Module 1: Getting Organised
Module One: Setting up your raw dessert kitchen
Getting organised in the kitchen is the essential pathway to success. The kitchen has many functions from preparing food to being a meeting place for family and friends. It’s easy for things to get out of control, especially when we are busy and we have lot of food to prepare. Yet keeping your kitchen clean and organised is the first step into supporting you in this programme.
Here’s my list of top tips that you can do today to help organise your kitchen for the programme.
- Keep your kitchen counters clutter free. In order to create delicious food, you need clear and easy to clean preparation space. Take a cardboard box and sweep everything into it that doesn’t belong in the kitchen or on the work surface. Then redistribute it to its rightful place in your home, the charity shop or into the rubbish bin.
- Declutter your store cupboard, fridge and freezer. Remove everything that is out of date or that you are keeping ‘just in case’. The chances are that if you haven’t eaten it in a year and it’s lurking at the back of a cupboard or freezer, then you are probably not going to eat it. If it’s been in the freezer for a long time, it may have freezer burn and be unpleasant to eat. Hoarding food that you are not going to eat will drain your energy. I keep my dry foods in glass containers on a shelf above my preparation space so I can easily see what I have and if I’m running low.
- Ensure your refrigerator and freezer is set at the correct temperature. This is between 2 - 5 degrees C for a refrigerator and minus 18C - minus 22C for a freezer.
- Now fill your storecupboard/fridge/freezer with the pantry items you have purchased for the programme.
- Invest in a sharpie and masking tape. This is one of the ground rules that I teach on my trainings. Label everything that goes in the fridge or freezer with what it is and the date you made it. It will save you from peering at food wondering what it is and if it is still edible if you find it in a few weeks’ time.
- Take stock of the equipment you use every day and organise your kitchen accordingly. If the blender spends more time on the counter than in the cupboard, then create a permanent space for it on the counter and use the cupboard space in a different way. It might be useful to do that for the duration of the course. You will be using the blender and food processor pretty much every day that you are participating in the training, so it will pay to create some space. Think of it as a workstation as though you are in the culinary school with me.
- Organise your kitchen according to what you are going to use most. Most people use the corner carousel for saucepans, however we accumulate so many ingredients that it’s easy to lose track of what we have. Having them in easy reach (so we don’t have to pull the cupboard apart whenever we want something) also means that we prevent waste and can keep on top of our inventory.
Once your kitchen is clean and organised, making the food you choose becomes easy. An organised kitchen will help to inform your food preparation so you can create desserts whenever you want to.
Essential and useful equipment for your raw desserts pantry Whilst I am first to admit that I’m a gadget queen, I appreciate that for the majority of us both kitchen space and cash can be limited.
This is the kitchen equipment that I use pretty much every day when making raw desserts. You will find this equipment useful for the Sweet Online programme ahead.
Please review and download the Guide to Kitchen Equipment below.
What to keep in your raw desserts pantry and how to store it
This is an overview of the ingredients that you will be using for the course, including guidance on how to store it. Depending on the ambient temperature of where you live, you may choose to store some ingredients in the fridge to keep them cool.
Please review and download the Desserts Pantry Checklist and how best to store ingredients, below.
I cannot overstate the importance of knowing your measurement conversions. It can help you scale up a recipe for a party or scale it down for a supper for two. It will become important as you become more confident and wish to develop your own recipes.
I use UK metric cup measures but I have also provided a list of the weight of a metric cup of ingredients we use on the programme. It may vary a little depending on how tightly you pack the cup, the calibration of your scales and the ingredients. If the recipe calls for half a cup, be sure to halve the weight offered as the weight is for a full cup.
The recipes are written in cups. I am working with UK metric cups which is 250 ml or 10fl oz - there is a chart which explains measurements and conversions which you can download. This measurement is used in ...Europe, Australia and NZ. In the US, cup measurements are 8floz so use a rounded cup - ie pile the ingredients in the cup to form a mound.
Whether you choose to work in cups, grams, pounds, ounces - please choose one method of measurement for the recipe and stick to it. For example, if you are measuring in cups - use cups to measure each ingredient.
Please review and download the conversions sheet below as a reference.
Mise en place
Mise en place, quite literally, means ‘to put in place’. It’s a term we use in kitchens which is to ensure that you plan ahead and have everything to hand before you to start. This includes equipment as well as ingredients gathered, weighed or measured as much as possible.
It is all too easy to start a recipe and then realise that you are missing something pretty vital. Don’t assume that everything is in your pantry as it may have been used.
I also suggest that you read each recipe through before you make it, twice.
This will make sure that you’re familiar with the recipe.
As tempting as it is, please don't make the recipes from the sheet below before the module guidance is unlocked. You may make a mistake and it could cost your expensive ingredients.
Preparation for Day Two:
Pantry preparation is everything in raw pastries and desserts. It can seem very laborious. I find that it's best to dedicate time to preparation of raw flours every so often to get the pantry stocked up. Then when you have all your flours, you can focus on the fun of actually making the desserts.
Making almond flour: 1.5 cups for course
Almond flour is made by dehydrating the pulp left over from making almond milk.
Soak 3 cups of almonds in water for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Rinse and drain the almonds, whizz 1 cup of almonds with 3 cups of water in a blender. Pass through a nut milk bag to collect the almond milk. Reserve the almond pulp in the bag. Repeat this process until you have used all the almonds.
Reserve 5 and 1/2 cups of almond milk and refrigerate in the coldest part of the fridge as you will be using this later in the week for recipes. The coldest part of the fridge is generally the bottom (not the door) as hot air rises. Alternatively, almond milk freezes well.
Spread the almond pulp on a teflex sheet and dehydrate at 115F for 12 - 24 hours until it is completely dry. Be sure to spread it out thinly so that no moisture can be trapped as this can lead to fermentation in the pulp. If you don't have a dehydrator, place in the the oven for 3 hours at 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4. It won't be raw but the rest of your desserts will be.
When dry, the almond pulp will form into clumps and this is perfectly normal. When it is dry, whizz it up to form a flour in the blender jug. You make flours by having the blender on at a high speeds for short amounts of time. Do not over blend.
Sieve the almond flour and reserve the fine flour. Return any coarse flour to the jug and repeat the whizzing process and sieve again. Repeat until you only have a small amount of coarse flour left and discard this.
Reserve the fine almond flour in a sealed container.
Making oat flour: 4.5 cups for the course
There are two ways to make oat flour - either using oat groats or oat flakes (porridge oats).
If you are using whole oat groats, please soak 9 cups overnight in enough water to cover them with a good amount of water on top with either a squeeze of lemon juice or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. This helps to draw out the phytic acid and makes the oat groats easier to digest. They will expand overnight so it's important that you add a good amount of water. You may need to do this in several bowls.
Once soaked, rinse well. Spread onto teflex sheets and dehydrate at 115 F for 12 hours.
Once the oats are dry, whizz in the blender in small batches until ground into a flour. Sift through a sieve and discard any larger pieces of oat groats, returning them to the blender and whizzing again. Repeat the sieving process until you have the majority of oat groats as a fine flour.
If you are using oat flakes, in a blender simply whizz up 4.5 cups to make a flour. Sieve and collect the fine oat flour. Return any coarse flour to the blender and whizz again. Repeat the process until you have only a small amount of coarse oat flour remaining and discard.
The recipe book for the programme is available for download below (from Monday) both in full colour and printer-friendly black and white.
Share the photos of your organised kitchen with your fellow participants in the FB group.
After you've reviewed the attachments, take the quiz before moving onto Module 2.
This module does not have any further homework.