REFLECTIVE JOURNALING FOR CHOCOLATE &CONFECTIONS

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REFLECTIVE JOURNALING FOR CHOCOLATE  AND CONFECTIONS

During the chocolate and the confections course, I gained weight and knowledge, I enjoying the course, I made the green tea truffles, coffee flavor caramel mous, those all my favorite things, I’m really satisfied with this course.

First of all, from theory class and presentation which I learned the cultural-historical significance of chocolate, since Mayas had a verity of used for cocoa beans and treated them with tremendous respect, the cocoa accompany with human’s civilization develop; and we know the processing form cocoa bean to chocolate.Image

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For me the most familiar part is the types of chocolate, because Yan and I did the presentation of this part, during research, we are surprised with those many of different chocolates, it is beyond my imaginationSlide24

 

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Secondly, we learned several concepts, the most important one is chocolate tempering, at the beginning, and we can’t get nice tempered chocolate, they are not gloss and hardness, they don’t have nice colour and solid structure, but, after practice we get the expiries of tempering, we can handle those three things: temperature, time and movement. There are two methods used in our lab for tempering chocolate, one is marble method, another one is seeding method, it is interesting, when I fist time try seeding method, I love it more than marble method, because I got perfect tempered chocolate without messy, as a lazy people, I prefer this way, you just melt the couverture to the right temperature 40-45C, then add 1/3 of small chips stir until melted, see, easy and no extra work, I’d never use marbling method, but never say never, first time I was lucky, but the good luck just once, the second time I spend lots of time to temper the chocolate in seeding method, it’s kind of dispirited, we have to check the crystallization again and again, so I go back to the marble method, I have to say, there is no easy way to go, just fellow the rule and practice.
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For dipping chocolate, we need more patience, dip it one by one,when I made caramel mous, I was hurry to finish all the products, so I lost my patience, I pushed the chocolate too much, and the filling come out of the caramel mous! I will remember this mistake, next time, when I feel anxious, just stop and take a deep breath, until I can focus on my job! I hope my products have a good look and customers enjoy this sweet products with happy! So I can proud of it!
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Finally, for the confection part, we made some cute and soft fruit jellies; delicious caramel mous and nougat,

We had one-day sugar class, it was really fun except burn hands part, we learned several ways to get different texture sugar show piece, when we watching instructor demo, we thought that is easy, a piece of cake, we can deal it, but our turn to hand a piece of hot sugar, it is like BBQ your hands, fortunately, our first show piece not bad,
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In lots of chocolate store, they always use chocolate coating apples, strawberries etc, it looks pretty and yummy, kids love it and I really want to try .
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Reflection on design and decoration

 

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I can’t believe those beautiful cakes are made by me, I am so happy with that. For the past few weeks I was exhausted, my mother in law is suffering from cancer, when my husband go back to China to visit his mother, I have to take care two kids, everyday is rushing, that is why I enjoying the time of in the lab, when I focus on my tasks ,the piping, the decorating, I just forget everything, no kids running in the house, for me it’s pretty like Zen, it is my peace time.

 
Now, I can pipe shell, rosette, leaves, star, etc, I can using different types of tip to get the shapes I wanted, I get the experience of piping, I know how much power should using and Which angle can get nice shape!

  these reminder me, When I first time using piping bag, so many funny things happened, I putted so much cream in the piping bag, then the cream just quizzed out from the top of piping bag, I even didn’t know how to insert the piping tips in it, I piped flat ugly rosettes, nobody knows that is rosette, just messy cream. 

 
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It still is a challenge to me to piping with a cone to make chocolate motifs and writing, the main problems are:

  • The chocolate is not easy to control, we have to make sure the paper cone cut nicely, The chocolate melting well, even though, bubbles in the cone, chocolate stuck inside, it happens! What can I do? Be patient! If I need ten chocolate flakes to decorate the cake
    I will make twenty more, then, choose ten perfect flakes!
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  • The chocolate getting dry easily,but we putted the chocolate bowl into the bowl with warm water, so it maintain the piping!
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  • Writing nicely is a goal, honestly,I am not good at writing in English, even using pen to writing on the paper,but I believe that practice make perfect!
  • The size and space of writing consistency. It is necessary before we writing on the cake, we have to write on the paper hundreds of times to ensure we can writing nicely on the cake!

  I am satisfied with my skill at these tasks; compare the beginning of my piping I improved a lot.

  To become successful with piping, I have some ideas to share:

  • Practice, of course, we all know, we don’t have enough time to practice in the lab, so tried practice at home, using the batter instant chocolate, just mix flour with batter, writing on the plastic chopping board, it’s working. Practice everywhere if you can, actually, I don’t have extra time to practice, but my dad always say that to me, which is “don’t find excuses for your fail, figure out a way toward the success, so, I practice draw picture on the paper, on the phone, on the pan etc.
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  • Know your tools well.Image
  • Don’t shaking your hand, I have bad experience, I will shaking my hands when I drinking too much coffee or hungry, last time when I piping the chocolate writing, I can’t do it with my shaking hands.
  • Certainties know what will you do. Have an image in your head or draw a picture ready on the hand. Make sure how much big and what kinds of style will you do, that is important, next, you just do without stop.
  • Using on line resources.
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    Learn from someone else, we can easily find nice picture form online, there is lots of ideas about piping, for example, last week, I make a butter cream cake, the idea comes from computer, at the beginning, that is a way to learn, when I was journalist, my editor always said that to me: if you don’t know how to write a good article, just read more newspaper, like some articles written by Pulitzer Prize winner, it helped me a lot. Even I never write an article to win the prize, but I know what a good article should be.

  • Thinking. Different events using different types of piping, for example, someone play rock and roll, maybe he doesn’t want flowers on his cake, he just wants cool stuff, so our piping should be match the theme.
  • Be confident. Everything is about attitude, trust you can do it, and writing and piping with confidence, fluently and elegantly picture will show up.