day, it seems to drag on forever but at the same time you can't believe it when the weekend is here and you find that time has just passed you by and you haven't updated your blog. So here I am debating what to put on my blog with all the pictures that I have taken from school now that the Spring Semester has arrived.

My schedule is definitely better this semester in that I only go to school 2 days instead of three so that saves me 3 hours of driving time. Though, Monday is SO tough for me to get through. I have class at 7:30am so that means I get up at 4:30am to leave by 6am. My first class is Intro to Pastries and that runs till 1:30pm, sometimes 2pm and my 2nd class starts at 2pm till 9pm or later. That class is Advanced baking and we make desserts for the restaurant that is open on Monday nights. Then on Thursday I have class at 4pm - a 3 hour class on principles of hospitality. You think that it would fly by right? Not quite. Besides learning about the hospitality industry, I learn about the happenings in people know, generally about things I honestly don't care about. Like the fact that you have only ever traveled on British airways and that you have to travel with your luggage on the same plane. Wait...does that coincide with restaurant hospitality?

Our first week, in both labs we made cookies. I made enough cookies that day to last me for a life time and I don't think I will ever make these cookies on my own. For example, the bullseye above. I used to LOVE similar cookies like that when I was in New Zealand, but perhaps it was just the jam that we used, I didn't even taste it, I just smelled it and I mentally gagged and lost my appetite.
Last week we made lady fingers and surprisingly, I REALLY enjoyed these. They were simple to make and even more delicious than I had ever thought they would be. I have only ever tasted the store bought lady fingers, that I used at work for the tiramisu and needless to say those were like rock cookies or something. Well, as a matter of fact, lady fingers are in fact a sponge cake. That is news to me at least. Maybe I have been living in a cave.
In advanced baking, we made puff pastry, which honestly didn't take us that long. Only 2 1/2 hours. So we were lucky and got outta there by 6pm. I got out later cause I was the clean-up checklist lady. Thank goodness I got it that day because there is no way that we are going to get out early again in the semester for that class. The picture above and below are just store-brought puff pastry that we used to play around with while we were waiting for our real puff pastry to cool so we could do the trifold, simple turn and roll. We got those little balls out of the pastry below with a cookie cutter and sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.
This is actually two pieces of puff pastry that we stuck together with egg wash. Stefany and I wanted to put a cherry in it and then drizzle it with chocolate sauce but chef said we didn't need to do that. It was just to play with. Well, I thought that was a yummy invention. :-) hhehee.
My mom sent me this recipe for chinese scallion pancakes which is a savory bread. I need to change the recipe a bit because it wasn't as thin and flaky and soft as I wanted to be and it lacked any scallion flavor what-so-ever, and was pretty sodium deprived. So next time, I will have to use more scallions and salt I think and maybe get a softer flour. Hey, we still ate it all - so it must've have been that bad. :-b


Emiline said...

I feel sorry about your long day. I can imagine how tough that is. I honestly don't think I could do that. My advice is drink lots of coffee! Even if you don't like it.

All of your baking looks delicious. I would love to make ladyfingers, someday.

Nirmala said...

I love Chinese pastry. Your's look just delicious.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Oh dear, your days are pretty long!...

Everything looks very yummy! Those Chinese pancakes are interesting! I think I made some of those years ago...



Munted kowhai said...

My scallion pancakes came out thin. It is how flat you roll it out before you panfry it. Yes, definitely needs more sccallions like I discovered and sesame oil helps bring out the flavour,too!

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

Emiline - Oh I went without coffee the first day of class and there's no way I'm doing that again! It's fun though, the people I have in those classes make it so much easier to get through the day.

Nirmala - I don't know why but I have such a difficult time making asian breads and pastries. Maybe I should try and master that huh? lol

Rosa - my days are long but it beats having to go everyday, so it's worth it.

Christina said...

Beautiful cookies, Valerie! The ladyfingers (savoiardi in Italian) that are in the store are crispier so the shape will stand up against the liquid ingredients in tiramisu. Some recipes for tiramisu have you lightly toast homemade ladyfingers so they won't lose their shape, too. I think homemade usually always trumps store-bought, though.

Scallion pancakes! I have a recipe for those, but for some reason I found it a bit intimidating.

Cynthia said...

I guess it is a give and take eh, some days are bound to be long :(

Thanks for giving up an update.

Fuji Mama said...

I would love to get the recipe for the chinese scallion pancakes, they look wonderful, and I loved eating them when I went to China last summer. Mmmmmmm.