Nearly 4 months ago, Selena, from the now famed l’Atelier du Gout, asked me to hold yet another class and I’ve got really excited with all the things I wanted to share…
I couldn’t just come up with a cake making class where I would demonstrate how to whip up a mousse, set it in a mold, freeze it and spray it in green color chocolate using the airbrush you don’t have. (How’s that?)
I thought about doing a cooking class where we would be more like a bunch of friends getting together not only to bake and cook great food, but also to share it together at the end of the class. To keep the experience under control and relevant, l’Atelier du Gout opened only 13 places for the event that ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. By the way, I would like to apologize to all of you who wanted to join and were understandably too late when the class was fully booked within 30 minutes of the announcement! I promise I will plan another similar class as soon as time allows.
One of the key point was to pick our own herbs from the rooftop urban garden – the garden of course, refers to a culture of herbs done by l’Atelier du Gout and grown in recycled wine wooden case. On the day of the class we had basil, rosemary and lemon mint. We used the basil in the cheese spread and in the citrus salad. The lemon mint was used to infuse the chocolate bonbon and the rosemary was for the bread topping. All these herbs added a fabulous fresh fragrance to the class!
On the day’s to-do list was homemade cream cheese, tomato and olive schiacciata bread, lemon mint chocolate bonbon, a light cheesecake made with our homemade cheese and served with a citrus and basil salad, and not to forget, a nice paprika spread with the same homemade cheese. Plenty to keep us busy and even work overtime!
The first thing we did was cream cheese using the rennet my brother sent me directly from Switzerland. It worked well, but needed a few more hours of hanging to strain more of the whey out. Nevertheless, it worked out fine for our cheesecake and spread.
While the milk was curdling, we mixed our poolish, picked herbs, infused and whipped the lemon mint ganache. We had to float from recipes to recipes back and forth in order to keep everything moving forward. It was a lot to be done and while in my mind it would be a piece of cake, I guess I underestimated the speed of group work, so we ended up a bit late, but better late than never!
The day ended with some very serious BBQ going on at the rooftop garden where Simon grilled prawns, sirloins and chops along with a beautiful potato salad. We enjoyed everything we did on the day – the bread, cheese, cake and chocolates – and more than food, we shared great moments amongst foods enthusiasts and I really enjoyed it!