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

Archive for 12/04/2012

Day 59 – Loire Valley – Thurs 12th April

Chef Gilles took us for the demo and practical again today.

We made 2 dishes: braised trout with beurre Nantais sauce and braised lettuce, and Cointreau soufflé.

Fillets of trout were boned and skinned and poached for a few minutes in a court bouillon. Gem lettuce was braised with carrot, onion, diced bacon and chicken stock. The fish was served with the braised lettuce and a sauce made from shallots, Muscadet wine and lots of butter.

Next was a Cointreau soufflé. A creme patissiere was flavoured with Cointreau and whisked egg whites folded in. It was spooned into buttered and sugared ramekins and baked for 10 minutes.

In the practical we had to make both dishes. The trout was fiddly to fillet but was quick to cook and the dish proved tasty.

The soufflé worked well and tasted good too, though there isn’t much substance to a soufflé.

Day 58 – Brittany – Wed 11th April

Today chef Gilles took the demo and practical and started off by completing the Kouign Amann started by chef Loic last week.

The dough had been frozen since last week and all that was left to do was roll it out again in sugar, fold it and roll it again in sugar, then roll out and cut into 2 inch sections. These were left to double in size, then baked until browned and cooked through. It was served with caramelised sections of apple.

Next were stuffed clams. Clams were steamed in white wine with mirepoix for a couple of minutes, then drained and picked from their shells. 2 clam meats were placed into opened shells, covered with a sauce made from the clam cooking juices and cream, and topped with a shallot, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs and butter mix and browned under the grill.

Lastly was paupiettes of salmon with sorrel. Thin escalopes of salmon were rolled with a mousseline of scallops and lemon sole, flavoured with chervil, tarragon and chives. This was then poached and served with a sauce made from shallots, vermouth, white wine, fish stock and cream, then finished with sorrel leaves. It was served with some broccoli florets and some turned mushrooms.

In the practical we just had to make the salmon paupiettes. Not too hard but lots of points of technique to get right and this is one of the possible exam dishes. Plenty to practice here and very tasty. It was polished off within minutes of arriving home.

Day 57 – Chestnut Mousse in Sponge – Tues 10th April

Back to Patisserie today for the only patisserie classes this week as Monday was the Easter bank holiday.

Chef Nicolas today made a dessert quite similar to the bavarois last term. A plain sponge was used to line a ring and a mousse flavoured with chestnut used to fill it, along with some chopped glacéed chestnuts. A chocolate ganache was used to glaze the top and it was decorated with piped white chocolate and a marzipan scroll.


Chef Nicolas took us for the practical too and it wasn’t too hard a practical except for the chocolate piping on top which, in my case, looked like it was done by a 4 year old child 😦


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