Tuesday 10 February 2009

Tuesday: lattices, shoe buns, improvements and mild vindication

Today we started by cooking the lattice apple tarts we made at the end of last week. Extremely simple... just line a tart ring with puff pastry, fill with apple compote and cover with a puff pastry lattice.

The lattice is made with a roller device which cuts the requisite slots in rolled-out pastry. Then you stretch the thing to give it 'the look'. The thick bit in the lattice on the large tart is because the roller wasn't wide enough to do the whole lot in one go and I cocked up the alignment on the second swipe.

Little tip for the manipulation of the lattice... we put them in the deep freeze for a short while once rolled out to make them easier to manipulate onto the tart base. To attach the lattice to the base you place the lattice (with excess) onto the tart and simply roll over with a rolling pin which serves the double function of trimming the lattice exactly and sealing it down.

Still not a fan of this tinned apple compote but if you made your own puree this would be a delicious and simple tart. Bizarrely have just accidentally found the recipe as published by my school: apple lattice tart recipe. NB QS means quantité suffisante or 'to taste'.

Astonishingly my prof saw my big one come out of the oven and told me it was 'belle'. Did I smell a rat? That was the first non-critical word he'd ever passed my way... moreover, the tart wasn't that great due to the roller malfunction. Here is an astonishingly poor photo and I hadn't glazed the buggers either.

We also continued to practise our choux pastry, making religieuses au chocolat, éclairs au café and salambôs au rhum. Here's a before and after on the icing front. They all need some practice.

On the eclair front, mild vindication in that our hygiene training video which entertained us for 45 minutes yesterday featured a patissier creaming his eclairs my way. And the video was even made by the school. Unfortunately that class was taken by a different prof. The eclairs above have been crammed the traditional way.

Small note on the religieuses: if you pierce the small choux (the so-called nun's head) underneath but the large one on top in order to fill them, the holes are hidden once the thing is completed. On a not entirely different note, I have realized the tautology of the English 'choux bun' when in French the one word ('choux') suffices. It's a bit like saying 'shoe trainer' when a trainer is always going to be a shoe. (Unless it's your personal trainer...)

In other news, the college administrator called me out of the class half way through and said she had received my email. To my horror she invited me to a meeting with my chef before lunch tomorrow. What could be worse. It made me think of those social-penance schemes where you have to meet the person you've mugged. Although, in this instance, I'm not quite sure which one of us represents the victim.

Mysteriously, though, the chap had been being much more decent today, starting with his compliment of the naff lattice and continuing via patient explanations of techniques not quite mastered and fewer alien looks when I attempted to speak to him in French. So after the lesson I ran to the administrator's office, told her as much and got her to flush the idea of a tête à tête out of her head.

At this point she revealed she had already spoken to my prof about my email. Aha, so that explains it. There's my rat.

Still, as long as things continue in this fashion we'll all be happy. Fingers crossed.

No comments:

Post a Comment