There are three weeks left in Semester One. This 4thlesson is followed by the skills assessment where the students are required to replicate several of the recipes learnt in the Dessert module. I have included in this post the pictures of the finished plates I presented in the assessment. The very final week is called the “holistic” class, where several dishes from any part of the second -year curriculum must be recreated…but more of that later. Lesson 4 consisted of; Sticky Toffee Rhubarb Cake with butterscotch sauce, Apple Crepes with Champagne Sabayon (recipe below) and an Orange Soufflé with Caramelised Oranges and Suzette Sauce.
As usual, there was some deviation from the recipe by Chef. The base of the ‘cake’ is pretty much like every Sticky Date Pudding I ‘ve previously made, but this recipe called for the addition of rhubarb. In the recipe (as it was printed) the rhubarb was to be finely cut and added to the mixture before pouring into the individual moulds, but Chef sprinkled the finely chopped rhubarb across the top once the mixture was in the moulds. It was served with some stewed sweetened rhubarb and a rich caramel sauce.
The Apple Crepes were my favourite of the class; thin as paper crepes filled with buttery cooked apple and mint….comfort food. What I also like about this is dish is that the crepes and the apple can be made well before needed and assembled at the last minute for a stunning dessert. It is important that the crepe pan (or small fry pan) is well seasoned so as the crepes don’t stick. I was lucky that the pan I got to use in class was well seasoned and only required a lick of oil, applied with paper towel, to turn out 8 perfect crepes. There is generally a ‘good side’ of a crepe, usually it’s the first side cooked, so make sure you fill the other side so as the ‘good side’ is presented on your plate. Serving this with a garnish of the cooked apple and the sabayon really lifts the dish.
Finally we came to the Orange Soufflé! I have made a lot of double cooked cheese soufflé’s in my time, which everyone loves, but have steered away from the dessert soufflé, and it appears for good reason! These little beauties collapse fast. Perhaps it’s just the recipe as Chef’s flattened out quite quickly as well, so if anyone can point me to a good one which holds its structure please let me know. The soufflés were also part of the assessment and in his wrap up to the class Chef shared that if they are left in the oven until they are brown on top and around the collar, they’ll collapse much more slowly.
As for the assessment dishes, apart from the Orange Soufflé we also were required to make three other dishes taught in the module. Crème Brulee was one of the dishes, so I now have photos to show you of my Crème Brulee as these ones weren’t nicked. The other two dishes were; White Chocolate Pannacotta with Strawberry Jelly and Chocolate Mousse with Orange Jelly.
The ‘holistic’ menu I am to cook next week, the last week of the semester is; 1 x Goat Curry Pie (with puff pastry top), Braised Beef Cheeks with Crushed Potatoes and 6 x Mini Apple and Frangipane Jalousie. Hope to see you back for the last chapter of this part of the course, before embarking on the last semester in which I am working in the college kitchen restaurant for paying guests!
Apple Crepes with Champagne Sabayon Sauce
Paper thin crepes with minted buttered apple filling served with a rich Champagne Sabayon….need I say more?
- 50 gm Plain flour
- Pinch Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 15 gm Butter, unsalted
- Cooking oil – e.g light tasting vegetable or canola
- 3 Green Apples – Granny Smith
- 10 gm Sugar
- 75 gm Butter, unsalted
- 1/2 bunch Mint – fresh
- 2 Egg yolks
- 50 gm Sugar
- 50 mls Champagne
Sift flour and salt into a bowl and make a well.
In a jug, whisk together milk and 2 eggs.
Gradually add milk and egg mixture in 4-5 additions to the dry ingedients – whisking the lumps out before adding more liquid.
Melt the butter and add to the mixture
Set the mixture aside for minimum of 1 hour
Using kitchen paper, wipe hot pan with cooking oil. Pour in enough batter to cover the base – quickly swirling and tipping excess out. Cook until caramalised on the bottom. Using a gloved hand, flip the crepe over and cook on the other side. The first side will be the presentation side. Place crepes on over turned plate covered in plastic wrap.
Peel and cut apples into small dice and dust in sugar. Melt the butter in a pan and add the apples, cook over a low heat until softened. Add the chopped mint when still warm. Set aside.
Heat water in a saucepan. In a bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar and place over the boiling water (bain marie). Continue to whisk whislt very gradually adding the the champagne. Keep cooking over the bain marie, continuosly whisking until it thickens and reaches ribbon stage (about 65 – 70C).
Serving (2 crepes per person)
Place the crepe with presentation side down. Add a small amount of the cooked apple and fold into a triangle. Overlap the crepes on the plate and dust with icing sugar. Nape the sabayon across the crepes. Garnish and serve.