Chef John took us for the last demo of my time at Cordon Bleu and demonstrated a couple of dishes that we wouldn’t be cooking as the practical correspondng to the this demo would be our cuisine exam.
The 1st dish was seared peppered lamb with pressed tomatoes, goat’s cheese and pommes maxine.
Next was a Salmon Coulibiac, which is fillet of salmon with chopped boiled egg, mushroom duxelle, creamed onions and saffron rice, wrapped in crepes and then brioche and baked. It’s a bit like a beef wellington, but with fish and brioche rather than beef and puff pastry. It was served with a dill sauce.
Today we had a day of making the items we would have to make for the final patisserie exam.
We made brioche
a sugar centrepiece
and prepared all the elements for our plated dessert, which we would finish tomorrow.
On Monday and Tuesday this week chef Christophe took us for 2 days of bread making. Over the course of 2 days we have made more bread than I can fit in the freezer.
We made baguettes and ciabatta
a brown bread ring where each ball of dough was filled with cheese and onion or cheese and sun dried tomato, and pain viennois
croissants and pain au chocolat
a rye bread hedgehog!
which we took the top off, made sandwiches of the bread inside, and put back inside the hedgehog
and a large, brown pain de campagne.
Today we started with a lecture on fruit jellies and confectionaries. The chef made pate des fruits (a pectin set fruit jelly), nougat, hazelnuts dipped in caramel and a caramel cut into squares and decorated with piped chocolate.
Then it was onto croissants and brioche.
The doughs made yesterday were used to made a brioche a tete (traditional shape), brioche Nantaise (8 balls of dough in a loaf tin), a walnut brioche loaf and croquelin, which is a brioche with chunks of chocolate inside.
From the croissant dough, the chef made croissants, pain au chocolat, pain aux raisins, almond croissants and a range of different danish pastries.
In the practical we made the 4 brioches, croissants and pain au chocolat and 3 danish pastries. Here are the brioche and pastries I made.
Patisserie this week was about Viennoiserie, which means croissants, danish pastries and other yeast leavened doughs. The classes also covered brioche.
The chef made croissant dough which is not unlike puff pastry but includes yeast and doesn’t involves so many turns as the yeast action provides some of the aeration. He also made brioche dough which is a very rich bread dough with the addition of lots of eggs and butter. Both these doughs were refrigerated for use in the next class.
He also made some bun dough which was used to make hot cross buns, Chelsea buns and Devonshire splits, which are plain buns, cut open and filled with raspberry jam and whipped cream and dusted with icing sugar.