The first two weeks were extremely packed with classes, and the third wasn’t different. After a short break in a sunny and pleasant Sunday, where I had fresh oysters for the first time — not sure I like it, but I certainly don’t dislike it which is a good start, given that I don’t eat seafood –, we were back in class for more sweet challenges.
This week was particularly tense for me, since I was one of the class delegates. It’s not a big deal in the normally paced courses, but in the intensive course it can get somewhat overwhelming. By the end of the week I was so tired that I couldn’t make it to the last demo, forgot my recipe folder in the class (gladly someone kept it for me and I could retrieve it later) and I felt very bad about that.
On Monday we learned how to make Gateau Basque, a very delicious pie filled with orange-flavoured pastry cream and griottines. I must also say that this one is TRICKY. I still don’t know how I managed to make it the first time, especially given that this was my best try. All my other trials after I left the school were a complete disaster. Tasty, but ugly disaster.
Then on Tuesday we moved to Eclairs. I consider myself a somewhat versed cook when it comes to choux dough, but for some reason these turned out to be quite big. They were delicious, but way too large for my taste. We also did some chouquettes with the remaining dough, and I must say they are dangerous! You cannot get just one. I think I ate way more than I should when I arrived home with them.
The next day was all about petit fours, which I personally didn’t like much. The first one was a rum and raisin biscuit, while the other was an almond-chocolate biscuit. They were ok, but not my favorites.
Dacquoise was what we did next, and it was the first time I made flowers out of marzipan. I still need to practice it, but I was pretty satisfied with the result. I think that in “real” life no one eats dacquoise like this — they are usually part of entremets –, especially considering that there is too much buttercream in it. But it’s a very interesting technique to learn and the result is quite gorgeous.
Friday, the last day of classes that week, we did a Moka cake. It’s basically a normal vanilla genoise imbibed with coffee syrup, filled and covered with coffee buttercream. It’s a very easy cake to make if you have a stand mixer, but since we were making everything by hand, I have to say it was a nightmare for my arms.
I was happy with the result, and hoped I could get this one for the exam (which I did, and it was terrible!).
In general, it’s not my favourite kind of cake but it was eaten with enthusiasm by a couple of friends we met in southern France in the free weekend I had. It was also my husband’s birthday, so it matched well the date.
Want to know more? Check what happened on the following and previous weeks!