This was a heavy week of Finaling. Black Box on Monday, followed by Final Practical work. I am so happy this week is over!
You know how sometimes when you stress out about something it ends up being way better than you expected, and you wonder why you stressed so much in the first place? Yeah. That was not the case. The Black Box sucked every bit as much as I expected, and I hated it (and still do) with an undying passion.
This is the list I got when I arrived in the morning.
I was happy to get list #3 as I wanted to do a crepe, but the ingredients sucked. I don’t like honey or cardamom, and how do I make them prominent in a dessert?? Lemon is ok, but can be overpowering. I would have much preferred to get chocolate or even cream cheese, which were some of the other options as well as peaches and cherries. Blah.
Anyhow, I won’t dwell on it. We had to make 2 plates of this, one for us and one for the judges. Here is the plate I presented to the judges.
It’s a honey mousse in a crepe cup with a side of lemon compote on a bed of cardamom anglais with honeyed walnuts. On the side is a dollop of cardamom creme chantilly, fresh berries, and a tuile cookie with raspberry coulis dots.
There is so much wrong with this plate, where do I start? The mousse was way too soft (and disgusting) so it wouldn’t hold it’s shape. The raspberry coulis dots are WAY too big, they spread much more than expected. The lemon compote should have been on the side.
And here is the plate I kept for myself but should have presented them instead.
The mousse in mine had fallen over so I aborted and piped it instead. I thought it looked messy so didn’t want to present it. The raspberry dots are a much better size and the lemon compote is on the side. Basically all of the stuff the judges told me I should have done with the one I presented. SIGH.
ANYhow. It’s done. Somehow I still managed to get 89% which I think was generous for this. One thing I know for sure is that I will never (willingly) subject myself to something like this again :).
This was a review day for the Final Practical that was coming up tomorrow. At the start of the day we had to draw which cookie and rolls we’d each be making, as there were 4 different ones to choose from. My luck changed a bit today, and I drew the easiest of both (I think). I got soft rolls and sponge fingers. The other possibilities required more time or more complex techniques, so I was happy with my selections.
I took the day to practice sponge fingers, the marzipan rose, and chocolate writing. Something else too, but I can’t remember.
On the way home, I started to feel nauseous. I wondered if it was something I ate or what, but it was not good. The feeling and stomach pains lasted all evening and I went through a LOT of Pepto. I prayed that it would be better by morning.
Nausea and stomach issues prevailed. If it was a work day, I would have called in sick, but no dice. I had to go in! I was imagining situations where I’d have to pull over on the side of the road to throw up. Another layer of stress to an already stressful day. Thankfully I managed to keep everything down.
We got right down to business at 9am. I can’t remember much of the day, and didn’t take any pics as it was all stuff we’d made before. Plus I wasn’t feeling the best. The work distracted me for the most part from my stomach issues, which was good. I hadn’t really eaten because it would upset my stomach, so I was running off of nothing all day. By the end of the day I was exhausted, but I still had to do the marzipan rose and chocolate writing. Admittedly, this was not my best work and it reflected in my marks, but I just didn’t have the energy.
The one good thing I’ll say is that because I was feeling off I had more of an “it is what it is” attitude and didn’t stress as much about the products. This was strange for me, but I actually think it helped me do better on some of the tasks.
Day 2 of Final Practical. This morning we finished up some of our products from yesterday, got them graded, and got our marks. My worst ones were for my rose and chocolate writing (not surprisingly), but I got 25/25 for my lemon sabayon tart and did really well on the chocolates. Coincidentally, these are the only two things I took pics of before they were judged!
Such a relief to have the Black Box and Final Practical over!!
We spent the afternoon working on our big menu development project for next week. Lindsay and I locked down our desserts and would be practicing them tomorrow.
This was a practice day for our menu dev stuff next week. We tried out our mousses and cakes and made some tweaks as needed. It was a longer day than we expected it to be, as we had a lot we wanted to practice, but it was good as we realized we had to make changes to a couple things.
Next week we have Final Theory on Monday then Menu Dev stuff for the rest of the week and Grad on Friday!
I spent the better part of Saturday at Lindsay’s. As part of our menu dev project, we have to do a report with costing for each of the desserts, as well as recipes, drawings, coming up with a business, etc. We spent probably about 6 hours on this and only managed to get about half of it done. We worked on the stuff we needed to do together, and the rest we’ll finish up on our own today/tomorrow.
It was actually kinda fun. We had Christmas movies on in the background, but we honestly didn’t pay attention to them until we noticed the credits start to roll and wondered how they could be over already – where did the time go? We had coffee/tea, plus a break for lunch where Lindsay had laid out a pretty amazing spread of goodies.
At around 5pm we were both kinda spent and we started looking at the whole “Who are you?”, “Why are you in business?” stuff. We managed to come up with two whole sentences on who we are, and then looked at the requirements that said we needed half a page on this. We laughed at our pathetic efforts and decided to look at some of the previous projects on Monday at school.
ONE more week to go!
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