Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Lesson 4: Baba

IMG_9838

Salut!

So this week started off with a demo on two very traditional French desserts – the Baba (usually Baba au Rhum) and the Kugelhopf (you can click on the links to find out more about the history behind the two desserts).

I’ve only tried Baba au Rhum a few times, the most memorable one being at La Cantine (Bruno Menard’s restaurant that used to be at Asia Square, Singapore). Although that Baba was one of the best I’d ever tasted, the dessert is one that I’ll never crave for. As such, I wasn’t as excited for this practical as I’d been for the previous ones.

We got Chef Cotte for this practical, a Chef that I’d spoken quite a bit about when I was here for Basic. He was exactly like how I’d remembered, warm, fun and strict all at the same time.

Practical went on as per usual, with the whole class just minding their own business (the kitchen is usually super quiet with this group). Super glad to be working with Jianhua for the past few practicals – I think we’ve got a kind of dynamic going on and she’s been super helpful whenever I needed any help.

Everything was going well with my Baba until I completed my pastry + whipping cream mixture. That’s when I realised that my pastry cream was kinda softer than it should be and would probably be a problem for piping later on. I showed it to Chef but he told me to just put it in the fridge (it was near-ish the end of class & I guess re-making a pastry cream would be rather time consuming).

As I’d expected, piping was quite a pain in the butt because I needed the swirls to hold up and retain the shape that I wanted. Thankfully I went to get my Baba graded before the pastry cream started to lose the definition of the star piping tip :S Lesson learnt – gotta make sure that my pastry cream is stiff enough for piping next time!

IMG_9814

I was also initially kinda sad cos I forgot to bring my Tupperware along to class (i.e. I wouldn’t be able to bring it home in a box to photograph). BUT given that I didn’t feel as happy with today’s cake, I decided to just photograph it on my iPhone in class, and leave the cake in the fridge for whoever who wanted to take it home (there is a system we have in place where you can just take/leave anything in this fridge). Sooo, today’s pictures are i) featuring a black background (vs the usual white) and ii) featuring the school table top heh.

We’re making some really yummy chocolate choux tomorrow so I’m pretty excited for that! Stay tuned!

Till next time,
Eugenia

More

Lesson 3: Tarte Passion Framboises

DSCF5948

Bonjour everyone!

For our third demo, chef covered 2 different tarts. The tarte passion framboises (passionfruit raspberry tart) & a chocolate cognac orange cream tart (can’t remember the exact name right now). I liked the taste of the passionfruit tart more so I was quite glad we were making that for our practical, rather than the chocolate one :)

We got Chef Soyoun for this practical again! Think the entire class was really happy to have her. Think the whole class is getting into the swing of things, getting familiar with one another and all. It’s a pretty quiet group but I think that’s good cos we can all concentrate on our work.

This class was my first foray into tempering chocolate and I must say it’s really quite tricky. I attempted the tabling method that Chef showed during the demonstration and… the clean-up for that is horrible :'( I was quite proud of myself though, for being able to get the chocolate to the temperatures as he’d described during the demo.

DSCF5973

I’m not usually a tart person but this was really quite good! I don’t know if you noticed but the glaze on the top of my tart isn’t super smooth. I think the problem was that my glaze wasn’t warm/liquified enough. I believe this will be an issue even for entremets -getting the glaze warm enough but not too warm to be able to pour it.

The end of the practical marked the start of my weekend! Heading to Lyon to find Joyee & deliver some tart to her 😉

À bientôt!

xx,
Eugenia

More

Lesson 2: Mille Feuille

DSCF5942

Hi everyone~

So class started this week on Tuesday, meaning that I had a long weekend to run more errands (lots and lots of grocery shopping) and settle in. It was really chilly the whole weekend + week thanks to the drizzling and wind :(

For the second demonstration, the chef showed us the mille feuille & the tarte aux fruit rouges. I really liked this demo cause of the lovely colours of the desserts (lots of red!). In our first practical (and in chef’s first demo), we had to save about 250g of inverted puff pastry to be used for our mille feuille in the second practical. I like how there was this nice transition from the first to the second class.

For every class, we have 4 people that are assigned to be team leaders. This was my week to be assigned & I was kinda nervous about it cos being a team leader means getting stuff for people (and I felt like I was going to be a burden since I’m still not the most familiar with the kitchen). Thankfully, the other 3 were super efficient & could guide me on what to do.

We got Chef Soyoun for this practical. She’s super impressive, speaking Korean, French & English all fluently (she might speak even more but these are the 3 she uses in class). This was my first time in a practical with her given that she wasn’t in the Paris campus back in 2013, but I must say that I really liked the practical with her :)

Overall, I was extremely pleased with how my Mille Feuille turned out – dry butter & good weather works wonders! The lighting on the day of practical was also favourable for me to take some good pictures heh. Had dinner with Julie & Isabelle (exchange friends) that night and brought Mille Feuille along. Glad that the cake didn’t go to waste & that I got a stamp of approval from two Parisians 😀

DSCF5937

Really enjoying the Intermediate syllabus so far & very happy bout meeting new people.

Till the next post!

xx,
Eugenia

P.S. Pardon the slightly weird focus of my photos – still getting used to my new camera (Fujifilm XT-10, with 27mm pancake lens)

More