Tuesday 3 March 2009

In which a risen dough, opera, apple tart and an intercourse pause

Today we prepared a lot without finishing...

...we set our pâte levée feuillitée to rise overnight so we can make croissants tomorrow
...we prepared a large base to cut into Opéras tomorrow
...we assembled apple tarts to bake tomorrow

The Opéra is a coffee delight. I don't like coffee. Nevertheless, you've got to please the customer. It's a pudding made of 9 layers (in our version, at least). From the bottom up:

1. A very fine layer of chocolate
2. A viennese sponge soaked in coffee syrup (this is less than 1cm thick)
3. A layer of ganache
4. Another layer of syrupy sponge
5. A layer of coffee flavoured crème à beurre
6. More syrupy sponge
7. Another fine layer of crème à beurre
8. A shiny chocolate icing
9. Decor

We are making one large Opéra of Wagnerian proportions (40cm x 60cm) which we will dechop demain. Photos then.

The opera is an example of what the French call an entremets. This is a word with no real equivalent in English and took me a while to understand. A dictionary would probably say something like 'dessert' but this loses some subtlety. An entremets is a kind of dessert which involves many layers of different textures. A chocolate mousse is a dessert, for example, but not an entremets because it's just one homogenous blob of yum. Pop it on a biscuit base and give it a glossy icing, however, and it becomes a simple entremets. Our Opéra, for example, is also an entremets because there are layers of ganache, sponge, crème à beurre and chocolate.

The word comes from the word mets meaning 'dish' via the novelties that used to be served in between courses at smashing banquets. These days, the entremets forms a major class of French patisserie and some examples can be seen here and here.

A rather crappy photo of some rings in our labo which are used for assembling entremets.

No comments:

Post a Comment