Taj Update: Winter Cafe Desserts!

We just recently came out with a new winter dessert menu for the Taj Boston Cafe! Here’s what’s available for the upcoming weeks!

799Boston Cream Pie: vanilla anglais, citrus segments, chocolate garnish

800Hazelnut Pane de Gene: Taj honey bavarian mousse, chocolate garnish, pistachio ice cream, chocolate sauce

797Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta: chambord gelee, poppyseed cake, meringue crumble, mandarin orange sorbet

798Grand Marnier Daquoise: Hazelnut daquoise cake and Grand Marnier mousse wrapped in chocolate served with an orange Grand Marnier sauce.

796

Peanut Butter Banana Torte (top left): peanut croquant, peanut butter powder, and chocolate sauce

Spiced Maple Cheesecake (3rd row from the top, left): walnut crust, brown butter powder, cocoa nib tuile, orange sauce

Masala Tea Creme Brulee (3rd row from the top, right): served with fruit and poundcake

Chocolate Fondue (bottom): served with assorted fruits, cakes and candies for dipping

Wipe that drool off your face and stop by to try it for yourself! Check back on Tuesday and enjoy your weekend ahead!

 

Advertisements

Taj Boston Update!

This past holiday season has been totally crazy at work but I feel like I’ve really been making progress in my career! As much as I loved my job as a baker at Flour, I wasn’t sure where I could go from there. I needed to  learn more, faster and I found that opportunity at the Taj! I started my employment as the swing shifter which means I was slowly being trained to cover any shift needed.

In a previous post (check it out HERE), I spoke a little bit about what the PM banquet shift was like! We prep for evening events like weddings or receptions and gatherings! It could be served banquet style where guests go up to a display and pick what they’d like to eat or even make it more formal and each guest receives a plated dessert. I alternate the PM shift with the AM shift where I prep plated desserts for the cafe and bake morning pastries for the in room dining guests (aka room service) or front desk.

While one of my co-workers is on a three week vacation, I’ve taken over a new shift! I’ve been spending my time learning how to execute high tea! Every weekend, we have multiple seatings of a formal high tea service. As the last part of their meal, each group would receive a little stand of pastries! We change that menu seasonally and I was able to help implement during its first week!

Included on the tea stand for the winter menu is: pistachio macaroons, chocolate roulade, vanilla pommegranate panna cotta, passion fruit ganache tart, blood orange pate de fruit, spiced cookies and maple walnut and cocoa scones served with orange curd and devonshire cream! While I didn’t come up with the menu items, I was able to help imagine their presentations and really try step up our tea game!

An old chef of mine from school used to work at the Taj and she came to visit the hotel one night. She laughed as she told me that a display dummy cake in the lobby was one she made back in 2010! I brought this to my current chefs attention and he’s going to let me design a new cake for the display! I’m really looking forward to expanding my skill set and adding something new to my portfolio.

Lastly, we have a new dessert menu coming up for the cafe that we’re currently testing recipes for! My dessert is a Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta with a Chambord Gelee, poppyseed cake, meringue crumble and mandarin orange sorbet! I’m looking forward to putting the finishing touches on the recipes and seeing it in action.

While I don’t have any pictures yet, I’ll be sure to post them in the upcoming weeks! I feel super lucky that I’m being exposed to so many facets of the industry at this job and I can’t wait to see what’s coming up next!

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend! Be sure to check back next week- I have a couple fun posts coming up! Thanks for reading!

 

I’m back!!

Hey friends!

I’m finally back from my hiatus and I missed blogging and being a member of this community SO MUCH. I’m going to make this post a short re-cap because I have a lot of fun (and embarrassing and awkward) material to share with you guys in the upcoming weeks.

I’ve been working 6 day weeks since Halloween at the Taj Hotel constructing this GIANT gingerbread scene-scape of the Boston Tea Party. With a team of 6, we were each able to construct one business and at least one house to be placed along the dock  with a ton of miscellaneous details to recreate a piece of  Boston history. It took us over 300 hours to build and probably 100 lbs of gingerbread and other decorating material. But it’s done and on display in the lobby! To anyone who lives in Boston- feel free to visit! Come back on Thursday to see an extended post (with plenty of pictures included!) of our gingerbread masterpiece!

760

Other than spending my life at work, I’ve managed to hold onto a bit of my social life. My apartment had an epic Halloween/birthday party for my roommate filled with plenty of snacks, candy and jello shots. I was Spinelli from the kid classic cartoon, Recess. I had a lot of fun being a drunken idiot with all of my friends and managed to scrape through the night without throwing up. PERSONAL WIN.

