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

Archive for May, 2012

Day 84 – Alsace – Fri 18th May

Dishes from Alsace today, in North Eastern France. An area of France that has been historically part of Germany as much as part of France and the cuisine and wine from the area is very Germanic in style.

Chef Gilles cooked a couple of dishes from the region.

The 1st was fillet of trout braised in riesling wine, served with spätzle noodles, green beans and turned mushroom and a sauce of the riesling wine, fish stock and cream.

Next he cooked a roast rack of pork with choucroute (braised cabbage with vinegar and caraway seeds).

Day 83 – Languedoc Rousillon – Thurs 17th May

Today chef Gilles took us for the demo again and cooked 3 dishes.

The 1st was monkfish stew flavoured with saffron and finished with aioli (intensely garlic mayonnaise).

Next he cooked squid with a pork stuffing, braised with tomatoes and espelette pepper.

Lastly he made a dessert of iced nougat with strawberries, raspberries and raspberry coulis.

Day 82 – Auvergne – Wed 16th May

Chef Loic took us for the demo today and covered dishes from the Auvergne region of France which is the higher terrain area in the centre of France.

Today’s dishes were onion and Cantal soup, braised stuffed cabbage and walnut cake.

For the soup, onions and potatoes were sautéed in butter, then simmered with chicken stock until tender. A couple of slices of soaked bread were added, then everything blended and passed through a sieve. Grated Cantal cheese was added and it was served sprinkled with parsley. A simple but very tasty soup.

The main dish, and the one we’d be doing in practical, was braised stuffed cabbage. A stuffing of pork mince, veal mince, pork fat, as well as onions, lardons of smoked bacon and shredded cabbage heart sautéed were mixed together and used to stuff blanched cabbage leaves  and wrapped in caul fat to hold them together while cooking.

The cabbage parcels were then braised in veal stock and mirepoix of vegetables, then the liquid was reduced to make a sauce for the cabbage. It was served with glazed carrots, turnips and onions.

Finally the chef made wlanut cake, which was a dark and dense cake with wanuts and raisins in it and flavoured with orange juice and tea.

In the practical, with chef Gilles, who is struggling to get over a virus and can barely talk, poor chap, the braised cabbage went well and was very tasty and my wife and I polished it off in no time once I got home.

Day 81 – White chocolate mousse with redcurrant jelly centre – Tues 15th May

Today chef Christophe took us for the demo and practical. We haven’t had chef Christophe for a demo before though we’ve had him lots of time for practicals. He has a habit of referring to any group of students as ‘girls’ and calls all students Geraldine or Gerald, though usually Geraldine, irrespective of gender! He also talks to himself throughout the demo.

Today’s cake consisted of a layer of pistachio dacquoise sponge, which is a sponge rich in ground pistachio and pistachio paste as well as ground almonds. On top of this was a white chocolate mousse, in which a disk of redcurrant jelly was placed and covered with more white chocolate mousse. A white chocolate glaze was applied to the top of the cake and then decorated with piped dark chocolate. Squares of dark chocolate dusted with an edible lustre were used to decorate the sides of the cake as well as some pieces on top, as well as some fruit.

And here is my cake from the practical.

Day 80 – Poires Religieuses – Mon 14th May

Chef Nicolas took us today for the patisserie demonstration and chef Christophe for the practical.

The cake today was a poires religieuses. A ring was lined on the sides and base with a layer of chocolate sponge, brushed with caramel, then covered with a chocolate mousse with diced caramelised pears mixed in, another disk of sponge, more mousse, then finished with a chocolate glaze. The top was decorated with piped white chocolate, a fanned caramelised pear and a white and dark chocolate pear shape.

Day 79 – Lyonnais – Fri 11th May

2 dishes from this area.

The 1st was Lyonnaise salad. Leaves of curly endive, dressed in vinaigrette, with croutons and crispy lardons of smoked bacon and topped with a poached egg.

Next were quenelles of pike mousseline, poached and baked and served with a crayfish sauce and decorated with a poached crayfish.

Day 78 – Rhone-Alpes, Savoie, Dauphine – Thurs 10th May

The chef started with a hot soufflé flavoured with Comté cheese.

Next he cooked a chicken ballotine with dauphinoise potatoes. The legs were cut from the chicken and the thigh meat removed, but the skin left intact and then stuffed with a mousse made from the thigh meat. The legs were then roasted with the breast of chicken. Slices of breast, thigh mousse and a drumstick were served with dauphinoise potatoes and a sauce made from the roasted chicken bones.

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