Friday, 5 November 2010

From Lem Sip to Lemon Posset

A night of 20 minute naps, followed by 10 minutes awake, improved the situation somewhat and when I eventually rolled downstairs at 7:20 coffee was definitely No1 on the list. A rapid dash to the shops had provided fresh supplies of remedial pharmaceuticals and some (very un Ballymaloe) instant soups so, buoyed up by liquid intake last evening, a distinct upward spiral had begun. My poor housemate Steve had succumbed in the meantime and had to launder his sweat soaked sheets early am.

A couple of students had similar experiences during the week so it looks like a virus is running rampant through the course. Cooking this morning was a non-starter, though continued improvement made an appearance at Demo likely. I need to find my new partner and kitchen/station and find out what will e Mondays culinary challenge - Pastry confined Mousse if I am unlucky, Soup if not!! Luckily I seem to have been poorly bad on the two days that I could best afford it before the end of the course. Next week is week 8 and then just a fortnight later we have to submit the recipes for the final exams which we will cook on either 8th or 9th December. Pressure is mounting and any down time is better now than in the ensuing weeks.

The advantage of 24 hour viruses is that in or around 24 hours you feel better. So, feeling stronger I decided to go up to school for the afternoon Demo. We started with a brief talk by Jeremy Lee who is head chef at the Blueprint Cafe in London and has written about food as well.
Jeremy talked about the importance of provenance and ingredients and also explained that he changes the menu twice a day as fresh ingredients come in, or are used up.

Next we had a demo by Claire Ptak who left Chez Panisse in California to move to London where she runs Violet, a bakery at the front of the Cup Cake movement.

Claire has now moved on to the Whoopie Pie - the new Cup Cake- a cunning sandwhich of sponge and filling. We learned the chocolate marshmallow variety, which I will be cooking on Monday, and also her Lemon and Lemon Curd offering. For those of you who want to be ahead of the trend and show off your baking skills I would suggest her new book

With Darina roasting both a duck and pork she had a chance to show off her knife skills again, and did so though the operation of a Kraft Knife scoring rind for crackling) proved a bit of a challenge. Still the joint was divided and scored and placed into a medium inferno to glaze and crisp for about an hour and a half whilst the duck, stuffed with onion and potato, suffered a similar fate.

They re-emerged for the tasting by which time they had been joined by a soup, mashed parsnip, braised Jerusalem Artichokes, more desserts including Lemon Posset and a Chocolate Mousse which I shall cook on Monday. I shall be cooking this with a vengeance as it does not contain the gelatine which caused the angst yesterday morning - and probably accelerated the onset of illness.

Back up and running, a copule of days rest then into the kitchen for some serious culinoire ( probably no such word but faux francais always looks good on a menu - or blog). As it is the weekend I will reward you all with some chocolate pictures, and for those of you who have never seen them before a couple of Whoopie Pie shots.

1 comment:

  1. My mum used to bake those just didn't call them whoopie pies ah well you know what they say the old ones are the best!
    Glad to see you are better hope you are thinking of the NYE menu I can't wait!