Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Milling around

Last Friday marked our first class field trip. We visited Les Moulins Bourgeois in Verdelot, which is a bit outside Paris. It was the perfect day for a bus ride and visiting the flour mill, since I was quite under the weather... even though it meant being at school at 6:45 AM.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Macarons and petits fours secs

Last week in class we made macarons and petits fours secs. Petits fours secs are dry petits fours, or rather cookies, biscuits, and small cakes that aren't frosted, such as madeleines and financiers. We had a ton of cookies and macarons, and I was able to box some up for a birthday party this weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Green with pain de mie envy

So Chef Maurice knows that I'm obsessed with pain de mie since every time I've had the chance to make some 'special bread', I've opted for it. This week was a bit interesting though as a cuisine course requested some green pain de mie. Yes thats right... green. And no we're not talking about lime or pastel green. We're talking incredible hulk green.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


This past weekend, some gals from class and I decided to rent a car and take a day trip outside of Paris. We stopped by Ikea on our way to Rouen, which was really exciting; I loaded up on some much needed things for the apartment.

Rouen is the historical capital of Normandy. It is well noted for its history of being demolished several times and for being the site where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake. The Notre Dame cathedral of Rouen was also painted several times by Claude Monet.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Moka, roulade, mont noir, and marzipan

Not surprisingly, I've been slacking on the posts. Please bear with me as I'm trying to write a post in the library with a French keyboard. Its almost as painful as a mont blanc, but I digress. So last week we worked on a moka cake, roulade, mont noir, and marzipan. I think my roses don't look half bad.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Restaurant encore

Last Wednesday marked the second night of restaurant service. Once again I got to do pre-desserts. The pre-desserts were mont blanc and a dessert in a glass. However, we didn't have glasses that were small enough and instead made a biscuit sandwich with basil lemon curd, strawberries, and strawberry jelly.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pain de mie for me

One of my favorite breads growing up was Pain de Mie. Interestingly enough, in English there is no word for 'mie'. Mie is the white part of the bread, and as a child I liked the crusts cut off mine. For some reason I thought the 'burnt part' aka crust, was bad for you. Maybe I was onto carcinogens at an early age.

My mom used to go to a nearby French bakery and buy these long square loaves of white bread with thin crusts. They were perfectly square with creamy white insides.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Feuille d'Automne, foret noire, and giverny

Friday we finished up all of the cakes we had been working on throughout the week. At first I figured chef just wanted to have us work on several cakes simultaneously either to torture us, or as an exercise in managing different recipes. Well, Friday came along and I figured it out. We had to do some chocolate work for two of the cakes we were slowly building, and quite frankly it doesn't make much sense to coat the entire lab in chocolate twice a week.

We made a fueille d'automne, which I believe means autumn leaf. Quite fitting, since its starting to get cold and rainy here in Paris. The cake is made up of two layers of baked meringue with a chocolate ganache filling. It is then slathered in chocolate chantilly and covered in chocolate shavings. It was a pain to shave all that chocolate, but fortunately powdered sugar hides all mistakes!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Successful Opera

This week we've been working on cakes. They're called "entremets" here, and I'm not quite sure what that exactly translates too. They have "gateaux de voyage", which are cakes that are suited for traveling, individual sized portions, and entremets that usually serve six to eight people. My French dictionary translates the word as "desserts", but that just seems too vague. Two of the cakes we worked on this week were Succees and Opera.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

First dinner service, millefeuille, and babas

So my blog posting lately feels like its taking a back seat to my social life. Its a good thing though since I am in Paris and should be out and about meeting and mingling instead of glued to my laptop.

Wednesday we were at school for a ridiculously long time: 10AM to 11PM. We did our first restaurant service and it was quite hectic, but with all the tasks divided amongst ten people, it wasn't too bad. The stressful part plating ice cream or something that needed to be served hot when you have a small window of opportunity. The dessert would be ready, but the servers MIA, and with melting ice cream... well you can imagine the mayhem.

Here is a tarte au chocolat with cocoa sorbet atop a tuille on marmalade served with raspberry coulis. The tuille was a pain in the butt to make. I burned myself about six times. There are only about three seconds between when the tuille can come off the baking sheet and when its too hard to mold around a metal tube. Funtimes.