Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What I did last week.

So, it's not all fun and games here in France. Yes, I had an awesome trip to Paris and got to hang out with my friends from home, but I've been working my booty off in the meantime.

Last week, we focused on cookies and petit fours. There's not too many exciting things to say about them, but I'll show you some photos.


Passion Fruit Macaroons. These are really delicious.


Chocolate Macaroons. We made these twice and they came out terribly both times. It was really frustrating to me that we were not allowed to control the ovens (macaroons are very sensitive and need a really specific baking time and procedure).  They look all weird and crackly.  WAH. Luckily, I obsess over making macaroons at home, so I'm pretty confident that if I'm in charge of the baking process and use my own recipes, these would come out well.


This is another macaroon, called the macaroon craquele (crackly). They don't look crackly to me…they just look like they were caught in a freak snowstorm. Maybe they were hanging out in New Jersey last week.



And finally, my FAVORITE cookie on the planet, Financiers. We put raspberries in these and they were simply divine.  Although, I'll be a pretty camper if you give me pretty much anything with browned butter in it.



We also had another practice for our entremets final (you can read about the first practice here). Mine was a total FLOP this time, but fortunately, my problems are easily fixable. I used a different kind of gelatin for this trial and it did NOT work for me. I knew that my coffee mouse was slumping under the glaze but I was just crossing my fingers that it would hold together until we were done grading.

The chocolate glaze did a decent job of containing the waterfall of mousse, but as soon as chef cut into it, it leaked all over the place like a shower in a French hotel bathroom (I HATE YOU, FRENCH PLUMBING). Mine was the first to be graded, and by the end of the tasting, there was a giant coffee puddle on the table.


You can see that the cake was starting to slump under all of that chocolate glaze. The decor is candied hazelnuts and sugar discs with hazelnuts in them.

I actually made a second entremets to try and correct my error. I went back to my usual gelatin brand (sidenote: how disgusting is it that I actually have a preferred type of gelatin?) and everything came out perfectly. Unfortunately, I had to decorate and present the first, crappy mousse. Oh well -- luckily, it tasted really great so I still got a good grade.

That's all for last week. I'm adjusting ok to the morning classes, but I keep forgetting to whip out my camera. Hopefully that improves this week as we work on plated desserts! We only have three days of class because of the long weekend, so we won't have a huge amount of production.


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