Chef Graeme gave the demonstration today and his quiet and serious manner was quite a contrast to Chef Matthew yesterday.
The lesson involved making Creme Patissiere, or Pastry Cream in English, and its derivatives. Creme Patissiere is a cooked mixture of egg yolks, sugar, flour, milk and vanilla. It is used as the base of 3 cremes used in all sorts of cakes, tarts and pastries.
- Creme Diplomat has whipped cream added to the creme patissiere.
- Creme Mousseline has soft butter added.
- Creme Chibouste has italian meringue added (see below).
The 3 types of meringue were also demonstrated by the chef.
- French Meringue is egg white whisked and then sugar at room temperature whisked in.
- Swiss Meringue is egg white and sugar heated over a bain marie (water bath) to 55 °C to dissolve the sugar and then whisked until cool.
- Italian Meringue is whisked egg white to which sugar syrup, boiled to the soft ball stage, is slowly drizzled into the whisking egg whites and whisked until cool.
The chef then showed his skill at piping by piping and baking the following meringue shapes:
In the practical we had the same chef as yesterday, a young French chef, Nicolas. Yesterday I enjoyed his instruction and today was no different.
We were to make Creme Patissiere and, once it had cooled, fold in whipped cream to make Creme Diplomat. Quite straightforward and tasted delicious.
Next we made swiss meringue and chantilly cream in pairs for some piping practice. The chef came round and for each of us piped 3 different designs that we were to pipe a line of, in meringue and also in whipped cream. Here are my efforts – the left most of each line is the chef’s (perfect) example. The rest are my very modest efforts:
Still, once baked in the oven, it made a lovely dessert mixed with the creme diplomat and yesterday’s fruit salad. I had enough for several bowls. Yumm.