Monday, December 7, 2009

Epic Fail Day

I'm battling some kind of head cold/congestion thing at the moment, so I was feeling a bit confused,  exhausted and unmotivated today. This is probably why Team #2 (me and Holly) kept running into problems. First we had to make some quick breads. Holly and I were assigned to make a loaf of banana bread, apple spice bread and blueberry/cranberry bread. The first two came out just fine, but we happened to forget to take out the berry bread until someone pointed out that there was still a bread in the oven that was starting to burn. Oops! The funny thing is that we had both checked on it at some point, but not when it needed it most. You can see our sad little mistake pictured here against a backdrop of lovely, non-neglected breads. Fortunately, the inside came out just fine and tasted delicious — you just needed to remove the charred outer layer.

Team #2, Can't Make Pâte à Choux (pronounced pat-ah-shoo)
The second fail of the day came when we had to make pâte à choux, the light dough used to make eclairs and other pastries. We thought we'd mixed everything correctly until we realized that our dough wasn't dry enough to turn into a balled-up mound. Chef inspected it and suspected too much butter, but neither Holly or I could remember measuring it incorrectly. So we ended up scrapping our big mound of dough and had to start all over again while the rest of the class was starting to put theirs in the oven. The second batch turned out fine (with several, much-needed inspections from chef every step of the way).

The best part was that we were play-taunting Team #4 (Margaret, my co-apprentice at Paige's, and Tamara) with silly insults that rhymed with the word "four" and they shot back with the phrase "Team #2, Can't Make Pâte à Choux". How right they were!

So tonight's plans include a good dose of NyQuil and an early bedtime. Hopefully by tomorrow I will be more clear-headed and maybe help Team #2 cause less culinary destruction. Sorry Holly!

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