Friday, February 10, 2012

Collateral Benefits to Student Research

What's in the bag for today?
We have a pretty active student research program.  Both undergraduate and graduate students work on projects either for honors or PhD theses.  This certainly benefits the research reputation of the center having so many enthusiastic young scientists around. What benefits even more is when one of them has a penchant for baking things  That happens to be the avocation of one of our newest undergrads and we're happy to say cakehour has been graced with several of her creations already.
Not bad for an amateur baker!
This looks suspiciously familiar!
Our newest researcher and her first successful experiment!
Today we knew she was bringing something and were anxious to see what she had in the bag.  What we found was a homemade pear tart similar in appearance to those that we have frequently had from the Vienna Bakery.  She had made it in a pie dish which didn't matter to us of course. Not only did it look like the Bakery product but the recipe was similar and the taste likewise.  The crust was a shortbread crust - you know butter and flour based - and presumably low in calories. The filling/cake part is something called Frangipane which is something made from or flavored like almonds. In this case it was almond flour that gave the cake its nutty taste.  This is similar to Marzipan which is what we always thought these tarts were made from.
It's a pear tart a la Vienna Bakery.
Amaretto poached pear on a frangipane base - good stuff!
The pears were poached with some amaretto and then decoratively sliced and embedded in the cake.  The presentation was great and we appreciate the baking skills of this new student.  May she have as much fun and success in the laboratory. An experiment is, after all, just like following a recipe!

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