Vanilla and Raspberry “Treasure”
Intensive has been a lot of work that I feel like I’m forever playing catch-up to blogging, and more importantly, to LIFE! Christmas is just around the corner and I’ve gotten as far as making a list of cards to write. It’s the thought that counts, right? So friends, I’m thinking about you. I just can’t actually do anything about that right now, ugh!
In pictures, what I’ve been up to…
A nice little break after all that chocolate, we made savoury petit fours using puff pastry. The only catch was, the pastry was inverted – you wrap the dough inside butter. It was a bit of a mess at first, but I really welcomed the change of scene. I like working with dough generally. It’s all about feeling the dough rather than looking at it, to know what’s going on. So it’s easier to stay calm while working with dough, because I can’t be easily annoyed by what I’m looking at :)
My favourite snack in the end were the chorizo rounds, because they had a hint of spiciness that I so crave in Paris, and the bacon wrapped prunes. Who would’ve thought I’d enjoy prunes? The bad thing about these snacks is that it’s easy to overdose on the buttery pastry, so I gave away most of mine at the end of class.
From there, we moved on to fruity things! Yay for non-chocolate! My cake looked like a hat, and some peopled called this the “boob cake”. It is a lovely dome of raspberry mousse sprinkled with little fraises de bois, and covered with a thin layer of vanilla Chiboust cream that gets torched. The Chiboust was a bit tricky to all of us when we were making it, but it turned out OK for me in the end. I think I went a little overboard with my raspberry mousse (it’s just so light and refreshing!) that I put a little too much on my cake. Normally, the dome is a little less exaggerated. Oops!
This colourful art project was the Entremet Passionata – coloured cigarette cookie batter with a thin sponge cake around, a coconut dacquoise on the bottom, a layer of passionfruit cream, a layer of raspberry mousse, and finally a raspberry glaze. You see, this is why I have nightmares about not finishing my final exam on time. WE HAVE TO MAKE AND ASSEMBLE ALL THAT IN LESS THAN 2.5 HOURS! This cake was particularly OCD-friendly, so as we worked in partners, another student and I spent almost 20 minutes making sure the colours on the side were nicely spread out and cleanly separated from one another. Phew. Since I still have trepidations about glazing the top of a cake after my previous kerfuffle with the Trois Bavarois, I saved too much room for my glaze and my glaze looks quite thick. Also, I waited until the glaze was a little too cold that it wouldn’t spread easily and nicely on my cake. The end result was not exactly great. The chef that day was a cuisine chef who supervises pastry classes once in a while, and he was cool about the little incident with the glaze and told me my mousse was a nice consistency.
We had two classes in one day, and I ended the day with the Walnut Caramel cake. I was so looking forward to having caramel, but this cake didn’t really do it for me. The caramel mousse was very lightly flavoured. I prefer just eating a whole salted caramel candy. However, the actual walnut cake on the bottom was delicious. I think I’d reuse that cake recipe for something else one day. It is a lovely spongey walnut-y cake that is just right for a layer cake or a cupcake. I’m excited to have this recipe under my belt!
After all these cakes, we’re done with the “cakes” section of the course! The remaining classes are croquembouche (French wedding “cake”) and breads. I’m looking forward to the change, but also nervous because this means the final exam is coming up very, very soon!