Culinary School Here I Come (60) Wedding Cake, More Hors d’Oeuvres & Pumpkin Carving

What does Appetite + Teaser = ?????

Appetizer…. silly! I just learned that today. But is an Hors d’Oeuvre and an appetizer the same? Not so. The distinction is not about what kind of foods they are, it’s about how and when they are served. Hors d’Oeuvers are usually served as a prelude to a meal, whereas an appetizer is served as a first course to a meal. Usually the size of an Hors d’Oeuver is only one, maybe two bites. An appetizer can be more. Speaking of Hors d’Oeuvers, we had another practical with a mystery basket. We were to create 3 Hors d’Oeuvres on any kind of base, using specific incredients. This is what we came up with.

Dates with Blue Cheese Mousse in Prosciutto Cups

Asparagus & Piquillo Pepper Palmier with Asparagus Mousse and Goat Cheese

Rosemary Skewered Grilled Shrimp with Cucumber, Tomato & Mint Gremolata

It was actually a breeze creating these dishes. I made the Blue Cheese Mousse for the first time. Savory mousses are much easier than sweet mousses. You puree the blue cheese with cream cheese then you fold whipped cream into the mixture and you’re done. You can make a mousse with almost anything. Anything that doesn’t need any further cooking, that is.

We spent our class time on Thursday carving our pumpkins for our first annual Maui Culinary Academy Pumpkin Carving Contest. Oh joy! Something that I’m really not into. So I looked online for some inspiration It’sand found something that looked pretty easy to do. So I purchased my $10 pumpkin and began to carve and before you knew it…..

It’s my Drunken Punkin after a night of hard partying. The staff would be voting on 1st, 2nd & 3rd place and the students would be voting on “People’s Choice” so I figured I had a pretty good chance.

Here’s our class getting into it.

Nahika’s pumpkin looks huge from this angle.

And here are the contestants.

I’m glad to report that yours truly was voted 3rd place and I won the People’s Choice award. 1st place went to the gold studded David Bowie with lightning bolt. Don’t know who got 2nd. I’ll see what I won on Monday.

This is why Chef Craig is our instructor and we are not. He carved a swan out of a pumpkin. Is that crazy or what? Good job. This should have been 1st place!

We started our wedding cake assignment. Our cake drawings were due on Monday.

I went with a peach tinted fondant and a Hawaiian theme. Hopefully I can recreate this look on a cake.

It’s official. All of our cake designs are up for scrutiny.

With that, we started our fondant coloring demo.

After the fondant was colored, it was time to make gum paste.

Gum paste is used to make flowers and other decorations. It’s quite easy to make. After egg whites are whipped, you add powdered sugar and continue whipping until it’s nice and glossy with medium peaks. Then Tylose powder is added to stiffen the mix up to a kneadable state.

Powdered sugar is used on the table to start the kneading process. You know it’s done when the gum paste isn’t sticky anymore. Now it was time for the fondant rolling and draping demo.

I hope my cake looks like this. By the way, we are using styrofoam instead of the real thing.

On Friday I started to color my fondant. I’m using a peachy color with champagne gold highlights. It wasn’t easy trying to blend the color but when I was done, it seemed to be what I was after. On Monday we start to roll our fondant and cover our layers. I’m a little frightened.


About tinfoilduck

I had this wacky idea to go to culinary school, while maintaining another full time career. I will be blogging about the program and how it affects me as I try to manage my daily life and how I try to keep everything together.
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6 Responses to Culinary School Here I Come (60) Wedding Cake, More Hors d’Oeuvres & Pumpkin Carving

  1. Those hors d’Oeuvres all look delicious. And the swan pumpkin is unreal.

  2. steveaw says:

    it was a PRETTY busy week! CONGRATS!

  3. tinfoilduck says:

    @ Savory, we are honing our hors d’oeuvre skills for a couple of buffets that we are getting ready for. Pics will definately follow. And that swan pumpkin was amazing. He is quite skilled at vegetable carving.

  4. tinfoilduck says:

    @steveaw, if you thought the week was busy, my weekend is even worse!

  5. Can’t wait to see how your wedding cake turns out– I’m obsessed with them! I think when I get married, that’s going to be the only thing I care about!

  6. tinfoilduck says:

    I’ve been working on the flowers so far. It’s easier than I expected. We shall see when everything gets put together. I’m kinda liking this. There are a lot of good designs. We won’t be done until sometime next week though. Thanks for reading!

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