So, I really like my new(ish) job for the most part. One thing I am not very experienced in in baking and pastry work--I have the basics down, I can turn out decent bread, make cakes, custards, ice creams, caramel, etc.
One of my jobs is to come up with an amuse bouche, a pre-dessert and a petit four (usually the chef does the petit four but I want to start helping). A pre-dessert is something along the lines of a little something sweet that the person gets after the entree but before the dessert course. It is basically just a mini dessert that has to be different than anything currently on the menu. They don't like to repeat them for guests that are staying multiple nights, so it pretty much needs to be a new one every day.
Petit fours, or maybe more appropriately called mignardises, are the things that you get with your check (chocolates/truffles, macaroons, madelines, etc).
I've just about exhausted my repertoire on these things and am seeking some advice.
Things I've done in the past for pre-dessert:
Panna Cotta (usually topped with macerated fruit)
Chocolate Pot de creme
Chocolate mousse with whipped cream
Various sorbets (they don't like to use these though, so I've only done them in a "pinch")
Mini-sticky toffee puddings (semi-successful)
Sometimes I just macerate berries and fold into whipped cream, then pipe into a small glass parfait dish with a star tip
The head chef usually does the mignardises, but it would be nice if I could help him sometimes to take some of the load off and do it sometimes. He's a lot better at chocolate work, plus I have to do the amuse bouche, pre dessert, and family meal every day, so he does that.
Anyways, thoughts? I know some of you have been in similar situations, so any tips/advice, as well as recipes (preferable scaled by weight :) ) would be great.