Accounting projects, quizzes in finance, case reports in organizational behavior... it's been a long semester. I try to keep myself motivated by thinking of the pastry program I'll be attending after my accounting bachelor's. I bumped into one of my friends at Cupcake Camp 2010 event a few weeks ago who studied human relations and she told me that she had just started the Professional Pastry Making program at ITHQ! I'm so jealous!! I was asking her all sorts of questions about her classes, teachers and what she was learning now (crème anglaise). She even has her own KitchenAid in her practical classes!
I've been talking to a lot of people about my future plans and many have told me that baking for a hobby and baking for a job are completely different. Yes I won't be able to take my sweet time but how different can it be? Baking everyday and learning something new everyday? That would be awesome!
So I borrowed the book Culinary Careers: How to Get Your Dream Job in Food with Advice from Top Culinary Professionals and it is an amazing book. It tells you everything about the culinary schools (in the US), how to make a resume and find your first job, the kinds of jobs in the culinary arts, etc. My favorite section is where some top culinary chefs are interviewed and answer questions like what their salary is like, advice for people who want to achieve a similar career, what they like most/least about their job, how many hours a week they work... These are things I've wondered. When I finish my pastry diploma, where will I work? Will I like it? David Lebovitz also mentioned in The Sweet Life in Paris and there is also a section in this book about it, that it is important to work in the field before going to culinary school. This way I know if I truly like working in pastry and that I will be committed to my program. I think this is a great idea, except I don't know who would be willing to hire (or accept a stagiaire) without any working experience or schooling in the industry! I think I will ask at a few large hotels in Montreal and maybe a few bakeries. There's no harm in trying!
Ok, now for this oatmeal and raisin ice cream. This is an ice cream that takes a bit of preparing since you have to make the oatmeal praline and whiskey-soaked raisins before preparing the custard, but it is worth every minute!
You basically follow the usual steps of making a custard except you place some brown sugar and cinnamon along with the cream in the bowl with a strainer (where you will add the custard before cooling it all over an ice bath). Then a few minutes before ending the churning, you add the oatmeal praline and raisins. I used a vanilla bean because I find it gives a richer taste than vanilla extract but it's a matter of preference.
This is one of my favorites and I would definitely make it again just as it's written in The Perfect Scoop. The only thing I changed was the amount of whiskey with the raisins (I used 1/2 tsp whiskey instead of 2 tsp).