New School of Cooking - Pro Baking 1 - Class 2: Custards

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bread Pudding - New School of Cooking

I'm taking the Pro Baking 1 series at the New School of Cooking in Culver City (Los Angeles) this fall/winter.

During Class #2, we made three custards as well as learn about dairy. As a lactose-intolerant person, it was an interesting and yet sad lecture...all that stuff I shouldn't eat. Sigh.

Did you know? Heavy cream is 37-40% fat, but there isn't standard percentage. Manufactured cream is 40% butter fat (that is what we use in class).

Since I've never worked in a bakery or restaurant, I really like the aspects of the lecture when the instructor lets us know how "it is done" in bakeries and restaurants.

I also learned that it is less about the recipe...and more about the technique and ingredients. The difference between using excellent butter (she suggests Plugra butter) and just regular butter is great. Now, when I taste something delicious, I'm going to ask not just for the recipe, but for a listing of what brands of ingredients are used. You can use the Toll House recipe to make chocolate chip cookies, but the result will be different if you use Plugra butter or high quality chips.

As I mentioned before, in this class, we make each recipe individually! I'm a hands-on learner so this is fantastic. It is also soooo much fun; reminds me of art class in elementary school. Here is a recap of two items we made; first up, Bread Pudding!

Bread Pudding - New School of Cooking Bread Pudding - New School of Cooking
Bread Pudding - New School of Cooking Bread Pudding - New School of Cooking
We made "restaurant style" bread pudding. Home cooks might have a nice casserole dish served family style, but restaurants need an easy way to divide things. This was baked in a 9" cake pan and you could serve it with a separate creme anglaise, whipped cream, or berry sauce.

We used challah bread (I soooo love challah bread!!) and a crazy amount of dairy: 2 cups manufactured cream and 1 cup whole milk. A bit of orange zest, pecans and rum soaked raisins were also added.

Bread Pudding - New School of Cooking
The bread pudding was pulled out of the oven with 15 minutes left, and brushed with more cream and sprinkled with sugar.

Bread Pudding - New School of Cooking
Bread Pudding is so versatile - you can add other dried fruit, use different bread, and bake it in all different containers. I didn't have any....but my friend said it was really delicious!

Creme Brulee - New School of Cooking
We also made creme brulee in class. We heated 1/2 a vanilla bean and manufactured cream in a saucepan. The mixture was tempered into a whisked combination of sugar and egg yolk. So few ingredients and such a soft and lovely dessert.

Because our class is only 4 hours and it is best to refrigerate these for 6 hour minimum, they weren't perfectly cold, but my very small bite was yummy. I just love the burnt sugar on top too.

Creme Brulee - New School of Cooking Creme Brulee - New School of Cooking
I love torching food. It is the best. The room smells like toasted marshmallows! :) Make sure you cover the ENTIRE custard with a thin layer of granulated sugar so you don't burn the custard. Creme Brulees are best torched to order so the topping doesn't start to weep.

We also made Chocolate Pudding but I didn't get any photos of that. According to my friend who was the recipient of this dairy was delicious.

Next week - Cream puffs! Whoo hoo!

P.S. I'm a little behind...will announce the winner of my birthday giveaway later today or tomorrow! - mary

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Azusa said... [Reply to comment]

That bread pudding looks so moist, custardy, and delicious! The class sounds like a lot of fun, too.

susan c said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for the "insider's tip" on the Plugra butter. I thought I'd have to find some fancy-schmancy food place, but see that two nearby Ralph's Markets carry it.

so Spiffy April Marie Girl Japan said... [Reply to comment]

Bread pudding never looked so good... are you enjoying your cooking class?

Esi said... [Reply to comment]

Creme brulee is my absolute favorite dessert. Sounds like that class is going well!

Kana said... [Reply to comment]

I will have to try my baking with Plugra butter. Too bad that I have 12 pounds of butter already in my fridge!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Your classes sound like so much fun Mary! Everything looks fantastic. I've never had creme brulee but I think I'll make it soon. I love torching food too :)

gfs said... [Reply to comment]

Ooo I just bought a burner for creme brulee and can't wait to try. Such a simple yet very decadent dessert!

Federica Simoni said... [Reply to comment]

una vera delizia!

Jeannette said... [Reply to comment]

this looks like too much fun!! it has me looking for local baking classes :)

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for sharing what you learn! That bread pudding looks perfect!

Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} said... [Reply to comment]

How fun to be taking these classes! Your bread pudding looks to die for!

Anjali said... [Reply to comment]

Mary, it was so nice to meet you at Eat My Blog! Your mini bundts were one of the few things I bought for myself and they were FANTASTIC. I loved the little Valrhona crunchies.

This class sounds very cool and I can't wait to see all the amazing things you'll be baking!

Hilary said... [Reply to comment]

Yummy-looking bread pudding! And I so agree - it's all about the quality of the ingredients!

Eliana said... [Reply to comment]

I loooove custard desserts!!!! These all look amazing.

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Those are some of my favorites - how fun to learn to make them like a pro!

eatme_delicious said... [Reply to comment]

Mmm everything looks delicious! I've never liked bread pudding but yours looks so good!

sher said... [Reply to comment]

love your blog....catching up on past you recommend manufacturer's cream over regular heavy cream in custard desserts?

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Sher, Thanks for visiting! I think manufactured cream is hard to I don't think you need it instead of regular heavy cream. But I'm just a student! :) We use manufactured cream in class because that is what they buy, and I think that is what they use in the restaurant/bakery industry. Don't know if that is much help...both create a delicious dessert! :) - mary the food librarian

sher said... [Reply to comment]

thank you; grocery depot sell manufacturers cream but I never knew its purpose.... thanks for responding...plan to try your gingerbread cake

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

The first bread pudding looks so yummy. Can you please post the actual recipie for it. Appreciate it!!

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

@Anonymous I don't have permission to post the recipe.

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