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    Saturday
    Oct262013

    Day 15 - BC Demo & Cuisine

    The Chef made Lemon Sorbet, Lime Granita, glacé cafe, creme glacé vanilla, syrup baume 28, frozen orange soufflé and almond cigars for today's demo class.

    For the practical, we had to replicate the frozen orange soufflé.

    Saturday
    Oct262013

    Day 14 - BC Demo & Practical

    The Chef prepared poached pears in red wine, prunes infused with white wine, creme caramel, fresh fruits with sabayon sauce and a charlotte with apples served with a Calvados creme anglaise sauce on the side. The Chef once again worked with ease making it appear that we can get our dish done in only an hour; however this never turns out true.

    For the practical, we replicated the charlotte apples with the Calvados cream anglaise sauce. Basically you take white bread and dip it in butter and line a deep stainless steel pot with it. After that you prepare the apples compote until it is brown and soft. The compote is transferred into the mold and is pressed firmly into place. The charlotte bakes until the sides are golden brown. In the meantime, you prepare the creme anglaise sauce. My sauce turned out undercooked originally but after asking the Chef if I can redo it, he said I can continue to cook it even though I've already cooled it. The sauce turned out perfect, except next time I have to serve it without the foam.

    The Charlotte was ready to be taken out of the oven. Instead of unmolding it immediately I allowed it to cool in the pot. After allowing it to rest for thirty minutes I finally was ready to flip the Charlotte onto a plate. As I pull the pot upwards to unveil the Charlotte I could see the sides of the bread begin to slide outward. Within seconds, the whole thing had collapsed. It looked like a mess. Oh well, such is life and serving was about to begin shortly.

    The top of the charlotte was greasy, due to the apples not being strained after they were cooked in butter. Also, allowing it to rest upright caused all of the grease to accumulate on the bottom. The Chef said the compote was okay - I should have cut the pieces more evenly so that all of the apples had the same consistency. Fortunately the Chef liked my creme anglaise.

    With thirty minutes to spare, I quickly rolled out the puff pastry we made yesterday and brushed some egg wash onto the dough followed by some cheese. I sliced the dough into small rectangular pieces and placed them into the oven. I think the total time from rolling the dough to putting it into the oven came to ten minutes. I didn't think my puff pastry would turn out but it did. The Chef said it had good layers, was light in weight and had a nice colour. I totally thought it was going to be chewy and flakeless since the butter was spewing out of it when I was folding it.

    Wednesday
    Oct232013

    Day 13 - BC Demo & Practical

    Today the Chef prepared fettuccine Alfredo, gnocchi with Mornay sauce, sugar crepes and puff pastry sticks with cheese.

    I tried to make pasta before, but it didn't turn out at all! Now I know why. I didn't roll the dough thin enough. The Chef showed us and apparently the dough has to be one millimeter thick. If too thick, the outside with be cooked, but the inside will be doughy, which is what happened when I made pasta the first time.

    The gnocchi was made with choux (cooked dough) instead of potatoes. The texture of the gnocchi was very soft and subtle.

    For the practical we made puff pastry dough a second time (the first time was in BP). I also was Sous-Chef for the day, which was stressful because I wanted to make a good impression. In the end, I forgot a few things (to bring up the rolling pins and the brushes), but other than that it went smoothly. My classmates were very helpful and did everything I asked them too, which helped take the pressure off.

    The best part of today is that we finally get to leave at 3pm, so I'm going to hit the gym to work off the croissants, plus the puff pastry cheese sticks we'll be baking tomorrow.

    Wednesday
    Oct232013

    Day 12 - BP Demo & Practical

    Today's the day! We finally get to bake our croissants and brioches. But before getting to that, we first had to attend the demo class.

    The Chef made brioche five different ways: brioches tetes (basically looks like a muffin with a ball on top), nanterre (a loaf of small brioche balls baked together in a rectangular mold, couronne (looks like a large bagel), brioches aux fruits, brioche tresse (braided), and mousseline (cylinder shape that is round at one end). He also made regular croissants, pain au chocolat, and pain aux raisins with the croissant dough. With the left over croissant dough the Chef put together some Danish pastries filled pastry cream and fruits like apricots or pears.

    The class smelled like a bakery and you can see all the students salivating and waiting to get their hands on some baked goods (even I was waiting for him to let us try his end products).

    Out of all the things he made, pain au chocolat was by far my favourite, followed by the Danish pastries (these always bring back childhood memories of when my dad used to bring home Danishes from work for us).

    In regards to our practical class, it felt like we would have more than enough time to complete everything, but in the end we all had to shorten the proofing time for the croissants resulting in a chewier texture. The Chef mentioned that there are two types of croissants - the bread-like type and the flakey type. He said the difference between the two is the amount of water added to the 'detrempe' (dough before butter is incorporated). It's possible my dough had a little too much water causing the croissant to be chewy. Regardless, the taste was good and you can see the flakey layers! We were all so excited at how much we produced; however, I'm going to have to hit the gym at se point because there is ALOT of butter in the recipe - I think we used a total of 1.5kg butter for the croissants, brioches and puff pastry doughs. Yikes!

    Tuesday
    Oct222013

    Day 11 - BP Demo & Practical

    Today's menu includes freshly made croissants, brioches, puff pastry doughs, which will be baked during tomorrow's class, and a delicate dessert known as savarin soaked in a rum sugar syrup, filled with pastry cream, fresh fruit and topped with chantilly cream. This is the Chef's favourite dessert - he wouldn't stop talking about how much he loves it, and after tasting it I can see why!

    Unfortunately we only prepped the doughs during the practical, so the hubby isn't getting any desserts tonight :(

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