Sunday, 1 March 2009

ESCF - week 3

I cannot believe how fast the time is passing here! As mentioned before, week 3 was puff pastry week for us. At first, I felt like I was getting the hang of things but mid-week arrived and everything seemed to be going a little pear-shaped. Chef gave us our first feedback session after we made pithiviers and conversation, both variations of puff pastry with almond cream. The feedback for me was that I needed to score the top of my pithiviers harder, the shape was a little oval, and I needed extra royal icing and longer strips for my conversation. Maybe I'm being a little hard on myself but at the time, it felt like a lot that I needed to work on. Am feeling a bit better about it now though, the only way to learn is to make mistakes so that it won't happen the next time! Btw, my pithiviers and conversation are the ones at the back of the pic, another fellow student made a perfect pithiviers in the foreground, mucho props to Pha! :)

We continued to make more variations of almond cream and puff pastry in the guise of pain complet and jalousie/dartois and yet more mistakes, char! My scoring of my jalousie was lopsided but was happy enough with the scoring on the top of my dartois so some consolation there. Friday arrived and we had one more almond cream/puff pastry combo left to make, chaussons italiens (puff pastry turnover filled with pastry cream/choux pastry combo plus raisins). Despite a shaky start, I was quite pleased with how mine turned out (they puffed up,  yay!) so it was good to end the week on a semi-high note! I took nearly all my finished pastries home for a tasting and have come to the conclusion that I do not like almond cream, well, not a bucketload of it - I ended up eating the pastry of the pithiviers and leaving the cream. The pastry was especially yummy because we had made it with feuilletage inverse, which is inverse puff pastry, essentially flour dough wrapped in butter. This slight change of technique gives a crispier and more buttery pastry compared to normal puff pastry (butter wrapped in dough), mmmm! The pain complet and chaussons italiens were my other 2 favourites, my only gripe is that I wish chef had not put orange flower (and too much as well!) into our pastry cream, was starting to think I was eating my own body wash, not nice! 

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