Week 3 recap

My biscuits have historically been only marginally more successful than my pie crusts used to be, tedning towards the leaden and non-flaky, so I was hopeful on biscuit day that I would emerge able to make as competent a biscuit as I now can make a pie crust. It turns out that the method for biscuits is physically very similar to that for pie crust: cut in the fat, don’t overwet, and handle it very gently, being careful not to overmix. Our group’s biscuits didn’t come out as well as Chef’s, but they were pretty good. I haven’t made any at home yet but I expect the next batch I do make will be at least acceptable.

The cakes were interesting. I’ve always used cake mixes, except once when I made a scratch angel food for my mom’s birthday, which came out ok, although looking back I realize I didn’t understand how to properly fold ingredients in. One of the cakes was a traditional devils food; it came out nice and chocolaty, and we iced it with a simple buttercream icing. The other was a sponge cake, which requires a high-whip/fold-in process similar to an angel food cake. the texture of the batter was very interesting, and the cake came out… spongy. I made two little cakes from my portion: a crude 5-layer torte with a little raspberry coulis between the layers and a chocolate ganache coating; and a rolled-up cake filled with creme anglaise and covered with whip cream. I don’t think I’ll be using boxed mix anymore.

Almost forgot the cookies. Our group made shortbread cookies, which I’ve never made before, although after studying the recipe I realized that I have made similar cookies before. they were good, but spread more than I expected. I suspect the dough was warmer and the oven less hot than would have been ideal.

And that, after knocking off two of my speeches in speech class this morning, was the week. [Except for having to retype all this because the first submission failed. Grr.]