Creams, cakes, and pastries this week, with a focus on creams and mousses used in pastry assembly. On Monday we spent most of our morning in the classroom learning about the ingredients and methods we'll be using this week. Lots of meringue and whipped cream, with some gelatin thrown in for stability.
Then we went downstairs to the lab for demos and to begin making our bases. I'm in a group of three with Vivian and Michele. Our chocolate sponge cakes came out great and our Biscuit Viennois came out fine. We overwhipped the egg whites, but Michele's skilled hand at folding in the egg yolks saved the day.
However our first batch of lady fingers came out like soup... no chance of piping that batter onto a pan, so we stayed after school to try again. Again the egg whites went from soft peak to watery clumps without appearing to pass through medium or soft peak (we were aiming for medium). We managed to fold in the yolks and flour, get the egg foam into piping bags, and ooze it onto the sheet pans, but we knew we'd done something wrong since our lady fingers didn't stand up nice and firm like Brian's. We agreed to come eary in the morning to try again... and we reminded ourselves that mistakes are an essential part of learning.