I'm studying the Grand Diplome at Cordon Bleu in London

Today we had a couple of practicals and a demo between them.

The first was to make the eclairs from the previous day’s eclairs and we all treated this as a practice for the patisserie exam as eclairs is one of the dishes we might get asked to make.
Doing this again showed me that this dish was not hard to do and I made some pretty good eclairs, filled with pastry cream and decorated with fondant and chocolate.

The demo was another cuisine demo about desserts and chef Neil made 3 desserts:

Pears poached in port served with chocolate sauce

Oeufs a la niege, which are meringues poached in a sugar syrup and served with creme anglaise

And creme caramel

We finished the day with a patisserie practical making some of the petit fours. We had to make the sablé biscuits and the almond meringues.

The almond meringues were quite straightforward, as long as you didn’t knock all the air out of the meringue while folding in the dry ingredients. They came out well and were decorated with chocolate.

The sablés were more challenging. This is a mixture which goes from too firm to too soft to work in seemingly nanoseconds so was quite problematic. I did manage to make a reasonable checkerboard and spiral, though we will be repeating this a lot in intermediate and superior patisserie classes. I think the answer is to really chill it well between working it.

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