Saturday, 18 June 2011

Cooking Demonstrations on a Cruise

Decorating a cake demonstration
During the day on a cruise, when I'm not lying in a deck chair, reading in the library, playing shuffleboard, or checking out the food, I like to go to cooking demonstrations. Yes, more food!
   The Culinary Arts Centre on the 'Volendam' is perfectly set up for passengers to watch and learn from some of the best chefs on the high seas. I really enjoy their presentations where they make creating beautiful food seem so easy. Whether it is grilled lamb chops with oregano and apple chutney, shrimp curry, or creme brulee, I learn tips and techniques that I can try at home.
  Recipe cards are given out for us to take away and, of course, there is the all important tasting of the recipes we have watched being made. My favourite part!    
  Cake decorating is not my strong suit so I was interested to go to a demonstration called 'A Piece of Cake'. Pastry Chef Neil showed us how to decorate a sponge and make marzipan roses.
   Firstly he sliced a sponge cake into thirds horizontally. He sprinkled the bottom layer with a thick sugar syrup, drizzled it with liqueur, then smoothed on a layer of whipped cream.  He repeated the process with the other two pieces of cake, layering them on top of each other.
   More whipped cream, laid on liberally with a palette knife, covered the sides of the cake. The final touches were a covering of grated chocolate, decorative swirls piped with chocolate and the marzipan roses on top.
  When I saw how simple it all was I was inspired to recreate it when I got home from the cruise. It was good enough to eat! 

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