Culinary Sense

Adventures with Food and Life

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

Plated Desserts: Student Specials

Hey Friends!

We students get to make lots and lots of specials for our Plated Desserts class. These specials go out to the diners in the restaurant, if the servers sell them. These specials include cakes and other plated desserts.

I’ve assembled a gallery so that you can view a sampling of what we all made.

~ Carolynn



In Which I Make Colorful Sauces

Hi Folks!

Once again we have an exciting class planned! Chef had us make various sauces for the class on the next day, when we would be learning some plating techniques.

The night before, I get to make colored sauces, which looks like this:



These were the two “extreme” sauces I made. One teal, and one green. They are simply water mixed with cornstarch (to thicken them), and with food coloring added. I had so much fun!



But of course we also had “regular” sauces. The red one is a red beet sauce. Someone also made a carrot sauce, and we also used our regular creme anglaise (pale yellow) and chocolate sauce (brown).

The next day, we begin.


Here is the preparation: clean plates, and lots of parchment paper cones that contain one of the sauces. We make the cones ourselves, and then cut tiny little holes for tips, and squeeze out the sauces onto the plates.


Chef likes to do clean, modern designs.


This is my plate: I practiced and fooled around a bit. But I do also like the lines with dots.



When you have at least two colors of sauces, you can make designs, and then fill in the loops and circles, and other empty spaces. I made a green clover, and some loop-dee-loops that I filled with blue sauce. Or red sauce, I’m not quite sure. Anyway, this is really just fooling around.


Here’s some more sauces on plates. You can pull it, smear it, paint it with a brush. So many possibilities!

You can also combine two sauces and make really pretty designs like hearts or tear drops. Here, you make a pool and drop three drops of the red sauce, then pull a pointy tool through it (like a skewer).


Other pretty designs with two sauces.


My famous two sauces that don’t exist in real life.


Yeah. For some reason, I really liked those two colors. Ha!


This is what Chef likes to call an amoeba: chocolate sauce filled with creme anglaise.

So, what did we learn? Simple and elegant is the way to go, and no more than two sauces on a plate. Make it look nice, but not too much.

~ Carolynn



Plated Desserts: Bread Station

Hi Peeps!

For one week of my Plated Desserts class, I get to work on the bread station. You get a bread basket when you sit down for dinner at the restaurant, and it is our job to make those bread baskets. We don’t actually make most of the breads; they are made across the street at the school’s bakery – La Brioche.

There are often three to five different kinds of loaves that we get every day, including baguette, levain, different kinds of white, wheat, and grain breads, sometimes lavash, a type of flatbread topped with seeds.

In addition, the students in our class who are on the bread station are encouraged to make a daily bread. When it was my turn, I made pretzel sticks, whole wheat flatbread, and rosemary crackers. It was actually quite fun. And while I have complained in the past on this blog about my failure to bake with yeast, this time around, it really seemed to work out. I was so proud of the pretzel sticks, because they tasted really good, and the guests kept asking for more. They could have looked a little better, but they tasted really great.

Maybe I will become a baker after all? 🙂

~ Carolynn

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