Friday 27 March 2009

Frog's legs - wet legs - chocolate eggs

It's not often you see a dead frog lying by the side of the road like a squirrel. Today was such a day.

The frog was probably out because it was raining after a biblical fashion; and it probably rained because I was out, cycling to school at 5.30am this morning. It was dry when I left the house but the torrents soon started and got heavier and heavier until my saturated trousers could have watered a selection of paddy fields.

It seems the lucky black cat that shot out of nowhere on my way to school yesterday has run out of charm (at least I had it for the exam).

As I was peddling furiously away, aquaplaning into central Rouen, I was then stopped by the police. Where were my lights? Where was my luminous safety waistcoat? (Had to get him to say that three times before I understood. Not a combo you hear every day.)

Fortunately they did not fine me. I begged a pathetic innocence and, moreover, I happen to know the night shift ends at 6am, so they were most probably en route to the police station and couldn't really have given two hoots of a lamb's tail about someone cycling on lit roads in the absence of other traffic.

Today we bashed out some brioches with the leftover dough from yesterday and prepared a new entremets. Allegedly it's  called an Ambrosie but the prof gave off a distinct air of having made up the name on the spot.

At any rate, from the bottom up in French:
- biscuit joconde
- bavaroise à la vanille
- purée de framboise gelée
- bavaroise
- biscuit joconde
- bavaroise
- nappage neutre (shiny, clear glaze)
- décors

All encircled with a ring of biscuit joconde imprimée.

Due to a query from abroad, I'll quickly explain how this kind of entremets is put together. You start with an entremets ring which is a bit like a tart ring but deeper (and without the beaded top, i.e. like a slice through a metal pipe). In this instance, the ring was 45mm deep and 220mm across. It was circular.

- The ring is lined with an acetate film, also 45mm wide and was popped onto a cardboard circle.

- Next a thin strip of the printed biscuit is used to line the ring. Apparently I did not make my explanation of the printed biscuit clear last time, so here's another stab:

You take a large silicon baking sheet and spread out a layer of intensely coloured pâte à cigarette. This is the batter used to make cigarettes. It is a dense, but liquid paste. This is then spread out all over the baking sheet with a painter's comb/false wood stamp to give the desired pattern (which gives something like the 2nd photo here). The whole sheet is then frozen to fix the paste. Finally, the biscuit joconde batter is spread out on top (around 5mm thick) and the whole thing is cooked. You end up with a very flexible sponge with a bright pattern on one side.

The strip is just 3cm wide (i.e. 2/3rds of the height of the finished entremets) and c.5mm thick. The challenge is to try and make the seams invisible.

- Then the various layers (which are all made before assembly begins) are added. The creams are carefully spread out with a spatula and the biscuits placed as flatly as poss.

- The set fruit puree was a new thing for us. Just puree, sugar and gelatin. During preparation, this was set in another entremets ring (200mm diameter) so it was a perfect round with regular thickness. To make it easier to handle it was then frozen (just for the assembly).

- A Bavaroise is a cream which has been set with gelatin. It's traditionally a set crème anglaise. This was the other new component for us which must be why this entremets was chosen.

- The decor was just a quick thing at the end. I was going to fill my white chocolate nest with the Cadbury's mini eggs I carefully brought from England. But I got home to remember I had given them to Thomas for an English tea party at school when we did not have time to make the promised scones.

No comments:

Post a Comment