I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect this week, but in the end I was pleasantly surprised. It was a busy few days cranking out things in the kitchen and we made so many candies and confections that I’ve never made before. Honestly, it’s always exciting when we veer into territory I haven’t yet explored. I never thought I would be interested in taking up confections moving forward, but now I’m about ready to buy a few molds and start making pate de fruit and chocolate shells.
I did a terrible job of taking photos this week, but we made a ton of things including marshmallows, caramels, dragees, pate de fruit, gummies, nougat, lollipops, fudge, pralines and more. Every day was spent cooking sugar syrups and learning how they can be used in different ways to create every type of candy imaginable. Much of the work was detailed and precise as we learned to finish and wrap each item and that’s what I loved about it. One of my goals now is to continue to fine tune precision and presentation in my work. That’s not to say I haven’t been happy with the quality of work I’ve produced so far, but since I typically work so fast, I’m trying to spend a few extra minutes on the details. This was a great time to practice being intentional with how I decorate and present every item.
Friday was a super cool day as we had Shawn Williams of Feve Chocolates as a guest chef to teach us how to air brush and create chocolate shells. There’s a real art to it and for some reason it speaks to me a little bit more than the art of cake decorating. I learned that it’s possible to get a simple airbrush setup and make these incredible chocolates for a relatively low cost. I’m not likely to be opening up a chocolate and confections business anytime soon, but I love the idea of dabbling in it and offering just a few delicious candies and beautiful chocolates alongside other pastries and baked goods.
Next week is a bit open ended since it’s technically our “bootcamp” week. My understanding so far is that we’ll focus on repetition of certain skills and recipes until we’ve mastered them. One of those recipes that takes numerous attempts to get it right? MACARONS! For a French pastry enthusiast, that’s going to be a pretty awesome day.