My first Wonky Black Forest Cake!
Just for those interested in the going-ons in my life, you might be want to know how my job trial went yesterday. Well... overall I'm satisfied to be able to serve everything out in mere 5 hours. I know that's longer than expected but I did it!
After 2 years of absence from the kitchen, it sure took me a while to get used to doing everything in a professional environment again and ALONE. What I'd taken for granted in my London kitchens, Kitchen Porters, a team of supportive chefs and lots of experienced guidance from head chefs and pastry chef. Now, I had to plan the dishes, placed orders for the ingredients, scheduled each dish so that I can have everything on time. It was really a challenge for me!!! I was running around the kitchen like an ant in a hot pan. Confused at first and must have appeared to be like a complete lunatic to the Croats when I conversed with myself!!!
What have I learnt? Well, every kitchen has its own system of work and it differs in each country too! The ingredients that I was used to in London are not the same here. Even the Cream! In London, when you ask a Chef in the Sauce section or Pastry Section for Cream, he will show you the same 2 pts bottle of Double Cream with a Green Label. (Milk has a Blue Label.) It is pure cream with nothing added. I can hear you say "But of course! What do you expect in a bottle of Cream?" Well, you are wrong. With my limited Croatian, my shopping experiences in Croatian supermarkets tell me that I have to be real careful with what I'm putting in my shopping cart. First of all, there is a major difference between Cooking Cream (Vrhnje za Kuhinje) and Whipping Cream (Vrhnje za Šlag). Hold on a second before you grab a packet of Whipping Cream. Read the ingredients listed! You be amazed. I discovered that the cheapest brands usually have ingredients such as Sugar, a gum of some sort to thicken the cream and the whole lot of E numbers!!! That really scares me!! Each time, I have to make careful choices and choose the one that contains only Carrageenan Gum (a plant derived gum that thickens the cream) and Cream. So far I am not able to go beyond this basic Whipping Cream but I shall mention my latest discovery in the dairy section in my next post!!
Next, every oven works (or maybe not) in its own quirky ways. Love them or hate them, my life revolves around this equipment (La Machine!!!). I've learnt that the first thing to approach in a kitchen is the Oven. Learn how it works and it can save my life! Whee.. yes. I can't work without it. I have to figure out how treat La Machine with TLC (tender loving care) so it treats my products well. I used to have a huge convection oven in my restaurant kitchen that blows all my Pavlovas away because it has a fan of monstrous proportion! So learn, recognise the right type of oven for the right products and voila! I'm happy, my bosses will be happy!
I guess that's all I have to say for the day else you might start dozing off. Be back for more of my catastrophes in the kitchen! Ciao!