i get a lot of questions about my culinary classes – what kinds of things do we cook? how are we taught? do we get to do everything ourselves? and how hot are the kitchens, really?
well, we cook just about everything. sauces, fillings, pastries, meats, vegetables, you name it. this week i made my own sausages, grilled steaks, dipped cakes in chocolate, whipped egg whites for mousse by hand, and poached pears. we learn by doing, and we do it all ourselves. sometimes we get to watch the teachers and assistants do demos, such as grinding meat or making different items than we do, but most of the food we prepare by hand, learning as we go.
and the kitchen is ridiculously hot. you know how it’s hot outside right now? how it’s 100 degrees in boston, and humid? image putting on long pants, sneakers, a long-sleeved chef coat over a t-shirt, and a hat, then going into a big windowless room with about 20 ovens, over 100 burners, 2 convection ovens, deep friers, grills, and a ton of refrigerators and freezers, all pumping out hot air. plus, we’re all running around like crazy people. needless to say, it gets hot in there. and not in a fun, sexy way – in a gross, sweaty, irritating way.
but we have an awesome time. and just for you, i took some pictures in my baking class last night, to share a bit of what we made. the yellow layered cake is a victoria cake, two moist layers that taste a bit like pound cake, with buttercream frosting and strawberry preserves in the middle. the ovens in our kitchen are pretty unpredictable, and many of our cakes came out a bit dry, but they looked beautiful. the small squares are lamingtons, an australian specialty that’s surprisingly easy to make. sponge cake is cut into individual portions, then coated in chocolate icing and rolled in coconut. these are absolutely delicious, and i can’t wait to try them out at home…
…on my gorgeous new cake stand, which i won in a contest on the amazing stephanie’s blog, desserts for breakfast. it arrived yesterday, and i can’t wait to put it to good use – maybe these lamingtons will have to get remade soon.