TAFE has commenced and the learning begins.
As I progress through I realise how technical it all is, and quite a science.
Let me explain, last week was our first week of baking in the kitchen and we made fruit scones and savoury scones. Scones... I think that most people would have made scones at some stage in their life, a common place being high school. There's not that many ingredients and not that many steps to follow.
However as our teacher runs through the demonstration and we follow, we then see how much sadder looking our flatter scones with over-worked gluten are compared the hers! And so that's the difference between a cheap scone and pricier ones you get at high teas. Don't worry our second batch got better :)
This week we made custard tarts, and I bought some of my handiwork to show the family.
We made 2 types, one with a real custard filling and one with pre-mix (real custard pictured). Most of what you buy in the shops will be pre-mix, the kind that looks so firmly set like (firm) jelly. Again there's quite a technique in mixing, rolling and lining the pastry to make sure that it doesn't shrink, is not lope sided and is thin/thick enough. Lots to learn!
We made the pastry with commercial fats. Functionally they work well and makes the dough easy to work with, but I'm a bit of a naturalist and there's just something funky (in a negative way) about eating margarine that is stored at room temperature. Go the fresh butter I say, but as our teacher says they do have place in cooking. I tell you this so you know what you're eating people! I could have also been put off it by seeing the sink full of dirty water in the kitchen with the fat chunks bobbing about on the surface. None of my family minded the taste but I thought that the taste did come through the pastry and ended up just eating the custard. mm sweet custard.