778.png

I’ve been Zumba-ing my butt off and am considered a regular at the classes now. I was actually forced to be in the front row today, so maybe I’m finally starting to get the hang of it! I’m really loving that it keeps me moving and motivated to remain healthy especially through the holiday season where I just want to stuff cookies and donuts down my throat. Speaking of food…

I have a couple new recipes and restaurant reviews to share!! Be sure to check back on Food for Thought Thursdays to check out some of my favorite holiday/winter recipes and cool Boston hotspots!

On a more somber note, my roommates dad passed away recently and we made a trip down to New Jersey for the funeral and wakes. This was really tough on our apartment but managed to bring us closer to one another. It definitely reminded me to tell those close  that I love them and not to take any of my relationships for granted. Be sure to tell your friends and family you love them! Go do it!

But as much as life is fleeting, new life is brought into the world every day. One of my best friends from college had a baby October 16th! I’ve visited Logan Joseph twice and am more and more in love with the little nugget. Isn’t he the cutest squirmy little baby!?

Also coming up in the next few weeks, I have plenty of awkward and embarrassing stories to share… especially when it comes to my dating life. EEK, spoiler alert- it may include another run in with Chris from the infamous post Tinder Meets Real Life! AHHH MY LIFE IS WEIRD!

Happy Holidays, friends! I’m so happy to be back and share my life with you! Don’t miss out on the action every Tuesday and Thursday!

Caramel Corn!

HAPPY FALL, FRIENDS!

It’s officially my absolute favorite season!! It’s time for basic white girls squealing in delight over pumpkin flavored things and UGG boots. Thankfully, those are two things that I hate but EVERYTHING ELSE about fall makes me so excited. Boots, scarves, cozy sweaters, cute hats, crisp air, pretty leaves, pumpkin and apple picking,fall festivals, football games, a sense of community, etc etc etc. I could go on for days.

But the MOST exciting part revolves around food, of course. Who would I be if I didn’t relate everything to food??

I learned this caramel corn recipe from the Taj and it’s so freaking good and easy to make! Its the perfect match of sweet and crunchy for the fall and just in time for Halloween. Enjoy!!

668

Yield: 5 quarts popcorn

1c butter
2 c brown sugar
1/2 c corn syrup
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 t vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Begin by popping your popcorn kernals on the stove in a large pot with a couple tablespoons of canola oil. Keep the pot covered with a lid or a large piece of aluminum foil. As the oil starts to get hot, begin shifting the pan back and forth to agitate the kernals and keep them from burning.
  3. In a sauce pot, melt the butter. Stir in both sugars, corn syrup and salt and bring to a boil
  4. Stop stirring once the mixture is boiling, and let it go for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Take the mixture off the heat and quickly stir in baking soda and vanilla extract.
  6. Immediately pour the mixture over the popcorn and quickly fold together coating all the kernals.
  7. Spread the popcorn on parchment and oiled sheet pans and bake for 60 minutes. Check and stir the popcorn every 20 minutes.
  8. Let cool, break into pieces and eat away!

679Let me know what you guys think! I’m definitely keeping this recipe in my back pocket. On Tuesday, I’m divulging some more of my secret Boston finds! I love this city! Thanks for reading- hope you all have a great weekend!

Job Update #2- Taj Boston Pastry

In the past couple weeks at the Taj Hotel, I’ve been learning so many new things! I started training on the closing shift (2-10:30pm) which was a tough adjustment of my sleep schedule where I fell asleep at 8 or 9 to wake up at 3am. The closing shift is focused on night time banquets; this includes anything from holiday parties, award receptions or even weddings!

Since my day begins at 2pm, I try and wake up by 9:30 to go to the gym/eat breakfast/get stuff done before I take a 12:45 bus to work. Unfortunately, I never feel as productive on those days as when I open but it’s definitely given me more of a chance to go out at night and meet friends for a drink which is great! My schedule is ever-changing making my life totally refreshing- each day brings something new.

When focusing on banquets, we work at least two days in advance. On the day of an event, we typically only have to plate up the dessert and put their final touches on before pick up. What’s cool about banquets however is that the items we have to make is contingent on the guest! Some days it’s mini boston cream pies and another customer might was key lime tarts. I’ve also made tiramisu verrines, assortments of cookies, macaroons, cannolis, etc.

