Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Iron Chef Pastry Chef

They had the very first Pastry Chef Iron Chef contest at school. There were 13 teams of two; you can pick your choice for a team member. I was looking for someone with baking experience, but could not find anyone. I mentioned to a classmate of mine that if need be, I will work with someone who has no experience, but in that case they will be a gopher for me. The person I was telling this to said they would gladly be my gopher.

I said I would have her help me, but all she would do is run for things or do very minor things. The plus side is that I don't have to butt heads with someone over what we're going to make, but the down side it is pretty much one person going up against two people. They were dropping it from 13 teams down to 6 teams and the next 6 teams will go onto the second round next Monday.

We were given a bag with 5 mystery ingredients. I opened the bag and found:
1. a wedge of Brie cheese
2. shelled pistachio nuts
3. tangelos
4. semi-sweet chocolate disks
5. Israeli couscous.

The bag of couscous was supposed to be pearl tapioca, but somehow they messed it up. They have a black cart with things like fresh fruit, milk, heavy cream, eggs, and a variety of other things. We have one hour from start to finish to make a dessert. It must have a sauce, and meet certain criteria. I do not recall the 5 criteria.

Below is a picture of what my partner and I made. We made a sauce with fresh strawberries and blackberries. I found some white chocolate globes that were hollowed out, so we beat the brie cheese, heavy cream, and the juice from the tangelos. Then, we filled the white chocolate globes and put them down on the sauce so you could not see they were filled. Then we took the chocolate, some fresh mint and heavy cream, and made a minted chocolate ganache and added the couscous for crunch.

Then, I made something called a rum snap; they are flour, butter, sugar, rum and ginger. You heat the mix on the stove, then chill it. Pour some onto a sheet pan and put it back in the oven till golden brown. When it is just about cool, you can cut strips or circles and make various shapes. I cut strips and rolled them around pieces of pipe, put two together, put some ganache in the center, and added a fresh mint leaf for garnish.

Then, we made some pistachio brittle and put a fresh raspberry on top of one piece and a fresh blackberry on another piece. Then put a piece of dried ginger down for added garnish. Over all we placed 4th, we were both really surprised after seeing some of the stuff that went out. I do not know what took 1st through 3rd, but I will do something a little more advanced in the second round. Rick b


concrete said...

Well done. If only I had the chance to taste these!

Jeff said...

Wow. Using mystery ingredients, only having one hour, and especially the disadvantage of not having an experienced partner...that must have been tough.