Sunday, 8 June 2014

Leiths: Advanced Term, Week 7

Despite only being a 3 day week, Week 7 at Leiths still managed to cram plenty in. There were new skills, new ingredients, lots of delicious food and most importantly a new discovery about one male teachers’ jewellery tastes…photo 1 (26)The trouble with making your own Danish pastry dough is that you have to tend to it every 20 minutes, giving you very small amounts of time in which to get other things done. Or the perfect amount of time to make a prawn laksa! This was a surprise favourite for me – without the prawns it made a delicious fragrant noodle soup for dinner. The only thing that could have made it better was apparently a touch more fish paste to bring out all the flavours more. The trouble is, the jar of fish paste on its own smells like something that should be nowhere near any food. Even though this scent and flavour disappears when combined with all the other spices, it is difficult to be anything other than very sparing with it. More curry bravery needed!photo 2 (28)Terrines. Something I order at restaurants but have never thought to make at home. Until now! Our terrines demonstration showed that actually they can be fairly simple, really pretty and a great make ahead dish for a crowd. On Monday we were making a very traditional terrine de campagne – chicken liver, bacon, pork mince and pistachios all wrapped in bacon. For me, the star of the show was the sweet and sticky onion confit which made up for the fact that my terrine was a little soggy due to too damp onions…you live and learn!photo 3 (17)I don’t know why, but I really associate cooking scallops with Masterchef. Is it just me or is there nearly always a scallop starter in the final – normally a rectangular plate of 3 little scallops each sitting on a puree of some kind and topped with a dainty decoration? Bearing this in mind, I was excited to finally have a go at preparing my own. Having been sternly warned by our teacher that the scallops were expensive and therefore under no circumstances were we to muck this up – the pressure was on! Happily, the process of getting the scallops out of their shells turned out to be much simpler than I anticipated and actually really satisfying! Phew. photo 4 (18)After the depressing burnt croissant experience of week 4, I was determined that Danish pastries would not go the same way. They use exactly the same method, the only difference being the shaping and the introduction of fillings. I made the majority of mine frangipane filled and only one was cinnamon and pecan butter – a decision I regretted on trying it and discovering it was delicious! They made pretty monster sized Danishes but I don’t think anyone was complaining. It was fun to learn all the different shapes from the classic pinwheel to the plait, princess and one described by one male teacher as ‘looking like Egyptian jewellery’…naturally. Bring on week 8!photo 5 (17)


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wonderful food! Making Danish pastry isn't all that easy... Well done, despite the problems you came across.



La Table De Nana said...

I agree with you and fish sauce..
I should get past that!
I'll be Googling recipes:-)

Karen @ Lemon Grove Cake Diaries said...

You did fit a lot of cooking into a small amount of time. The Danish look delicious!

The Caked Crusader said...

I find most pastry irresistable... I think I'd be eating everything if I attended this class!