In my Petit Fours class on March 25, my group had the responsibility to run our class session. The assigned group project required us to select a theme and then come up with individual recipes that would contribute to the theme. My group chose the theme "Nuts in the Kitchen." We wanted to highlight different types of nuts in four different applications, and we worked extremely hard to conceptualize four products that would work together. Our products brought different tastes, textures and applications while using the colors of tan, brown, and white in harmony.
My friend Mandy chose to do a bourbon-pecan tart, which had a similar look as a pecan tassie. She used a pecan short dough as the base and a bourbon pecan filling. After cooling, she used melted dark chocolate to add some striping and then topped each one with a bit of bourbon flavored chantilly cream. These were delicious.
My friend Joanne chose to do an almond sponge cake with amaretto cream. She made an almond sponge cake then used circle cutters to cut smaller pieces of cake. She layered in the amaretto cream then topped each off with a white chocolate disc and an almond garnish. Also delicious.
My friend Gilly made a hazelnut french macaron with a chocolate ganache filling. Macarons traditionally have almond flour so this was a different take on this item. I love hazelnuts and ganache so I loved the taste of these as well.
I chose to make a homemade peanut butter cream cup. To do this, I used paper petite cups and brushes to create the chocolate cup. After unmolding, these were filled with a peanut butter cream, which had tiny pieces of actual peanuts, peanut butter and a pastry cream with a few other ingredients. I then used melted dark chocolate to pipe garnishes. Any peanut butter lover would enjoy this. Seriously, not to sound conceited, but I think it could give Reese's a run for its money.
We had to present our products in a creative way so my group members and I spent a few hours one afternoon coming up with different ideas. This is what we chose, in the middle, which is surrounded by the plates from our other classmates:
These types of projects require a lot of time and effort, but in the end, they are the experiences where I feel I learn the most as a student. This project helped me learn more about conceptualizing a theme from beginning to end, and taking into consideration many different factors like texture, appearance, taste, size, color, etc. It was really worth the effort, and we felt really good about our idea and our execution.