Sunday, 15 June 2014

Leiths: Advanced Term, Week 8

It would be impossible to count the amount of skills I’ve learnt over my past year studying cooking at Leiths. From the basics of chopping an onion properly, to the complex rules of croissant dough to filleting fish and gutting pheasants – there’s been a fair few! This week was my penultimate week of normal cooking curriculum at Leiths and it definitely felt like we were ticking off the last few major skills…photo (20)On Monday we were transported back to a 1950s kitchen with some good old fashioned jam making. My mum loves making jam – hence our kitchen's jam cupboard – and actually made her own batch the day before me, so there is definitely a competitive blind tasting in the future. As my Mum is such a jam making fan herself, I’ve never had a go on my own so I turned up on Monday morning, jars at the ready, excited to give it a try. Whilst raspberry is my absolute favourite jam, the strawberry definitely smelt delicious whilst cooking – super sweet and summery. I didn’t realise you could make jam so easily on a small scale (I filled two jars perfectly with my amount) but now I know this I’d love to experiment with other flavours this summer.photo 1 (27)It was like Great British Menu met Masterchef in the kitchen on Tuesday when creative cooking returned once again. This was probably our most ambitious creative challenge yet: designing a plated dessert that included a sabayon, parfait and puff pastry element. The long list of fruit, nuts, chocolate and alcohols available made choosing tricky. In the end I made a peach & blackberry parfait, peach mille feuille with amaretto sabayon, blackberry coulis and crushed honeycomb. I had to restart my sabayon (being too cautious with the alcohol prevented the structure forming properly) which added time pressure and left me not totally happy with the presentation. Normally this would be like a dream dish for me, eaten in minutes, but after two mornings working on it and with a heck of a lot of washing up to do, I didn’t even get to try it! photo 4 (19)This week also brought two tasks vegetarians might not be comfortable doing – killing and prepping our own crab and lobster. I didn’t know how I’d feel about doing this but as a meat and fish eater I think it would be hypocritical for me to not have tried. I was certainly nervous on seeing them but Leiths teaches us the fastest, most humane way to do it so it was all over quickly. Picking the cooked crab for the tian above turned out to be a much worse job in my opinion – I am not the most patient person and inserting a cocktail stick into every nook and cranny of the crab to get each flake of meat out definitely tested me! photo 3 (18)Thursday was an unexpectedly really fun day – definitely up there in my favourites. Who knew sausage making would be so fun?! I never expected making sausages from scratch to be part of the Leiths course but it was great to have a try and I haven’t felt so proud of a plate of food in ages! Also those caramel apples… heavenly. I doubt this will become a regular occasion in my kitchen (for starters I wouldn’t know where to find pork intestine for the casing…) but it was a great skill to add to the list. Bring on week 9!photo 5 (18)      A spot of baking to end the week – Friday’s Fougasse, made with a starter dough

4 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Beautiful creations. Mouthwatering. Well done, dear.

Cheers,

Rosa

La Table De Nana said...

Your mom..must be so proud of you Lucy.
So proud!

Maggie said...

The jam, plate of desserts and the fougasse - I would be in cooking heaven. Your days at Leiths sound enviable.

The Caked Crusader said...

I have always struggled with getting the right set with jam making - so I am envious of your lovely looking jar!