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Grand Endings and New Beginnings

April 21, 2012

They say that time flies when you’re having fun.  I have recently discovered that time also flies when you’re working full-time, studying full-time, and sleeping far less than you should.  It leaves you almost no time for packing up all of your stuff to move across the country, let alone blogging!  Yesterday I left California, left culinary school for a 5-month externship in Boston before I return for my second year.  In the past eight months, I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible, and I’m excited to foray into the working world so that I can apply what I’ve learned to a work environment that is not contained within a crazy foodie bubble.

I already have excellent plans for homemade dinners and fresh bread here in Boston, but first I have one last set of desserts to share from school.  What’s that they say about going out with a bang?

The final exam for my second-to-last class included developing a themed pastry buffet.  My theme was… wait for it… alcohol!  Yum!  Here’s the menu:

We had to set up a table to display our desserts, so naturally we put together a little “bar.”  We had various props such as a bowl of peanuts, several empty bottles, and a fedora filled with cheesy pick-up lines that we invited visitors to take with them on their way out.  And we lined up these Bavarian cream martinis on the back of the bar.  I have mixed feelings about Bavarian cream, but I must admit it looks classy in a martini glass.

Here you can see our french macarons, which are sandwiched with coconut rum buttercream.  In the background you can see the little slices of Bailey’s Buttercream cake, lined up like delicious little soldiers.

Dacquoise are meringue circles that are sandwiched with buttercream; these are almond dacquoise with Kirsch buttercream, rolled in toasted almonds.  In hindsight I would have added a little more Kirsch, but they had a wonderful nutty flavor.

And the bananas foster galette: there’s puff pastry on the bottom, topped with rum-flavored pastry cream and bruléed bananas.  My chef instructor said they were a little too “rustic,” but I have to say they were delicious.  Have you ever bruléed bananas before?  The banana holds up surprisingly well, and it tastes great with just a little bit of crunchy sugar on top.  Throw in a little rum and you can’t possibly go wrong.

And with that, I went through the same routine that I’ve done so many times in the past few years: sifting through papers and notebooks; deciding what to keep and what to toss; squeezing it all into two suitcases and making my way to the airport… in short, packing up my life and moving clear across the country to start over.  Again.

But hey, I am the Wandering Chef, after all–and I have big plans for Boston!  Let’s make it a delicious summer, shall we?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. fiona permalink
    April 21, 2012 4:04 PM

    Alcohol as a theme? Nice! The banana foster galette sounds and looks delectable, as does everything else. What’s Bavarian cream?

    All the best in Boston – what kind of externship will you be doing?

    • April 25, 2012 9:33 AM

      Bavarian cream is a basic vanilla sauce, lightened with whipped cream and stabilized with gelatin. If it’s light on the gelatin, I really like the texture. If it’s firm enough to hold its own shape, I stay far away! And I’m working at a hotel restaurant here in Boston; all’s well so far! I’m sure I’ll be writing about it soon. 🙂

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