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7.04.2009

Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Infused Jam and How I Spent my Summer Vacation


I must say this week has been so inspiring and recharging. Rather than take off for Europe or just chill at home doing nothing, I decided to finally to get off my ample derriere and take a continuing education class at French Pastry School. These courses are not cheap mind you and I never really thought it was possible for me to do this.But it is education and where there is a will there is a way.I will take another course in late August as well ,dedicated to Event /Wedding cakes. French Pastry attracts tout le monde as both professors and students. Don't be surprised if you find yourself sitting next to a student whose family owns a bakery chain in South America or a housewife from Brazil. One student I heard flew in from Singapore for a weekend event at the school with Spanish Chefs Oriol Balaguer and Paco Torreblanca.French Pastry School is first class and we students get spoiled a lot. It would be so hard to condense what I learned a few posts. I plan to write more extensively for EbonyJet.com . In the meanwhile I will start saving my dollars for some more classes. Here is a lineup of future course offerings. I would highly recommend this to anyone. Well worth the experience and money.
My instructor Chef John Kraus was amazing. Its a gift to teach and connect with the students. He told us if a student isn't getting it, its reflective of the teacher and how hard they tried to work with the student.Not only was his teaching method excellent but he was a great raconteur of stories about work, travel. food history, and his travels as he honed his craft. A fascinating man who has worked with the best of them.He got his first break with Marco Pierre White. Chef Kraus also believes in sharing recipes and info rather than withholding.You can read a recipe but its up to you as a chef to to put your stamp on it. And that's whats makes your dish different from mine essentially.
Here is a jam I fell in love with. Of course my home version could use some work, but the ones we turned out in class was excellent. The key is using really ripe bananas that are black. Let them sit out for a few days in a covered container at room temp sliced before you start to make the jam. They will start to liquefy and get really going. I experimented at home and added a cinnamon stick and Banana Rum from our trip to the Bahamas. You can really play around with this. I wish we saw Banana Jams more in the US. It really is treat that can go on so many things.




Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Infused Jam
*adapted from French Pastry School by Coco Cooks
makes 6 half pint jars
1 1/2-2 lbs/ 800 grams bananas very ripe( black)
1 cup fresh orange juice/200 grams
1/2 cup dark chocolate/100 grams
3 1/2 - 4 cups sugar /700 grams
1 vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp extract
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp rum
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan combine sliced bananas, orange juice,sugar , vanilla( pod split open and scraped), and cinnamon stick. Cook until translucent(make it either lumpy or more refined). Add chocolate( break it up a bit and melt a bit in microwave).Remove from heat and cover and let rest overnight.
The following day bring to a boil. Jam should hit 65 Brix or for us home cooks until it forms like a raindrop on car rather than tar. Place in sterilized jars/lids, seal and turn over. Let rest and cool overnight.
Process according to your canner instructions.
* In class we learned you can process in a dishwasher. Just run it through the first wash cycle( not the complete one). Its an effective method method that has enough heat to seal the jams .

For a prinatble version click here.

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25 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a great way to spend your free time! It looks like you had a wonderful time there... That jam is awesome and so unique!

Cheers,

Rosa

maybelles mom said...

What a wonderful summer vacation. i can't wait to hear about the august classes too.

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

That's just so inpiring Glamah. I think it's a wonderful way to spend your time creatively. Love the jam too. Intriguing!! This is a beautiful post!! xoxoxo

tastestopping said...

French pastry school? Sooooo trying not to be jealous. :) What a great experience, and how lovely to come home with this wonderful recipe (among many others, I'm sure).

Anyway, I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.

Best,
Casey
Editor
www.tastestopping.wordpress.com

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Your pictures are making me drool. I'm sure it was an astonishing week. I love the combination of ingredients in this jam, too.

Cynthia said...

This is an excellent way to spend time. I can just imagine how good you feel.

The jam is inspiring!

The Caked Crusader said...

Wow - being taught by someone who worked with the awesome yet still slightly scary MPW. I am very impressed!

The Duo Dishes said...

You definitely had a great experience this week. Very nice. Oh, and that jam sounds like the new Nutella with fruit! So rich and sweet.

toni said...

Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Jam??? Excuse me while I wipe the drool off. What a fantastic way to spend your vacation!!!!

LoveFeast Table said...

That jams look wonderful, but jetting off to Europe would have been wonderful too. If you hadn't made jam, where would you jet to?

LoveFeast Table said...

What a great way to use up those black bananas. I always make banana bread, my family will be happy to have a different choice! -kristin

~~louise~~ said...

You go Girl!!! I'm so proud of you:) Your energy astounds me. As does that Banana Jam. I must pass this recipe on to my daughter. The official "jammer" in our family. I bet she doesn't know about the dishwasher trick. Very cool...

Thanks for sharing, Courtney. I'm ready for more...

Deborah said...

I would love to take some culinary classes someday -I'm jealous! And I've never even heard of a banana jam, but it sounds amazing!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Like Deborah I've never heard of banana jam. I love the three main flavors so I'm thinking I would be a big fan of chocolate banana cinnamon jam.

You summer vacation experience sounds incredible.

Ivy said...

This is so creative and original. I love the idea of banana and chocolate in a jam.

Paz said...

How awesome to be able to take the class!

May I lick the spoon, please?

Paz ;-)

Megan said...

thanks for the post courtney! you have a beautiful blog as well. chef john was one of my favorite chef instructors. the fps truly is a neat place, i'm jealous you got to take a continuing ed class!

♥Rosie♥ said...

What a great way to spend time!! Banana and chocolate in a jam sounds great.

Proud Italian Cook said...

You go girl, you're in your element! The jam sounds heavenly.
I can see it now...Glamah Cakes...

Laurie Vengoechea said...

You jams and preserves never cease to amaze me.. this looks sooo yummy!!

Bellini Valli said...

Chocolate, cinnamon banana jam..so amazing C:D This post is truly inspiring and is forcing me to save my pennies for my next cooking adventure:D

Kevin said...

What an amazing sounding jam!

stephchows said...

HI! This jam sounds AMAZING!! I'm hosting a jam exchange this month and was wondering if you'd like to join in?? I'm trying to gather a whole bunch of people and all it takes is being willing to mail 2 jars of jam to someone. All the info to sign up is here: http://stephchows.blogspot.com/2009/07/jam-exchange.html

Hope you can join in!

linda said...

I'm jealous...will check out if there are some interesting courses here in Vienna.
Wonderful jam, yum!

Justin said...

what an incredible flavor combination for that jam