you know summer has arrived, aside from what the weather has to prove, when local Fraser Valley strawberries are found at your local produce store. To take advantage of this I decided to make my oldest brother a strawberry birthday cake.

 A simple rum dampened vanilla cake layered with fresh strawberries, Bavarian strawberry cream and topped with whipped cream. The strawberries that are sliced in half and arranged around the outer rim of the ring mould create a neat border. This cake was pretty easy to make and tasted awesome!

Second level practical has begun today and it went well. Tomorrow is a little busier but I think it will be fine. I decided to make croissants at home just to see if I can make a great batch for once; let me tell you, they were the flakiest and tastiest croissants I have had since being in Paris :) Crisp light and flaky crust with a soft and slightly doughy Parisian style center.


Yeasty business

Hazelnut baba w/ van. pastry cream
 This is the near end of the second week of being on stations. Last week I was on the laminated station where all we produced were croissants and danishes. Though the concept of making these products is easy, getting them right is somewhat frustrating and produces annoying results.
Banana bread
 Laminated yeast products don't rely on steam for their volume because this is supplied by the yeast in the dough; however, the flaky tender quality is still desired and this is where things get frustrating.
Because the doughs contain yeast, you must work fast and keep them chilled otherwise the yeast multiplies way to fast resulting in a poor product. At the same time you have to work in butter as one would when making puff pastry except the end appearance after baking isn't so forgiving. You either end up with a well laminated flaky looking croissant and danish or one with a dull smooth crust.

  Also if you don't evenly laminate the dough you end up with butter weeping out which ends up frying the dough while baking. Out of the four batches of croissant dough I can only admit to two of them turning out but all of my danish dough turned out well enough.

This week I have been watching ovens which was chaos on Monday but today went really well thanks to good organization and a great team! Nothing difficult to make as well, just rolling buns and bagels.