Hello again, everybody!
As my time in the Advanced Pastry course dwindles down, there was just some finishing touches that needed to be completed for this semester. From sugar work to chocolate work, I finally had to combine all of my knowledge learned over the semester into one showpiece. This showpiece happened to be the final lab project for the semester. For our final lab project, I had to create a showpiece that required the use of three items – pastillage, some form of cooked sugar, and some form of chocolate (either modeling or tempered chocolate could be used). I had to design a showpiece including all of these items and have it contain an abstract element as well. Along with a showpiece, I had to demonstrate making bonbons to show that I could do it correctly (this mainly demonstrated the chocolate tempering process).
The designing process was quite difficult. At first, I had the idea of doing a butterfly snow globe, which would have left out any time to demonstrate the ability to make bonbons (that was also part of the lab final). I then went to a candy shop window, but that idea would prove to be too time-intensive for what I would have wanted to do. That’s when I found out before the lab final that I had to have an abstract component for my showpiece.
There was just one problem: I am very literal, so trying to think more figuratively is not my forte. After some much needed help, I finally came up with some sort of tree with modeling chocolate roses, spun sugar grass, a pastillage tree and base, and tempered butterflies for the final showpiece:
(Sketch of Final Showpiece)
I made a cutout for the tree from card stock, which I cut two trees from pastillage. I also cut out some bases from the pastille with a cookie cutter, which I then used 2(+) piping tips to cut holes into the base (I did the same with the trees). I also made some spirals from the pastillage, which I airbrushed green. I also made dark modeling chocolate for the roses, which I let sit overnight, and then attempted to make tempered chocolate butterflies (the attempts were not successful and were eventually removed from the overall piece). Instead of making the spun sugar grass, I made green cast sugar to fill the holes of both bases with. Finally, I made a little cast sugar piece to attach to the actual tree:
The first day of making the piece was not too bad, as I managed to get most of my components done. However, the second day proved to be problematic. I began to run out of time, so I had to nix some items that I wanted to include in my showpiece, such as the tempered chocolate butterflies. Also, when trying to attach one of my trees to one of the bases, it broke when I tried to do something else while holding it up at the same time. Not only this, but filling the holes with the sugar did not come out as cleanly as I wanted it to. However, with some help and quick thinking, I managed to make the showpiece shown above.
This class, overall, was one of the more interesting ones. It was more scientifically based than any of the other courses I ever had at SNHU. I learned a lot about chocolate: how to temper it, what makes a good brand of chocolate, how to make modeling chocolate, and also how to make anything out of modeling chocolate. I learned how to cook and create any kind of sugar creation as well. I also learned about molecular gastronomy – while it was not my favorite unit, the concept of keeping the flavors pure through science was cool. I also learned to make fudge during the semester.
Will I miss this course? Yes, I will – it is not everyday where I get to make anything chocolate-related or cook rock sugar or anything like what I have done this semester. With that being said, I am very happy with what I have done and I am thankful for being able to learn and do what I have done this semester.
I want to thank you all sincerely for staying with me throughout this entire semester and for reading this. I hope you all have enjoyed this read as I did this class.
Chances are, however, that you may see me again, either cooking or baking. What will I be doing? We will have to see.
- Final Showpiece [Personal photograph taken in SNHU]. (2016, April 13).
- Sketch of Final Showpiece [Personal photograph taken in Home]. (2016, April 25).