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Tagged: intermediate patisserie

Lesson 7: Choquette Tart with Maple Syrup

Hi everyone!

Writing this as a super belated post so hopefully I remember all the details :p

When I first saw this recipe (or more like the name of the recipe), I thought it was really strange that we were doing something with maple syrup. The first thing that ran through my head was – how’s maple syrup even vaguely close to anything French?

Also, when demo started and I saw that there was a generous serving of chantilly maple cream, I figured that I wouldn’t be a fan of this dessert (cos too much cream always makes me feel sick). However, I realised during tasting that I was very wrong. The base of this tart was amazing – a deconstructed sable crumble with hazelnut and milk chocolate. It was pure decadence. Even the chantilly cream, lightly flavoured with maple syrup, had an amazing texture and flavour that was well complemented by the choquettes on the side, filled with coffee pastry cream.

Needless to say, this tart had quite a few components, hinting at the fact that we’d need to be quick during practical (+ the fact that we needed to temper chocolate for the squares on top).

We got Chef Park for practical, something that I was very happy about. She’s always very calm and the aura that she exudes during class really gets us (me at least) into this rhythm of doing work. The whole practical went very smoothly except for a point where I put my wire rack with the parchment paper and sable on it on top of the stove (we have the induction kinds and I didn’t realise it was on), burning the paper a bit. Oops!

Because I’d done piping with the St Honore tip before, the piping part of the tart went pretty smoothly 🙂 Really loving all the piping work we’ve had to do.

As it was CNY weekend, I rushed home, grabbed my bags & took a train to London to spend the new year’s with Mena Jie and family 🙂 (+Amanda Jie & a couple of Mena Jie’s friends were there so that was awesome). It was a caloric-filled weekend with lots of Asian cuisine that was amazing and making my stomach extremely happy, made even better because I got to see Syaz & Pin that weekend too.

Anyhoo, going to try update more frequently over the next few weeks. I’m a good 6 classes behind right now :S




Lesson 4: Baba



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!


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,


Lesson 1: Inverted Puff Pastry


Bonjour everyone!

So school started on Friday, with what was the only day of the whole term with a demonstration & practical class on the same day. Unlike the rigour that I’d been exposed to in the intensive set for Basic Patisserie, the normal set has a pretty spread out schedule, with approximately one class a day, four times a week. We’ll see in due time whether I think the intensive course/normal one is more suitable for me haha.

It was really awesome to be back in the demo room (albeit a totally different school) and to be a pastry student again. Apart from the fact that I’d barely slept the night before, the 3 hours of class was super enjoyable and passed by pretty quickly. We were introduced to the chefs I/C of the IP group and briefed on the rules etc. that we were expected to follow in the weeks to come. In terms of strictness, I’d say that the school has definitely stepped up its game from the time I was here.

Prior to knowing the syllabus, Tenille (my friend from Trinidad & Tobago who is also not from the most recent BP batch) and I were discussing how we hoped the first class would be basic enough to handle. I’m not too sure how she felt, but when I saw that it was a class on inverted puff pastry, I started getting quite worried (my experience in basic with Pithiviers in the sweltering summer heat was horrible). The chef made it look really simple but at the same time, you could tell that the room was slightly too warm for laminating, resulting in the chef himself having a difficult time handling the deterempe.

Immediately after demo (which ended around 630pm), everyone from groups E & F rushed to the locker rooms to get changed for our practical class which was at 7pm. I was super nervous at this point, knowing that the unfamiliarity of the kitchen would be a potential hurdle in my class. Right from the beginning, I got it wrong. Unlike 4 years ago where we’d just stand wherever we pleased, my classmates were all standing at benches corresponding to their index number (I didn’t even know what mine was LOL). One of my classmates had to come up to me to tell me I was standing in her spot *oops*.

To my delight, our chef for the prac was Chef Jean-Jacques, one of my fave chefs from Basic. He kept his usual cool demeanour & I felt that familiarity from Basic once again. Everyone paired up to make different components of the puff pastry & I was lucky to have Jianhua (from China) pair up with me. She was super helpful in telling me where to get all the items & I must say we worked pretty well together 🙂

Once everything was out of the oven and we’d cleaned up, Chef went around to assess our work. Another new thing that was introduced was an evaluation journal that each of us had to bring in for the class, for Chef to give a grade based on our work. Again, I must say that the new system put in place really seems much more school-like than it was. Kudos to the academic team for that!


Going to my second practical tomorrow – we’re using leftover puff pastry from this first one to make a mille feuille 😉 Stay tuned!