Thursday, 7 October 2010

Fruit and Sugar

Today we had our first demonstration and practical lessons. Topics covered: general kitchen equipment (what do I use this knife for chef?), knife skills, sugar in its many forms (from syrup to caramel), basic sugar decoration work and fruit preparation. All of this was neatly brought together by the creation of a fruit salad in an infused sugar syrup with sugar decoration.

First, the demo. This was the first time I'd seen any of the teaching chefs cook, to add to this we were being taught by the head of the department, and, my god, was she good. We watched in awe as Chef Julie casually turned an apple into a swan, just for a bit of decoration, I think there might have even been an "oooh". During the demo I somehow managed to write 4 pages of notes on making a fruit salad and a further 3 about heating sugar ready for the afternoons practical.

So, onto the practical. In the kitchen we had a run through of some more equipment, learnt how to identify the various stages of sugar, made a sugar syrup and tried to replicate the fruit cuts we were shown in the morning. First new skill - if you have a pan of boiling sugar and a bowl of ice, I should now be able to tell you its approximate temperature by touch alone - I know, quite the party trick. The lesson went surprisingly quickly and by the time we'd made out syrups (infused with cinamon, vanilla, orange and lemon, since you asked) and cut our fruit we were running out of time to present our dish.

Unfortunately this means my first dish is brought to you in tupperware, ready to be transported home.

Before you go allowing yourself to be too impressed, here are some of the beauties whipped up by the proffessional.

Perhaps I should get myself down to the market to stock up on fruit and sugar?

To summerise, life is pretty top right now. I left the practical feeling a bit giddy, as though I'd just been on a first date, not cubing a kiwi.

Tomorrow: meringues.


  1. I wish I lived in London....

  2. Why are you showing me up with your one a day posts!!