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

Archive for July, 2012

Days 124 and 125 – Afternoon Tea Party – Mon 30th and Tues 31st July

Monday and Tuesday this week we again worked in groups, 2 classes working towards the one goal, as we were preparing and serving an afternoon tea. On Monday we mostly prepared the cakes and on Tuesday we finished and decorated them.

We were each allowed to invite a guest and served them, and others tea, coffee and cakes.

Between us we made about 20 different types of cakes.

Here is a list of what we made:

Orange Mousse encased in candied orange slices.
Crisp choux pastries with rich fillings
Raspberry chocolate mousse on a flourless chocolate sponge
Lemon cake drenched in zesty lemon syrup
Vanilla and Chocolate marble cake decorated with chocolate
Pistachio cake encased in chocolate glaze
A tart of Raspberry Jam and candied citrus peel topped with an almond paste
Crisp almond meringue with rich praline buttercream
Pear and caramel mousses encased in almond sponge with a chocolate glaze
Milk and white chocolate mousse with kirsch soaked cherries and crisp feuilletine layer
Scones flavoured with apple and cinnamon, raisins or plain, with clotted cream and jam.
Coconut meringue discs layered with lime mousse
Chocolate pastry tart with banana and chocolate filling and chocolate swirl on top
Crisp pastry case filled with rich custard and an abundance of seasonal fruits
Creme Brulée tarts with fruit compote
Yoghurt mousse with apricot jelly centre and pistachio sponge layer
Macaroon with a rosewater jelly, fresh raspberries and lychee posette
Champagne mousse with a strawberry jelly in an almond sponge
Chocolate macaroon with a coffee bean brulée and white chocolate mousse
A syrup soaked yeast batter with fresh cream, fruit and apricot glaze

Day 123 – Modern Entremet, Tomato Juice and Turbot Steak – Fri 27th July

Today we started with a patisserie technical on making a modern entremet. Chef Matthew prepared a entremet of blackcurrant sponge, blackcurrant and vanilla mousses with white chocolate and raspberry crunch.

Next chef Eric took us for a demo and prepared a chilled tomato juice with mascarpone cream, fried basil and parmesan crisp.

Next was a roast turbot steak with crushed potatoes, carrot and kohlrabi cylinders with black olives and an olive oil sauce.

Day 122 – Student Event Dinner – Thurs 26th July

During superior cuisine each class, or 2 classes working together, have to prepare a dinner for 50 people (staff and other students at Cordon Bleu) including creating the menu, within a budget, and use specified seasonal ingredients.

We had to prepare 3 canapés, an amuse-bouche, a first course based on mackerel, a main course based on quail, a cheese course using Reblochon course, a dessert based on cherries and 3 petit fours as well as 3 breads.

We split into 3 teams, one to prepare the canapés, amuse-bouche and first course, a 2nd team to prepare the main course, cheese course and staff food and a 3rd team to prepare the dessert, petit fours and breads.

I was part of the starter team and worked on the mackerel, amuse bouche and one of the canapés.

The 3 canapés were ham hock croquettes with a little redcurrant jam

crab vol au vents

and shots of gazpacho with a parmesan tuile.

The amuse-bouche was a mille feuille of filo pastry and herb cream.

The first course was a duet of mackerel. Some of the mackerel was cured with beetroot and horseradish and then diced to make a tartare which was topped with cider and apple jelly, and was served with a piece of grilled mackerel and a lime and chilli vinaigrette and beetroot dust.

The main course was roast quail stuffed with pistachio and fig, pea polenta, purple potato purée and a sauce finished with bitter chocolate.

The cheese course was a Reblochon eclair with a honey and mustard dressing.

The dessert was a dome of cherry mousse encased in dark chocolate with a cherry compote and hazelnut crunch.

Finally, the petit fours were pink champagne macaroons, lychee and passionfruit jellies and white chocolate and lime truffles.

Day 121 – Lots of Seafood and Veal – Wed 25th July

Today we had 2 demos from chef John, both using seafood and veal, with a practical in between where we did a lot of mise en place for the dinner we were giving the following day.

In the first demo chef John prepared a couple of dishes. The first was Roasted scallops with cauliflower pureé and cumin foam.

Then he made veal loin with vegetable spaghetti and soufflé potatoes.

In the 2nd demo he made a mixed dish of seafood with seared tuna, fresh oysters, herb crusted poached salmon, monkfish cooked in blackening spices, steamed clams, tuna tartare, and salmon and monkfish ceviche and presented it on 3 different plates.

Lastly he made fillet of veal with spring vegetables.

Day 119 and 120 – Create my own entremet – Mon 23rd and Tues 24th July

This week in patisserie we had to design and create our own entremet, based on all the things we have learnt over the last 2 terms. An entremet is a multi-layered, multi-textured cake. We had to consider which flavours and textures we wanted to use and then proceed to make and cost it.

I chose to make a white chocolate mousse cake, with a raspberry jelly centre, an orange glaze on top, a pate sablé base and a pink striped almond sponge around the outside.

Here is my completed entremet

and here is a slice showing the inside

And here are all the entremets made by the students in my class.

Day 119 – Mystery Basket, Quail pithiviers and Peach Melba – Fri 20th July

Today in the practical we didn’t cook what the chef had demonstrated in yesterday’s practical but instead were given each an identical basket of ingredients and had to create our own dish.

The basket had 2 quails, 1 egg, 1 purple potato, 1/4 of an onion, some cream, herbs, a red pepper, peas, butter, garlic, cherry tomatoes, ginger and a lemon.

I removed the legs and breasts from the quails, which I then pan-fried, made a sauce from the bones and served the quail with the sauce, a royale of roast red pepper, garlic and basil, peas cooked in butter, roasted cherry tomatoes and crisps of purple potato.

Next chef Neil gave us a demo of quail and veal sweetbread pithiviers, with caramelised pear, fig and grapes.

Then a peach melba of poached white peach, vanilla ice cream, redcurrant and hibiscus jus and a sugar tuile.

Day 118 – Snails and veal fillets – Thurs 19th July

Chef John took us for a demo today, the 1st time he had given us a demo, though we’ve had him for practicals several times.

He cooked lettuce cream and snails with smoked bacon and tomato, and garnished with shavings of truffle.

Then Veal fillets with black olive crust and Stuffed Pequillo pepper and a red wine risotto.

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