I have also started trading under the name Cooksmith. Read on to find out about my most recent trading activities!
Today is Saturday 14 September and a most momentous occasion has happened. I held my first stall and sold my first product to a person who was not a member of my family or a friend! Yes it is true that I’ve been running a supperclub for a few months and have incredibly managed to attract guests who are similarly unknown to me before the evening but supperclubs are by their nature a non-commercial activity. So this is a momentous occasion by virtue of having taken my first step towards actually making a living from pursuing the thing that I want to do. (In theory of course, given that I abysmally failed to break even today).
When I read about cronuts they seemed like such a phenominally wonderful idea! I love croissants. Like really love croissants. Possibly in quite a disgusting way – there have been days when I’ve eaten nothing but croissants all day and I’ve been reduced to nibbling croissants under the desk at lunchtime so not to attract my work collegues’ disbelief/pity/concern.
I also made croissants at the Ashburton school where I recently completed my professional skills cookery course – and unsurprisingly given my prelove of croissants – it was a highlight of the whole course. So having been waiting patiently to be inspired to make something for some stall that I might have someday it seemed like my moment had come! In fact, I speak fresh from having sold my (thirty three) cronuts and so indeed I feel like I’ve had a good moment!
Preparations making the croissant dough started early and I had some initial failures and some rather too frank feedback from friends. But it was all for a good cause I guess, and in the end I tinkered with the croissant dough (mainly by giving it 6 turns i.e. more laminations rather than the usual 3 turns) and got a nice light and layered dough.
Despite what a lot of online recipes say, I find that the hotter the oil for deepfrying the oil (around 190C) is necessary if you don’t want the cronut to taste greasy – provided you give the shaped cronuts enough time to prove then the hotter oil will still cook the dough before the outside colours too deeply.
Anyway, finally on Market Day at Marylebone Parish Church grounds, I made three flavours (1) Ham and Cheese, (2) Blueberry and Coffee and (3) Raspberry and Hazelnut. Savoury works best it seems. Although they all sold out in the end, the Ham and Cheese cronut raced to the finish well ahead of the rest.
Also I had lots of help today with setting up and manning the stall – and I couldn’t have done without my Dad, my aunty, Terry, Freddie and James and all my friends who turned up today and frankly took me a good way towards me selling out at the end of the day. Thanks guys!
The only sad thing about the whole occasion is that after weeks of triallng croissant dough, preparing it and tasting the products including at 4am this morning when I was frying today’s batch of cronuts – the thought of eating a croissant gives me no pleasure (although I think I’m probably resilient enough for this not to be a permanent side effect…)