The next five days I'll be slamming the blog with posts mostly to record my memory before its lost. We're covering so many recipes and techniques, and so many off-handed tips are being thrown out that I won't remember many, but these posts will try to capture and share what I'm learning.
My instructor today was Jean-Marie Auboine who just recently took over the pastry lead at the Bellagio. A very down-to-earth chef who clearly has a mastery of confections but also instruction.
Today we did a ton of prep that will show fruits tomorrow, but here it is:
While we were all setting up our mis-en-place Chef was preparing frames full of cornstarch. He started by whisking the starch to remove lumps and fluff it up a bit.
Then he scraped it down to make it a smooth surface.
And then imprinted it with the size cavities that we would be filling. Previously Chef had covered the tables with cling wrap to make clean-up easier.
Here's how the box looked before filling...don't sneeze!
I had first seen this technique in Torreblanca 2 where he used it to create bb sized liquid balls as garnish.
Cognac or Raspberry Liquor Candies
500 g Sugar - chef only uses cube because he says they have less impurities than granular
170 g Mineral water - again for impurities
200 g Cognac or Raspberry liquor (all liquor must be 40% minimum alcohol)
Cook sugar and water to 120ºC. Add cognac warmed to 50ºC and pour back and forth between two bowls - do not whisk or stir - this prevents crystallization. Cover with a west towel and rest 5 minutes. Fill starch mold three quarters of the way- make sure portioner/pourer is warmed to 50ºC.
Above are the raspberry liquors and below are the cognac. One filling technique that Chef demonstrated is to run the portioner non-stop and the starch will roll the liquid forward with the momentum and allow for much faster filling and less risk of crystallization.
Sprinkle starch on top of liquids and rest three hours (less for smaller molds).
That's part one...next up is ganaches and starting our bon bons.
The Alley Cantina – Taos, New Mexico
3 days ago