Whoa, I thought flour and chocolate was confusing. Nothing compares to sweeteners in terms of overinformation! Anyway, I will get to that a bit later. We worked again with chocolate and my task was to produce a Milk Chocolate Praline Creme Bonbon.We tempered the milk chocolate and filled the molds last week but it was time to temper again. We were assigned the tabling method. Tempering chocolate the tabling method is the most difficult. 2/3 of the heated chocolate gets poured on to a marble slab and it gets “agitated” to the consistency of peanut butter. It then gets poured back to the rest of the chocolate and hopefully, you are at 85 degrees of close.
It was kinda stressful at first. Controlling the chocolate on the slab at first was difficult but the rhythm of scraping and cleaning the scraper is the most difficult to get used to. After a while I felt like a pro. I can now say that I’ve tabled chocolate!
This is what the chocolate decor was ultimately used for; Deconstructed Chocolate Pie, Butterscotch PuddingCup and Sour Cream Gelato upstairs at Lei’s Family Class Act American Menu.
Speaking of Lei’s Family Class Act, Chef Tom has started a blog on the Life of a Chef Instructor. Check it out
When all of that stress was over, we were back to filling bonbons with Praline Cream.
Enough about chocolate. Sweeteners are going to be a pain in my butt.
Okay, when I started this journey, I knew about powdered sugar, granulated sugar, brown sugar, molasses & Karo. Now my vocabulary has expanded to include invert syrups, sucrose, glucose, fructose, dextrose, fondant sugar, donut sugar, isomalt and polyols. Phew! I’ve been calling them sweeteners lately instead of sugar because some of them didn’t even start out life as sugar cane or beets! Can you say corn, wheat and rice.?
Let’s talk invert syrups for now and just a basic lesson. First, a syrup is a mixture Pralinof one or more types of sugar, water and a small percentage of other items; acids, flavors, colorings and thickeners. Sugar is a disaccharide, meaning there are 2 molecules to sucrose (sugar). The sugar syrup is heated and acid is added which will separate the bound molecules into glucose, fructose and water. You can have a full invert syrup where there is little to no sucrose left of a medium invert syrup where only half of the sucrose is converted. Invert syrups are used in the bake shop when your product needs properties that sugar cannot provide. Invert sugar is sweeter than sugar and browns much faster so oven temperature needs to be taken down. Invert sugar has these properties; it moistens and keeps baked items softer, it keeps icings, fondants and confections shiny, smooth and free from cracks. It also keeps frozen desserts free from ice crystal formation. Invert sugars are typically not made in the bake shop but purchased. Well folks, that is the tip of the iceberg. We start working with sugar this week so I’m certain we will revisit this again.
Speaking of frozen desserts, Santa brought me a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker for Christmas so I finally broke it out. I made the most basic recipe available from the manual. So basic that all you did was dissolve some sugar in milk, add heavy cream, add some vanilla extract and spin. It turned out okay but I’m sure I’ll be whipping up some great flavors soon. I wanted to see how the lay people made ice cream.
Last time I only had Skippy available. This time I had some natural creamy peanut butter. I thought the flavor was better with Skippy. It was harder working with the natural stuff. It kept separating but I emulsified the crap out of it so it stopped separating. The ganache I made this time was better. It was smoother and was easier to spread. Last time I didn’t wait for the ganache to cool before spreading so the peanut butter started to melt. this time there was no melting so it was a neat and tasty little pie.
Next week I begin to acquire my hours for my Work Experience class. I’ll fill you all in later.