Making and eating extravagant ice cream creations to mark the end of a university paper sounds unlikely, but first-year students in AUT’s Certificate and Diploma of Pâtisserie did just that recently.
AUT Culinary Arts senior lecturers Gilles Petit and Renny Aprea say the School of Hospitality and Tourism’s annual ice cream buffet is an important chance for students to showcase the skills they have learned in the three-week long cold desserts paper.
“Educating students about what is a quality product is one of our primary objectives in the cold desserts paper,” says Gilles.
“The general public now understands more about quality and texture and they are prepared to pay for it. So when our students graduate and take up jobs in the hospitality industry they will need to create desserts that meet those expectations.”
Parfaits, gâteaux, sundaes and ice cream
The buffet spread was created by 17 students in four teams. They had four hours to create five or six items per team, including parfaits, gateaux, sundaes, and plated ice creams with accompaniments and decoration.
Savoury and sweet flavours shared the buffet table on the day, including carrot cake, popcorn and even bread-flavoured dishes, which tasters found surprisingly appealing.
“Enjoy ice cream like a kid”
Gilles, Renny and their students welcomed students and staff to sample the students’ stunning creations before they had a chance to melt.
“This is a day where we encourage everyone to enjoy ice cream like a kid! I tell people to forget their diet - the food police are definitely not welcome at this event!” said Renny.
The secret to perfect ice cream
Gilles and Renny say the secret to the perfect ice cream is quality ingredients like free range eggs and organic cream, as well as a good understanding of the process.
Basic Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
140g (approx 7) egg yolks
500 ml milk
1 vanilla pod, seeded
250 ml cream
* Cream the egg yolks and sugar until light in colour.
* Bring the milk and vanilla seeds to the boil.
* Pour the milk and vanilla mixture onto the egg yolk/sugar mixture stirring continuously and pour the custard back into the pan and onto the heat.
* Slowly cook the custard on a very low heat, stirring at all times, Be careful not to let it boil, or it will curdle.
* Cook until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, approx. 2-3 minutes.
* Strain into a clean bowl and stir in the liquid cream.
* Pour into an ice cream machine and churn following the manufacturer’s instructions or alternatively pour into a container, place in the freezer and whisk every 20 minutes until completely frozen.