On the occasion that a wedding is happening in the hotel, the clients must buy their cake from us. They can get a dummy cake (fondant decorated Styrofoam) and sheet cakes (square cakes, plainly decorated to feed the masses) or they can just order a decorated cake. The most expensive cake I’ve seen ordered so far has totaled up to $3,000 for 100 guests! That’s $30 a plate per guest! If it’s a dummy cake, we often spend weeks in advance planning the decorations, shape, colors, execution, etc. of the design. Many hours of man-power go into making something spectacular which is why the cost is so high!

Check out some of my pictures below of some of the work I’ve been doing!
Hungry, yet?

544

Caramel Whisky Verrine

545

Lemon Meringue Tarts

542

Midnight Torte

546

Galaxy Chocolate

547

Peach Cobbler

548

Pecan Caramel Verrine with Candied Pecans

551

Making Chocolate Cigarettes!

552

Pile of finished cigarettes :]

553

Apple Pie Macs: green apple gelee, caramel cinnamon ganache, brown butter crumble

Check back on Tuesday for a blog about some of my current book recommendations!

Twerkin’ at the Taj

So I landed a new job at the Taj Hotel in Boston! This is such a huge career move for me and I’m so happy that this landed in my lap. The Taj is a 4 star 4 diamond hotel so its SUUUUPER fancy. On my first day, a woman and her richy rich kids got off the elevator and I KID YOU NOT SAID, “Does anyone want to go to Tiffanys?” Wait wait, is that an option!? Those teeny bopper daughters just get to casually go to Tiffanys?! Oy, I grew up in a totally different world. They also have teeny tiny bottles of everything- Heinz ketchup, fancy jellies and honey’s, any type of condiments, you name it. I didn’t realize that they even made jars that small!

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces was founded in the 1800’s, the original being the Taj Mahal which almost everyone is familiar with! The Taj Boston used to be the original Ritz Carlton hotel so it’s swimming in history! The Taj only currently has three hotels in the United States (Boston, New York and San Francisco) but they have them all over the world! You could visit London, India, the Maldives, you name it! Of course, it’s at the cheap-o price of $350 a night for the cheapest room. But I get 10 days of free stay a year at the hotel! HOLLAAAA

But regardless, I’ve been having a blast at this new job. It’s a breath of fresh air and really creative. I feel like I’m actually trusted to make decisions about flavors, textures, recipes, etc. I’ve been trained thus far on the morning shift where I bake all the small pastries for continental breakfast, room service and any morning banquets or meetings. But then it’s followed by production work where I prepare the components of the plated desserts in the cafe! 458 459Every weekend, a high tea is served with a separate menu and on Sunday’s, brunch is served on the rooftop of the hotel where you can see the most beautiful view of the city I have ever seen! The Taj borders Arlington Street which overlooks the Boston Public Gardens and Boston Commons as well as Newbury Street which is like the Rodeo Drive of Boston! Such a great spot for people watching and really enjoying a great view of the city- although it comes at a cost! Typical brunch with champagne goes at $80 bucks a pop!! Plus, gratuity automatically gets added to your bill at the end of the meal so be prepared to pay a pretty penny.

452

470However, the brunch menu is unlimited! Every week, we prepare a dessert buffet that’s differs from the last! Nothing ever stays the same! And of course, there’s a raw bar, garde manager items and a hot bar with all you can eat. YUMMMMMM. The dessert bar always has some type of cheesecake, cookies, shot glass item and martini glass items as well as anything else we dream up in the pastry kitchen! I figured I’d post some pictures of our desserts thus far below so be prepared to drool! Note: Not everything was made entirely by me but the pastry team! So excited to be a part of something great!

453

Opera Cake!

Opera Cake!

Brown Butter Blackberry Tarts!

Brown Butter Blackberry Tarts!

456

Burnt Honey Cheesecake with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Honey Gelee

Burnt Honey Cheesecake with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Honey Gelee

Keylime Torte

Keylime Torte

Midnight Chocolate Torte!

Midnight Chocolate Torte!

Cherry Chocolate Torte

Cherry Chocolate Torte

Oreo Cheesecake with Cookie Crust and Oreo filling on top!

Oreo Cheesecake with Cookie Crust and Oreo filling on top!

Cookies for VIP's:- from L to R: thyme sable with lemon curd, almond thumprints, orange sable, chocolate cookies with Dulcey chocolate drizzle

Cookies for VIP’s:- from L to R: thyme sable with lemon curd, almond thumprints, orange sable, chocolate cookies with Dulcey chocolate drizzle

Orange Mousseline with caramelized white chocolate crumble

Orange Mousseline with caramelized white chocolate crumble

Check back on Tuesday for another Post Grad blog about how I’m slowly but surely becoming a bad ass. ….Kinda. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!