Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Afternoon of Desserts

By Alexa Magarian

To finally have the opportunity to apply the skills learned in class and present your very own creation to the public is just one more stepping stone towards a rewarding career in the pastry arts. A level 3 pastry class invited guests on a recent afternoon to a special tasting where students designed a menu featuring an array of plated desserts. With the rainy weather, it was the sweetest mid-day break.

The tasting began with an amuse bouche as a way to prepare the palate and introduce the desserts. Guests had a choice of a plum brandy cider or spiced apple cider-both drinks were a huge hit. The whimsical sugar-rimmed glasses opened conversation among guests and perhaps gave them a glimpse of what was to follow.

I saw so many great things on the menu, but unfortunately could only pick one so I went with the white chocolate hazelnut semifreddo. It was everything I want in a dessert: smooth, creamy, and refreshing. I adored the way the raspberry and chocolate sauce was incorporated: perfectly-sized dots in a row, from small to large. This technique seemed to give the whole plate more depth but it was just enough to keep the main dessert in the spotlight.

If I had known that extra desserts would be brought out for guests to share towards the end of the tasting, I wouldn’t have finished my entire plate down to the last crumb! I also sampled the Tiramisu, a favorite of mine, but the espresso granite made it so much more appealing. It was the perfect accompaniment to a traditional dessert, especially when served in the mini chocolate box. The hazelnut crisp cookie, shaped like a spoon, was another charming touch that the guests seemed to enjoy.

The Petite Bomboloni Trio was another popular choice among guests. Brioche doughnuts filled with spiced pumpkin, candied bacon, and chocolate cream, served with a harvest apple butter and caramel sauce-what a perfect treat on a cold and rainy day.

Seeing what the students in level 3 have accomplished makes me excited for the challenges that lay ahead for my class. The desserts they created truly impressed me-each item was so well done and professional. I came to FCI because I love to make pastries, and even though some days are long and hard, I know that bringing people together for dessert and making someone’s day that much sweeter is totally worth it.

Alexa Magarian is a student in the Classic Pastry Arts program. Originally from Boston, she hopes to combine her background in public relations and writing with her love for cooking and baking. Her greatest joy in life is spending time with her family around the kitchen table, eating dinner together. When she is not tempering chocolate and creating desserts in class, she enjoys traveling for inspiration, and meeting people who are just as passionate about food as she is.

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