Sunday, February 21, 2010

Employment Updates/Externship Completion/etc...

Yes, I am now officially unemployed. UGH! Not the best time for this to happen it ever really a good time to get laid off? I am trying to put a positive spin on it though--- I have had time to actually study for school, do extra baking practice AND have finished my externship hours as I have been doubling up on them every week. does not solve the problem of not having the monetary income and that is a stressful thing on top of everything else I am juggling right now. will all work out-- it always does. That which does not kill us only makes us stronger.....right?

Let's move on to a happier subject-- COCOAMODA!! As I stated, I am finished as of this weekend with my externship hours but will continue to go out to Cocoamoda as I am learning so much from chef Ken and his crew. I truly enjoy my time out there and whatever challenges the day brings. Friday, chef Ken told me to make up a batch of pastillage (sugar type dough used for modeling decorations and such for cakes, etc) about  "about this much" (motioning about the size of about a football) and then promptly left me alone in the kitchen. I felt like he was testing me to see what I was made of. I was able to grab my box of notecards from class and get right to work. Since I had made the pastillage several times for the mardi gras cake we made for the cake competition - I felt confident in doing just what chef Ken needed. And it came out perfectly! He seemed pleased when he next came back into the kitchen and asked if I had made the pastillage and I pointed to it on the table wrapped in plastic wrap. Hooray for me!!

Chef Ken then explained that he wanted to add some dye to it and mold little roses or ribbons or ?? to put on top of the remaining rose infused truffles from Valentine's Day. So...we got to work trying out different shapes. Since these were going on top of truffles, they had to be tiny in form and this was very difficult to accomplish. I finally figured out how to make a rose out of the pastillage that was small enough to fit on a truffle:

These are about half the size of a pencil eraser. And I now need glasses....seriously!!

Testing for size by setting on top of an un-enrobed truffle. Perfect!

However, it was decided that the little roses would not stay put in transit either over to the restaurant or in shipping boxes and so the rose was nixed! It was then decided that just a simple pink ribbon of the pastillage would be placed over each truffle. This mean rolling out the dough ultra thin and cutting into uniform pieces to drape over each truffle. Time consuming, tedious and NOT FUN! But....I did my best to get the task accomplished! While doing so, Michael came in and said "you might know this gentleman." When I looked up, Chef Mannion was in front of me....the director/owner of our school! What a nice surprise. He came out to check out the facilities and meet chef Ken who promptly gave the grand tour.

The day was a very busy one as business is picking up with more and more articles being published about Cocoamoda as well as word of mouth spreading like wildfire. We had to step up chocolate production and this meant all hands on board to knock it out quickly.

Michael in fine form truffling away....(truffling is a slang term we have developed to describe our mad candy making ways!)

Trufflling, texting, dancing to techno--- talk about multi-tasking. Chef Ken and Michael are masters at it!

Never a dull moment with chef Ken and his motley crew!!

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