Instead of a final exam, we were assigned to do either a plated dessert or a dessert buffet with 5-6 items as a final project for Advanced Pastry. Always a fan of variety, I decided to do the buffet alone with a seasonal theme – strawberries! It took me the better part of the week to prepare all the components of the buffet. Although it was lot of work as everything was made from scratch, including the puff pastry and strawberry jam, creating the menu and seeing it through to completion was very fun for me. I got the little plastic spoons and foil cups from Daiso. I think it adds a nice touch to the presentation.
Here are the items that were prepared:
- Strawberry & Caramelized Banana Cream Puffs – caramelized banana pastry cream, fresh strawberries and bananas, whipped cream with strawberry jam, caramelized cream puff with banana chip
- Strawberry Lemon Mousse Cake – ladyfinger sponge, lemon curd, strawberry gelee, strawberry mousse, topped with a poached lemon and fresh strawberry
- Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream – honey tuile cone, ice cream with strawberry puree and balsamic vinegar, topped with strawberry jam & strawberry chip
- Strawberry Basil Panna Cotta – basil gelee, strawberry gelee, yogurt panna cotta, topped with strawberry jam, sugared basil leaf and fresh strawberry
- Strawberry Twist & Palmier – puff pastry layered with strawberry jam
- Bouchee with Strawberry Ganache – puff pastry shells, white chocolate strawberry ganache, fresh strawberry, powdered sugar
If I had more time to refine the buffet, I would’ve sized the items more appropriately both with respect to each other, and scale down the proportions overall. Had I done so, the platter I selected would’ve been able to better accommodate all the items. On the other hand, I could’ve selected a large platter to space the desserts out more for a less cluttered presentation. Also, ice cream wouldn’t go on a buffet without somebody scooping to order, but I thought having ice cream and cones there would be a fun element to incorporate for the purpose of the project.