By 9:30 a.m., I already had my toffee pudding batter ready to be piped into their molds, which elicited a “How’d you do that so fast?” from my partner Ron. That’s when Chef Mimi piped in saying that it’s because he’s working too slowly. But I had another motive to banging out the sticky toffee pudding so quickly: I was making the dessert special today, and needed to have everything ready and tested by noon. Oh, and I made up the recipe and was making it for the first time today. And it’s a doughnut. Just a few wild card plays.
Yesterday, Sean and I bantered about making a doughnut special. I mentioned a ricotta-lemon fritter I made for my Level 5 menu project, and he was down with the idea. Though, he wanted to roll it in fennel-pollen sugar, or I should say “perfume it” with fennel, as Sean would say. But I had to roll my eyes at anything with fennel and anyone who says the words “fennel-pollen sugar” and “perfume it” in the same sentence. I just want a delicious doughnut that tastes amazing–not something that might give me hay fever. Sorry, Sean.
I thought about my dessert special all night, and came up with a cardamon and cinnamon doughnut hole rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with cinnamon ice cream. It was delicious, and I was happy to have Sean’s help to pull through with a delicious cinnamon ice cream. But I have to admit I had a meltdown around 11:45, when I was running around trying to pull together two desserts when my team was doing a lot of this:
Eating. And I wouldn’t have been so hung up on this little detail if this redhead didn’t leave behind a trail of melting semifreddo all over the serving station. So the beast emerged from me:
“Hank, now you’re starting to get under my nerves. Put down your plate, and clean up your station before I freak out,” I think were the words I pointed toward him, which elicited a deer-caught-in-headlights stare from him. And then a miracle happened. He did it. No complaints. No defensive objections. No “But I’m hungry!” He was sincerely apologetic and picked up a sanitation bucket and got to work. I think I even got a “Yes, ma’am.”
From that moment on, I knew who wore the pants on this team. The girl who can’t reach the top shelf or lift a pot with one hand. But I can make a mean doughnut and toffee pudding, and can do it faster than any of the guys on my team.
TIP OF THE DAY: Check the temperature of the fry oil before committing a batch of doughnuts to a fryer. If your oil is too hot you’ll burn the outside and keep the inside raw. If the oil isn’t hot enough, they’ll be too oily.