Saturday, December 5, 2009

5th Term Baking Practical

After a spectacular weekend at home with my family, I made the journey back to school and was thrown headfirst into the 5th term baking practical. Yay?

Fortunately, I'd gotten a lot of sleep on the plane, bus, and train, so when 4:30am rolled around, I felt rested and ready!

Tuesday was Day 1. We had fifteen minutes to get setup (gather equipment and set up our stations) and then it was go time! The first thing I had to make was the chiffon cake so that it would have time to cool. Then I made the ganache and piped it for the truffles. Once the cake was cool, I trimmed and cut it into 1/2" layers, made the mousse, assembled and froze it. One product almost done! I rolled the truffles by hand, and had just enough time to scale out the ingredients for the challah bread for the next day.

Wednesday was Day 2 and I knew I had a tight schedule to stick to. There would only be one shot at the challah bread! The sponge and dough had to rest and ferment, and I also had to divide and shape/braid three loaves, so I had to work around that and the resting time. I got my chocolate in temper, quickly made the square plaques for the cake, glazed the cake and released it from the mold, and slapped on the pre and final coats for the truffles. I ended up finishing everything with about 20 minutes to spare! What a great feeling! Every minute that you are late is one point off of your score, and you need 70 points (out of 100) to pass in addition to scoring at least 70% on each item.

It was a relief to be done, but then we had to wait a good hour and a half for the chefs to grade all of our products!

Finally, Chef S came out with our cakes and truffles, informed us that everyone passed (yes!) and then discussed some of the problem areas and things we could work on. Then Chef C came out and showed us all of our challah breads. In my group, everyone except one person passed! Woohoo!

It is a great feeling to know that I am done and I don't have to worry about it anymore! I feel like I turned out an average product, but that I did my best considering the circumstances.

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