Today chef Nicolas demonstrated the 2nd of the patisserie dishes we may get in out exam: Gateau Opéra.
This is a multi layered rectangular cake tasting of chocolate and coffee (why coffee? It’s the devil’s liquid. Yuck!)
It consists of a layers of joconde (an almond sponge) soaked with coffee syrup, dark chocolate ganache. more joconde, coffee buttercream, more joconde, then a chocolate glaze and some chocolate piping on top. All the layers are meant to be the same height and it’s technically quite difficult according to the chef.
Here are the chef’s finished gateaux.
Today started with the Patisserie theory exam which was a 1 hour written paper. There are so many people studying basic patisserie (about 150) that the exams had to be held in 2 large rooms and in 2 shifts.
It consisted of some multiple choice questions, some true or false questions and some longer written questions. It was nothing like the practice exam that we had been given and took me about 45 minutes to complete. It must have been quite hard for the majority whose 1st language is not English.
Then we had a demo on making chocolate truffles. Chef Matthew took this and he made 3 different truffles.
He started by making the ganaches which are a mixture of chocolate and cream. He made a dark chocolate and rum ganache and white chocolate and kirsch ganache. He also made a milk chocolate and cointreau muscadine which is similar to a ganache but contains water instead of cream, plus praline paste. Each was then allowed to cool until firm.
The dark chocolate ganache was piped into small balls on a tray and refrigerated. The white ganache was piped into white chocolate shells. The milk chocolate muscadine mix was piped in long lines on a tray with a star nozzle.
Once each was firm they were finished. The dark chocolate ganache balls were rolled between hands to round them off, dipped in dark chocolate and then rolled in cococa powder.
The white chocolate shells were dipped in white chocolate and then rolled on a cooling rack to give a spiky finish.
The muscadines were cut into 2cm lengths, dipped in milk chocolate and then rolled in icing sugar.
We have a practical tomorrow to make these. Yummmmmmmmmmmmm!