finding nemo cupcakes

here’s some finding nemo cupcakes i made for ryder’s 2nd birthday party. they’re funfetti (homemade) with vanilla buttercream. they came out pretty good:

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nemo, dore, the turtle, the pink octopus, seaweed, and coral.

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here’s a close-up:

it was a fun little project.

gingerbread

gingerbread was our second main project in confisserie. i kind of didn’t want to construct anything after pastillage, so i decided to make a rabbit sleigh. actually i had one other idea, the trojan rabbit, but i didn’t think chef brown would go for that. anyway, i’m glad i went with the sleigh since it’s more christmas-y. so first i had to get the shape with some input from chef brown. looks good!

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then i made the sleigh body out of special strong but bendable cardboard and lots of masking tape.

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then cover the sleigh with gingerbread! yes, cardboard is not edible, but i wasn’t entering mine in the food show and it would have been really hard to make it without the cardboard, so oh well. then some egg wash and bake. the egg wash kind of had a cool effect, almost like old looking wood.

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then cover the interior and bake as well. also fill in some of the edges with gingerbread and then sand down for a nice smooth edge.

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more egg wash and bake to desired color. i think this was some egg yolks and sugar to get it a little more brown.

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then i cut and baked the feet, then sanded down and egg washed. egg wash had a little black food coloring to give it a darker color.

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gingerbread rabbits! had some issues, but overall they came out pretty good. only one is standing because it’s hard to get them standing… the other ones are resting.

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after baking them, egg wash lightly and toss in granulated sugar. some ears got a little burnt but kind of cute actually. also, make scarves!!! those are made of marzipan and fondant.

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the sleigh needed a little simple decoration around the sides as well as royal icing snowflakes. those were really hard to make. hardest part of this project.

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santa bunny and his little helper with his marzipan and fondant presents and CARROT!

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BUNNIES!!!

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here’s the completed piece. bunnies!!!

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bunny close-up!!!

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after we finished all these, they were donated to local hospitals, so that’s nice. merry christmas!

pastillage

in confisserie we mainly worked on two big centerpiece projects, pastillage and gingerbread. pastillage is made of corn starch, powdered sugar, gelatin, and water. you mix it for a long time, then it is this interesting moldable thing that becomes really hard when it dries. after it dries, it gets sanded and then you can even carve it, etc., and glue it together with royal icing or superglue. i chose kind of a crazy design that was really hard to put together… i made this out of paper before for fun and for wedding centerpieces. it is much easier to make out of paper. here is a link in case you’d like to try

i had dreams every night about this thing breaking and it broke like 20 times, but in the end i made it work. take that, pastillage! it was really really hard. i almost gave up. chef brown actually gave me permission to give up. but in the end, i got it to work. actually the last piece i put in i deliberately broke in half because it couldn’t fit and then i sanded it down to make it appear continuous, but it’s just an illusion. when things don’t work, sometimes you just gotta brute force it.

here’s some of the pieces. i needed 30 units. i had to make one unit out of cardstock (the base is an equilateral triangle), then use that to make a plaster of paris mold. then each piece had to be sanded and cut with a saw at like 90 degrees from two directions and the point thing had to be 30 degrees… it was pretty complicated. then i had to superglue stuff together.

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hey the first one’s easy.

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this one wasn’t too bad either…

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number three is always the hardest one to do, even with paper. it was so hard… and the other two kept breaking…

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this one was really hard too and the other three kept breaking.

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by the fifth one, there’s like no wiggle room. i started sanding them down so they’d be skinnier. lots more breaking. brute force in the end…

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i also made a small pyramid to act as the stand. that was so easy compared to the main thing. good thing it worked…

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finally done!

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here’s a couple of my classmate’s ones:

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couple more:

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these are actually socles, so they are supposed to hold croquembouche (cream puffs dipped in caramelized sugar), so at the end of the class we did that.

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here’s some of them lined up in the hallway:

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chocolates

rie said i haven’t updated since october… which is true… sorry rie!!! here are some updates from last semester!

in patisserie and confisserie, we got a lot of practice learning how to temper chocolate, pipe it, and make truffles. actually we only made truffles like once or twice, but it was really cool. really hard but really cool. we made them as a gift for the board of regents or something like that.

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and then we made a box that was chocolate. THE BOX IS CHOCOLATE! we all made molds out of cardstock and plastic to make the chocolate boxes. craaaaaaaaaazy. and the lid is a combo of white and dark chocolate using a mold that chef brown created just for this project. your mind has been blown.

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here are the chocolate truffles inside the chocolate box.

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for christmas i was crazy enough to make my own truffles for gifts. it was a lot of work… i was a one woman chocolate chinese sweatshop. in the end, they came out nice though. we tried to go with a hawaii theme, so the flavors were lavendar, kona coffee, mac nut, kona orange, lilikoi (passion fruit), and coconut rum.

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more pictures from patisserie class

patisserie finished up a couple weeks ago. here’s some more photos of stuff…

some cheesecake with a fried lychee, salted caramel ice cream with a whipped cream ball and sesame wafer, chocolate marquis (mousse)

ginger thai basil tapioca in a hippenmasse ring, orange passionfruit ice cream, chocolate marquis with fried lychee on green tea cake

ciabatta bread! every week a different group makes the ciabatta bread for service. that was one of the highlights of the class.

mascarpone cheesecake with caramel sauce and berry compote plus marzipan mouse. people really like the mice.

more chocolate marquis on sugar dough with a chocolate ring

apple strudel with vanilla ice cream, panna cotta, chocolate marquis

on the last day of service we made a big french pastry display for the restaurant.

for our practical, we had to make two plated desserts of our choice. the first one i did was a trio with chocolate marquis on chocolate cake, creme brulee, and a chocolate pot with a berry mint compote.

second plate was pear poached in red wine, ginger, lemon, and honey with reduced poaching liquid and dried cherry sauce, and pear pecorino ice cream on a hippenmasse leaf.