February 28, 2017
Tight schedule and a lot to accomplish before packing up for Friday Harbor on Wednesday for an event with the Skagit Valley Brewery, culinary schools of the northwest, and the agriculture community. Most main items for this week have been made in the dessert department, but there were a few things such as garnishes that needed to be created. I sliced an apple very thinly on a mandolin and dehydrated them inside our deck over and then brushed them with some simply syrup before coating in vanilla cinnamon sugar; they basically melt in your mouth…yeah, pretty good. The only thing we needed to do to our pithiviers was heat them up and get them nice and crisp again in the oven and then slice to order. I paired my apple pithivier with my cinnamon ice cream from the week before, toasted almonds and my apple chips. Kayla paired her pear pithivier with port poached pears that we made today — simple syrup with the addition of a cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, and about a cup or two of port — caramel ice cream which seemed to melt a lot quicker than usual, caramel sauce, and toasted almonds. Both tasted and looked fantastic on the plate and our chefs thought so too (Chef Gil doesn’t really eat cinnamon and he said my ice cream was “bomb”), despite my earlier doubts to the idea of cinnamon and almonds (don’t ask why, I don’t know…).
Once those plated desserts were ready for 11:00 lunch service, Kayla and I focused on making ganache, dark chocolate and white chocolate, for our little tarts for Friday Harbor. We had round vanilla tart shells and square dark chocolate tart shells to fill with our ganache and toasted hazelnuts. Once filled with the ganache and left to set up, we sprinkled more crushed hazelnuts on top and made a hazelnut isomalt (sugar) glass. If there were any doubts as to the tarts containing nuts, they have been erased. Unfortunately since we needed fifty tarts we could not try one, but we certainly gorged on our plated desserts and semifreddo; too many sweets without proper nourishment is a terrible idea.
Towards the end of the day, Kayla and I decided to make mini tiramisu cakes with our leftover product since we would not be attending school on Thursday, the chefs would need 30 desserts to serve the culinary board president and his associates for lunch. We used oval molds from our bakery storage room and started by baking off more ribbon sponge. Once baked and cooled we sliced according to the depth of the above plastic molds and lined the inside of each one with the sponge. This would create a different design on the outside of each tiramisu offering coloring and depth to the dessert. To assemble we soaked ladyfinger sponge in espresso simple syrup that contained coffee liqueur and placed one oval on the bottom of the mold. Next came our delightful Marsala bavarian cream filling followed by another sponge layer. We topped with one more layer of bavarian cream before popping them in the fridge with plastic wrap to set up for Thursday’s luncheon. Once they are out of the fridge there will be a generous dusting of cocoa powder on top in true signature-style Tiramisu.
Long, long, long, LONG, long day…So tired after making all of these desserts and worrying about tomorrow but it will be a blast and I will take lots ‘o’ pictures for everyone to see. Now for a restful night of sleep and an early morning start!