Thursday 2 April 2009

L'Écriture au cornet est une ordure

Yesterday's vexation over, nougatine now enters the fray. Nougatine is a staple of French patisserie which I've never seen in England. Essentially it is a brittle made from nuts (typically almonds but possibly hazelnuts or even seeds) set in caramel. Immediately after cooking it is kept warm under extremely hot lamps. In this molten state, the nougatine can be rolled out and cut and shaped. You can then assemble 3D structures using caramel as glue.

You can attach choux to these structures to make what is known as a croquembouche or you can use them for serving petits-four or chocolates.

Today we were just playing around and here is my first attempt. It's nothing in particular. You have to work the nougatine very quickly before it cools because it is extremely brittle. Quite morish, too.

You can see the rolling pin is covered in cling film to prevent sticking (some people use metal or plastic rolling pins). Making a cornet with liquid caramel to do the gluing is not something I want to do again in a hurry.

We also took on a new entremets called a Royal which is a posh crispy cake (made with praliné, white chocolate and feuilletine) layered with a hazelnut biscuit joconde and chocolate mousse. This will be finished tomorrow, so photos then.

With yesterday's puff pastry we made some little vols au vent and some apple turnovers. With the time we had left, we practised our decor with the cornet. Here are some borders:

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