2 more patisserie workshops on chocolate this week and both were about making chocolate models.
Both involved tempering lots of dark and white chocolate and using it to fill moulds or spread it on acetate in both colours to get different effects.
On Monday we made a tear shaped chocolate box.
On Tuesday we made a chocolate train with a chocolate egg as the body of the train, though from the rear it looks like a gypsy caravan!
Superior term started with a mix-up of the groups we had been in for the last 2 terms with some of our group being moved into group B and some students from other groups moved into group A with us. It did mean that colleagues we have spent 2 terms developing relationships with are no longer in our group, in the term in which we’ll be doing more team work than previously.
Seems a pity and unnecessary and many are unhappy with it but the admin aren’t open to listening to students it seems.
Anyway, the term started with 2 days of chocolate workshops. Instead of the demo and practical model of the last 2 terms, patisserie this term involves a lot more workshops consisting of double practicals with us having covered any elements of the recipes before and the chef showing us any techniques required to complete the items.
Yesterday and today was about making truffles. We were in teams of 2 or 3 and between us made lots of different types of truffles and confectionary.
Here are the items we made.
From left to right they are: salted caramels, hazelnut caramels, raspberry ganache truffles, lemon truffles, coconut ganache truffles, chocolate ganache truffles, nougat truffles, banana ganache truffles, coffee ganache truffles, nougat, white chocolate and passion fruit ganache truffles, spice log truffles and, above it with gold dusting in one corner, gianduja truffles (a praline ganache), lavender ganache truffles, spiked rum truffles, which look like the sorting hat from Harry Potter, marshmallows dipped in chocolate half way, Cointreau ganache truffles and lemon butter logs.
All pretty yummy. And lots of practice at chocolate tempering.
Today chef Christophe took us for a demo on making a chocolate centrepiece. This was a figure or cartoon outlined onto acetate or plastic sheet then painted in with coloured cocoa butter before flooding with white chocolate and leaving to set. Another exercise in tempering chocolate.
In addition a small base was made which could contain a background for the piece or an abstract design.
The chef made a couple of pieces. The first was a Fred Flintstone and the second Garfield the cat.
We could choose our own figure to make and, as it’s almost the season (well it will be in 6 months) I made a Father Christmas with Arctic scene!
It’s almost all white chocolate plus a little dark chocolate so I can eat it all. Yummm.
Monday saw the 1st of a couple of days of working with chocolate.
Chef Nicolas demonstrated the making of 4 different truffles and chocolates, which all involved tempering a lot of chocolate.
He made Malakoff which is a chocolate, praline and almond mix topped with white chocolate and cut into rectangles, moulded chocolates filled with a rum flavoured ganache, white chocolate, Malibu and passion fruit truffles rolled in raspberry sugar and lastly, caramel cups which are chocolate cups filled with Baileys flavoured caramel and then chocolate ganache and topped with a pistachio nut.
In the practical we each had to make some moulded chocolates and one of the others. My partner in the practical and I got to make the caramel cups, which was ok but I thought the Baileys actually detracted from the flavour of the caramel. However all went ok, though the shell for the moulded chocolates was too thick meaning there isn’t much ganache inside.
However we then all shared and got to take some of each type of chocolate home.
Today we started with a practical with chef Gilles where we made the Basque chicken he demonstrated last Friday.
Not hard but lots to do – butchering the chicken, boning the thighs, wrapping the breasts in the ham, slicing all the veg, making the sauce, cooking the rice pilaf.
It was very tasty, more than I was expecting as I’m not a huge fan of peppers (capsicums) and looked very pretty on the plate with so many colours.
Next we had another demo from chef Nicolas, this time Gateau Sabrina, the 3rd of our potential exam dishes.
This is a circle of pate sucrée topped with a spiral of sponge and strawberry cream, all masked with more strawberry cream, then topped with a disc of marzipan covered with tempered chocolate and then decorated with some piped strawberry cream, piped chocolate and a sliced strawberry.
The chef says it will take more time than either of the other 2 exam dishes so we need to really get cracking with our time management.
Here is the completed gateau and one cut in half to show the sponge and strawberry cream.