Monday, July 28, 2008

Au Revoir French Pastry, I'll Miss You Dearly


Well, my all too brief affair with European Pastry has come to an end. Of course just because the class is over doesn't mean my love affair has to end. I have to admit that I went into this pastry school thing with the intent to end up as a cake decorator. Yes, I know that I didn't need to go to full on culinary school to decorate cakes, but I really wanted to learn how to bake properly.
Now I'm really thinking that the Patisserie is the life for me!

I just love making individual works of art that taste as amazing as they look. And the flavors are like nothing I've ever tasted before. I'm sad to admit that I was raised on grocery store baked goods, so I never knew what real puffed pastry tasted like. Well, holy crap! When you use the best ingredients it tastes like nothing out of a grocery store (yes, you can say it with me...DUH!). I'm use to wanting the cake with the most frosting and the sweetest taste. Now I'm in love with subtle, rich flavors rather than just shockingly sweet.

Here are the highlights of the last two weeks of class:
Almond Pear Tart

Apple Custard Tart

Chocolate Mousse Bombe (there is caramel hidden in there too!)

Buttery Flaky Palmiers

Madelines

Mini Mango Raspberries Charlottes. Charlottes have a sponge cake base with Bavarian cream filling. It sounds lovely, but Bavarian cream is a gelatin based cream and this girl just doesn't do gelatin, no way no how. So sadly, as pretty as these look I just wouldn't eat them.

Mini Raspberri and Mango Charlottes

Pear Charlotte

Raspberry Swiss Roll Charlotte

For our final practical exam we had to make:

1) 8" Gâteau St. Honoré (a magical layered pastry consisting of puff pastry, eclair paste, caramel, and vanilla and chocolate diplomat cream)

2) 6 Mini Puff Pastry Items

3) 6 Mini Cake, Mousse or Tart of our choice

It was a three day final and I chose MUCH more complex products than my classmates. There was a lot of sweat, stress and a little swearing (all in my head, I promise), but I totally pulled it off.

Here is the full final presentation for grading. Shockingly, there was a pink theme inspired by the Laduree bakery in France. I know, hard to believe I'd choose pink.

Gâteau St. Honoré

Rose Frambroise Cake Slices: Sponge cake layered with raspberry jam, rose buttercream, topped with fondant

These are my mini St. Honorés inspired by the Ladurée’s Le Saint Honoré Rose-Framboise.

I have to say, these turned out amazing. The flavor was so subtle and fresh. I love how they turned out.

Yes, I did get an A. Yeah!!

1 comment:

Joelle said...

Ohhhhhh My goshhhhhhhhh I am soooo in awe of your talent and experience! LOVE everything you made. I am a big fan of Ladurée and all their yummies!!! This all looks fabulous!
Best Wishes!
Joelle XO

I got carried away reading it, I can't rememebr how I stumbled upon you? but I am glad I did.