As with any passion, 100% can not be sugar, chocolate, or honey coated. At this point in my culinary studies (ironically enough, since sweets are my ultimate fixation), I've found my calculus, my traffic jam, my tax forms of cooking: the creation of sweets.
While desperately trying to accept the embarkment of the new pastry module, hopes of acceptance and new realizations filled my aura. Perhaps baking is not as dreary as I once thought? Sure the meticulousness, in-the-box, follow-the-rules, Nazi-ness of the precision needed for this field has made me steer clear...but maybe my views will change?
As we plunged into poaching, candying, and baking of various fruit, my weakness for sweets lured me in. Aromatic figs and delicate orange supremes created a heavenly ambiance of indulgence. I cant wait until chocolate day, I thought to myself while scooping up a second helping of grilled mangoes.
However, as we moved further into the module, the sluggish formation thorns my psyche. Do I really need to add one egg at a time? Can I be a bit more creative and throw in a bit of cocoa powder and cayenne for a more interesting combination of flavors? Is it really a sin to garnish with a component of the filling? Please give me a break!
As if the instructor's lethargic character wasn't enough, in addition to the restrictive methods we were instructed to perform homework. Bake a few pies? Rise a bit of dough? Feed some yeast? No problem...however we were summoned to construct parchment paper cornets...15 of them. Granted, this task is fairly simple-cut parchment paper, fold, twist, fold once more, and voila! However, doing this 15 times when I could be doing something much more productive (candying, kneading, or whisking, for instance) didn't lighten my baking mood.
Needless to say, I was less than thrilled for the following class's lesson. More folding, rolling, and piping. Nonetheless, the hard work really paid off. The finale, in this case light pastry cream fruit tarts, were a complete success and a sight to see.
To give in this early is not part of my demeanor, so I will plow ahead in the coming weeks to learn to appreciate the misunderstood. Give me 200 cornets! I can do it!