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Les Petits Chefs make gingerbread micro sponge with candy cane ice cream and raspberry niblets with John Placko

8 Gingerbread micro sponge with liquid nitrogen candy cane ice cream and raspberry niblets with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.com^^^ That’s quite the mouthful, isn’t it? Literally!

This week we were so lucky to welcome Chef John Placko of Modern Culinary Academy back to the lab for a little dabble in the molecular cuisine side of cooking.  John has worked with the boys a number of times before – they’ve made melon caviar, yoghurt sheets, carbonated strawberries, cranberry snow and chocolate micro sponge, they have sous vide-ed and caramelized bananas with coconut gel and snow (with bonus blow torch action!), they’ve made “rhubarb in textures” and carbonated fruit, cranberry foam, ice cream, ice cream pearls, raspberry niblets topped with pop rocks, cranberry meringues and edible gold (!). Last term, John showed the boys how to make sushi with ginger caviar.

As you can see, John is quite the ambitious chef when he comes to work with the boys – his sessions are the ultimate “science is cool” advertisements!

We started out with a small group of boys making a cake batter…Kids making gingerbread sponge with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis was strained through a metal sieve then…

Kids pouring ginger sponge mix into whipped cream canisters with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.comUh huh, the batter was poured into one of those whipped cream dispensers you might see at your favourite coffee store. Then the boys got to bake it in the microwave in those little paper cups you see in the photo! Huh? Microwave? What?

Gingerbread microwave sponges with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.comGorgeous gingerbread “micro sponge”. So tall and fluffy!

Meanwhile, over at the “stress release” table…

Kids crushing candy cane with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.comWhile other groups were making ice cream…

Vanilla ice cream base with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.comJohn had shown the boys how to make “raspberry niblets” (basically freeze-dried raspberries using liquid nitrogen) earlier…

Kids freeze raspberries with liquid nitrogen with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.com Freeze dried raspberries with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.com Freeze dried raspberry niblets with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd when mostly all the cakes had been baked, the candy cane was crushed and the niblets ready and waiting…

Liquid nitrogen vanilla ice cream with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.comYesssssss! Liquid nitrogen ice cream for the win!

Kids making ice cream with liquid nitrogen with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids stirring liquid nitrogen ice cream with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids make liquid nitrogen ice cream with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe candy canes were stirred through the ice cream and the boys started to think about their plating:

Gingerbread micro sponge and liquid nitrogen ice cream with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.comI told the boys to make a pretty plate… Here’s what they came up with!

3 Gingerbread micro sponge with liquid nitrogen candy cane ice cream and raspberry niblets with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.com 1 Gingerbread micro sponge with liquid nitrogen candy cane ice cream and raspberry niblets with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.com 5 Gingerbread micro sponge with liquid nitrogen candy cane ice cream and raspberry niblets with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.com 6 Gingerbread micro sponge with liquid nitrogen candy cane ice cream and raspberry niblets with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.com 2 Gingerbread micro sponge with liquid nitrogen candy cane ice cream and raspberry niblets with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.comRather a lot of “deconstructed” going on LOL!

Mine?

7 Gingerbread micro sponge with liquid nitrogen candy cane ice cream and raspberry niblets with John Placko on eatlivetravelwrite.comFor a few minutes there, the lab was silent. SILENT, I tell you. Mouths full of delicious cake/ ice cream… But not for long… John liquid nitrogen-ed some “astronaut ice cream” for the boys to hold between their teeth, let “cool” down (it felt hot but it was actually warming up!) and watch the cool air blow off with their breath. SO much fun!

Thank you John for bringing a little fun and sweetness into “Assessment Week” at school. I know there were more than a few boys thinking science was WAY cooler after spending the hour with you. You’re inspiring!

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12 Responses to Les Petits Chefs make gingerbread micro sponge with candy cane ice cream and raspberry niblets with John Placko

  1. Geoff December 15, 2016 at 18:13 #

    A really gorgeous post. Well done once again LPCs.
    Lucky guys.

  2. Tiffany December 16, 2016 at 11:15 #

    I took a workshop with John a few years ago at Willow Cakes and Pastries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was the coolest thing ever. Total science camp for foodies. I have no doubt your boys had a blast with this, especially the blowing smoke part. I know a bunch of adults were like little kids when we got to do that, too. Awesome experience.

    • Mardi Michels December 16, 2016 at 11:39 #

      Oh yes, these types of recipes bring out the kid in all of us!

  3. Carole Brown December 16, 2016 at 11:27 #

    its always so inspiring to see what your kids are up to! This is an adorable dessert to make with the little ones

  4. Colleen Milne December 16, 2016 at 14:03 #

    This is so cool, a cooking and a science class all in one. The kids must have had so much fun making and eating this!

  5. Denise from UrbnSpice December 16, 2016 at 15:56 #

    Heck – I want to be one of the participants in this fun food festivity! I am a big fan of having children in the kitchen with me. I am sure that they had a wonderful time and memories have been built forever with these little ones.

    • Mardi Michels December 17, 2016 at 06:45 #

      I am very sure these guys will remember this session for a long time!

  6. Isabelle @ Crumb December 16, 2016 at 23:05 #

    This sounds like so much fun. I wish we’d had a class like this when I was in school! 🙂 Actually, come to think of it, I’d have settled for getting to eat treats like this in school, though getting to make them is half the fun.
    Lucky boys! (And lucky Mardi, too, for getting to enjoy the fruits of everyone’s labour.)

    • Mardi Michels December 17, 2016 at 06:44 #

      It’s actually rare that I get to eat much of what we make so this was a big old treat for me too!!

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