Sunday, 3 May 2009


Week 11 and we're back in our normal lab trying our hands at entremets, cakes/desserts with a cream base. Things were a little frantic as we had spent Monday working on our chocolate pieces which meant squeezing 4 days of entremets work into 3. Despite this, we managed to get everything done, including restaurant service. The components for making entremets are relatively straightforward but then, there are a numbers of steps for building the cakes which can sometimes be a bit fiddly. The cakes we made this week were:

Framboisie - vanilla cream encrusted with fresh raspberries and encased by a ribbon of pistachio joconde and dacquois base, coated with a butter cream and clear glaze. Really delicious and light but probably highly calorific. Need to hammer it into my brain not to add anything solid and liquid together all at once when gelatin is involved or else you end up with lumps in cream, d'oh!!

Macaron ananas estragon - Hazelnut macaroon sandwiched with anise flavoured pastry cream and tarragon infused pineapple. Quite nice also, nicking good stuff seems to be rampant in our lab; one of my macaroons was broken by someone and my other one was nicked. Luckily, I had written my name of the greaseproof paper that I baked my macaroon on and managed to salvage my perfectly piped macaroon off the rack from some pikey in my class.

Mogador - Raspberry soaked chocolate genoise layered with fresh raspberries and covered with chocolate mousse, glazed with raspberry jam. Very sweet and rich.

Equateur - coffee dacquois shell filled with creme brulee, coffee genoise, coffee St-Honore cream, which is then caramelised on the top. Managed to burn a part of my top, oops! The trick is being able to manoeuvre a hot iron across the top of the cake consistently and "caress" the surface.

I think the class has now christened Equateur with a new name, "Egg water" or "l'eau d'oeuf" thanks to the mispronunciation by chef.

Chef: Make imbibage for a quarter!!
Moi: A quarter of what?
Chef: Egg-Water!!
Other student: What is a quarter?
Chef: Egg-Water!! You know, the line in the centre of the earth?

Several minutes later,
Class: Oh, you mean Equator, chef?
Chef: Yes, Eggwater :)

As I mentioned before, we also had restaurant service this week. I was chef so that meant being in charge of chocolates - Hesperides, in fact, which is a chocolate with calvados infused salt caramel and caramelised chunks of fresh apple inside. After a bit of a dire start with burnt caramel (Chef: your caramel is too cooked.......cue lots of smoke in the lab and coughing and spluttering, crumbs!), I made the caramel again and they turned out pretty well. Chef thought they tasted good and they are also one of his favourite chocs, I thought they tasted like a shot of Calvados, yuck!

I was also assigned the thankless task of making some fiddly chocolate swirley things to put on top of one of the plated desserts, a messy and dirty task but at least they looked nice :)

Being chef for restaurant service means calling out orders to the plated dessert folk and making sure the waiters get what they want. Its not a position that is particularly enjoyable cos you feel a little helpless as ur looking on and not being able to do anything. The plated desserts this week involved quite a lot of last minute plating up which means a lot of waiting around - its difficult to be an asshole like Gordon Ramsay and pressure your fellow students into hurrying up. However, at the same time, I could've done without the attitude I got when I asked the simple question of when the desserts would be ready. It was kinda funny cos there was only one phrase that entered my head whenever I started thinking of some of the bs in the lab.....a phrase I heard from JD's bro and from the film Football Factory....."jog on"......yep, only another 2 months or so of jogging on :)   

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