Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Right now I am blogging from a picnic table and here is my view:


It's getting pretty chilly in the mornings but it's still very pleasant to sit outside.  I definitely require a lot of alone time and sitting at a picnic table in the woods seems to do the trick.  Oh yeah, did I mention that I am sharing a room with two girls? And that I haven't had a roommate in eight years? Oh, and also… when I say "I'm blogging from a picnic table," what I really mean is "I'm typing at a picnic table and will hike a mile until I actually have internet access and can post this".  Ah, rural France.

So the first two days of classes have gone well. As I mentioned before, the pace is way more relaxed than at our American school. In our 7 hour class, we've made 3 products one day and 2 another day. For those who are curious, the classes are taught in English. We have a separate French class for two hours a week... but really, life is a French class. There are a bunch of teaching assistants at the school (who are, incidentally, cute young French dudes) who are trying to learn English while we're trying to learn French. Essentially, we all sit around the common room all night and ask ask each other how to say things.

The first completed product that we made is the pate a tartiner. This is a little paste that is similar to nutella, but a little bit lighter (more of a mousse than a spread).  It was pretty easy to make, but since it is an emulsion, you have to whisk it constantly for about 10 minutes - my arm felt like it was going to fall off. My whisking arm is totally out of shape. I should have been pumping iron with one arm all summer long.


Look how cute! The little dots are chocolate rice crispy pearls.  We also made some chocolate shot glasses, but I thought the clear plastic ones looked classier. Although my chef did point out that a chocolate glass is more environmentally friendly.


We also made a bunch of cakes, but they are not decorated yet, so I'll hold off on showing you photos. Yesterday, we made some bonbons (aka Pralines, aka chocolates). We haven't totally finished them, but I'll show you pictures anyway because I think they are cute!


Chocolate caramel.  We cut them into different shapes, but I was on a bow tie kick for some reason. These are naked right now (scandal!) but we're going to coat them in chocolate tonight.


Raspberry ganache praline. I think we're going to brush these with sparkle powder today. YAY SPARKLES!

Working with chocolate is such a mess. It truly gets everywhere - I feel like a mechanic because it looks like I have motor oil under and around my fingernails. Nope… just chocolate.

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