We were given a second training on the show as the judges felt we were poor on desserts. We were taught not only how to make some key desserts but also how to plate them. In addition we were taught how to use Kenwood machines and those of us who made the best desserts last week taught the viewers.
- Nut brittle(I did)
- Short bread (Popoola did)
- Apple roll (Ojo did)
- Apple turnover
- Bread pudding
- Poached pears in red wine sauce
- Egg custard
- Chocolate sauce
- Whipped cream
- Use of Kenwood machines
Ingredients: Slivered almonds, crushed cashew nuts, dried cranberries, sugar, little water, knorr.
Method: Caramelize the sugar and little water until golden brown (honey coloured). Remove from fire and stir in the nuts, cranberries and knorr for a spicy kick. Spread on well-greased foil. Leave to cool down a bit and cut into shape as desired. When it cools completely, follow the lines and break.
Ingredients: Flour, butter, sugar, cooked rice, garri and pomegranate.
Method: Mix all your dry ingredients together then rice, pomegranate and lastly butter. Cut into shape and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a hot oven until crisp and golden.
Apple roll: This is somewhat like strudel
Ingredients: Apple, pear, pomegranate, lemon juice, spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger) flour, fat, salt, water, sugar, knorr and egg wash.
Method: To make the filling, peel, core and slice the apples and pears into quarters, soak them in some lemon and water to prevent discoloration. Drain and cook with some sugar and spice. Using a wooden spoon, to beat the pomegranate, add some of its seeds. This gives it a beautiful colour like apple and rhubarb pie. When the mix is soft, turn off heat and keep to cool. Make your pie dough by mixing 1:1 flour to fat. Add a little sugar and knorr for flavour, a little cold water to bind then roll out into a rectangle. Dust with some cinnamon, put the filling in a line and roll. Brush with egg wash and bake in a hot oven till golden brown. The egg wash gives it a beautiful golden colour and helps you know when it’s done. When it’s ready, slice and serve with custard.
Ingredients: Apple, pear and pomegranate filling (same as for above), short crust pastry, egg wash.
Method: Roll out the pastry, cut out with round cutters, put in filling, seal with egg wash and a fork. Brush with egg wash and fry in hot oil till golden and puffed up.
Ingredients: 12 slices of bread, butter, milk, 5 whole eggs plus 5 egg yolks, sugar and nutmeg.
Method: Mix eggs and yolk. Heat milk and sugar, whisk into the egg then return to fire and whisk rapidly and continually until slightly thickened. Butter slices of stale bread on both sides. Cut each slice into 4 triangles without removing the crusts. Layer the bread with grated nutmeg and cranberries in a buttered dish. Pour on egg custard making sure all the bread is moistened. Bake until set, puffy and golden. Sprinkle with sugar and serve.
Poached pears in red wine sauce
Ingredients: pears, lemon, sugar, red wine, powdered ginger, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla bean paste, water.
Method: Peel the pears without coring or removing the stalk. Toss in some lemon juice and water to prevent discoloration. Mix some red wine, spices, sugar and add the pears. The trick to poaching is to make sure that the fruit is well afloat in enough liquid i.e. the fruit is not touching the base of the pot. Cook till the fruit is soft. Remove and then reduce the sauce until thick and syrupy. Put back the pears. To serve, dab with paper towel, place on a plate and pour on the sauce.
Ingredients: egg yolk, milk or single cream, sugar, vanilla, cornflour.
Method: Heat milk and sugar, whisk into well beaten egg yolk, return to fire and whisk rapidly over high heat until thickened. Add cornflour mixed with water and keep stirring until creamy like custard. If too thick, thin with egg yolks whisked in rapidly. Strain and serve.
Egg custard on biscuit base
Ingredients: egg custard, digestive biscuits, butter, sugar, flour, (spice-optional)
Method: crush the biscuit and mix with the remaining ingredients. Put into ramekins. Bake in an oven. Leave to cool and then top with custard. Serve warm or chilled.
Ingredients: Dark chocolate bar, butter, milk and chili or black pepper (optional).
Method: Heat the milk and season. Add the chocolate pieces and stir till melted. Keep stirring on low heat until it is as thick as you desire. Stir in some butter for extra creaminess. Leave on low heat to keep it from solidifying till it is ready to use.
Ingredients: cream (sweetened or not), sugar (optional)
Method: if using sugar (Chantilly cream) add at the beginning with the cream. Whip cream till it holds a peak. Put in a Ziploc bag and cut the tip to pipe.
The different desserts were plated in different ways.
- Chef Renee used the pastry brush to paint a stroke of chocolate sauce on the plate then placed a pear on it. She finished this off by drizzling some chocolate sauce on the pear.
- Chef Fregz used a spoon to make perpendicular lines of sauce on a plate then using two spoons, he shaped a scoop of Chantilly cream (quenelle) and placed it on crushed brittle which held the cream in place.
- Next he put a pear on a plate after he had made some abstract sprinkles on the plate with chocolate sauce then he placed a triangular piece of brittle to lean on the pear. This he further garnished with some Chantilly cream sprinkled with crushed brittle. He also put some red wine sauce on the plate for colour.
- For the apple roll he plated two slices of strudel by making them face opposite directions i.e. one standing and the other lying down. He then served this with a pot of custard garnished with a swirl of red wine sauce and crushed brittle.
- Dr. Roberts used a stacker to cut out bread pudding and served it with Chantilly cream. The remaining desserts were served on platters.
Use of Kenwood Kitchen Machines
No matter how cumbersome it may seem to bring down and assemble the machines, they are more time efficient and the results, more uniform.
Rice cooker: it was used to cook rice for the short bread.
- Mini kitchen machine (processor): this machine carries out many tasks:
- Beat egg yolks or whip whites until creamy or fluffy.
- Mix dough or batter.
- Chop nuts roughly.
- Cut vegetables for salad. Depending on the plate used it either slice or grate. For example it was used to grate carrots and slice cucumbers with remarkable speed into uniform pieces. The trick is to insert the vegetables into the feeder tube firmly.
- Blend tomatoes and peppers.
- The non-stop centrifugal juicer attachment is used for juicing. We used this to juice whole apples, the seed, peel and stalk were automatically sieved.
- Kenwood Major: This great machine can do the following:
- Beat egg whites, ice cream or whip cream.
- Knead dough for bread and pastry.
- Mix cake batter.
- Mince meat or dry fruits.
- You can also attach a blender both dry and wet to the top i.e. the fast speed outlet. Note that contrary to the old wives tale, you don’t have to add water or chop the tomatoes before you blend. You can just put in one or two at first to make some liquid then pour in the rest.
- Citrus press: use this for freshly squeezed citrus juice.
Others lessons learnt: We were also taught things like how to stop and plan what we are going to cook before we start. Also that we should tie our apron belts in front and not behind so we could easily remove them in the event of a fire emergency.