baking · school

what the fudge

It’s a mark of sibling love and snark–my brother gave me a 2.5 kg giant tub of Crisco for my birthday today.

Look at that mother. I’ve never seen that much concentrated lard in my life, and I’ve been to a lechon smorgasbord.

Anyway. Day 6 was Chocolate Day. On the menu was fudge brownies, chocolate pistachio madeleines, and a ridiculously decadent chocolate peanut butter pie.

Day 6 was also the day everyone was at sixes and sevens. The oven in our usual kitchen was on the blink, so we had to decamp to the little satellite kitchen just off the school reception area–little meaning only a fourth of the space we were used to, so everyone kept bumping into each other or stepping on each other’s toes.

More to the inconvenient point, most of the equipment we needed had to be transported from the old kitchen to the new, and since half the time we were never quite sure what we needed until we needed it, a lot of foot traffic was going on, and mise en place prep was not going as swimmingly as usual. Which will be made clear, later on.

Fudge brownies, fresh out of the oven, pre-cut.

I was curious about the procedure for this one. I’ve been making sinfully decadent dark fudge brownies for years, based off a recipe I’d cribbed from a one-day baking workshop I’d taken previously and tweaked and re-jiggered to within an inch of its life to suit my personal tastes. My friends love it.

These brownies are really evil.

Turns out that the recipes aren’t that much different, except for the part where I use a shedload of glucose in mine to make them really chewy. And that I don’t put walnuts–or anything, really–in mine.

…yeah, honestly, I prefer my own fudge. I prefer my recipes have my own personal stamp.

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Not winning prizes for presentation yet, I’m afraid.

Madeleines! So pretty, so light, so delicate. So lumbered by chocolate and pistachio. …Don’t get me wrong, I love that combination. It’s just that I found the naked madeleines scrumptious on their own.

And then there’s this terrifying combination:

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This is no ordinary peanut butter sandwich.
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I love chocolate, I love peanut butter; having them together? *dies*

The Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. This is the kind of thing my sister would kill  me for giving to my nephews and their friends. It is completely decadent–rich dark chocolate fudginess with additional chocolate chips, halved to make room for super-creamy Lily’s Peanut Butter (the only kind you can use for that thoroughly evil Filipino dinner and potluck favorite, kare-kareaccept no substitutes), and all sitting on a thick bed of sugary-sweet graham cracker crust. Like a s’more, but eviler.

…wait, not quite like a s’more. It’s supposed to be like a s’more, because the recipe called for a meringue topping, torched to perfection. Like this:

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Yeah, I know, it’s a picture of a picture. But it’d been a really trying day, and we were all tired, and it occurred to no one to use email.

Because our prep time was occupied with trying to meet our schedule, trying not to step on each other’s toes or to drop things (as well as trying to deal with a student assistant more interested in studying his phone than his scaling–he got the rough side of Chef’s tongue for that one), we all forgot to assemble the mise for the meringue. By the time we had to make it, it was past 5 pm and the supply office had closed. It was also the SA’s job to make sure the requisitions were complete. Chef was not happy.

In the end, though, it was a series of missteps that fortunately still led to a pretty good turnout. If we were still going to be in that tiny kitchen for Day 7, we’ll be better prepared.

Next: Day 7. Pie Day. Who knew pie dough making was such tharsty wark?

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