Tuesday 12 May 2009

Long thyme no Vitamin C

Been jaunting all over the shop of late. 5 days at home in England mainly. Major updates needed.

Today was our first day back in the kitchen since our mock exam last Tuesday. We're still being tested and now for real. Today it was puff pastry for our diplomas.

We had to make 6 small vol-au-vents (or Queen's mouthfuls as they call them here), a large conversation (a rather unpleasant type of iced galette) and a long thin thing called a jalousie which is also essentially the same as a galette. Certainly nothing to write home about -- I think the name is an example of classic patisserie marketing.

Although it's only a week it feels like a bloody age since I've been in the labo. I even started by overworking my détrempe while fetching a bowl from the other side of the room. I've never done that. I had to work out how to dispose of a kilo and a bit of flour and water without being spotted.

The rest all went swimmingly. Sort of. For the first time my vol-au-vents rose right up and touched the wire rack above. This was in fact a little frustrating, as the rack damaged the rim decor a little.

I was also rather peeved with the jalousie. It looked really good and I was delighted to find I had 5cm spare (we had to serve 10 x 5cm portions). The prof told me to put the spare bit in the bin, so I duly did. Then, when it came to marking he deducted points because I had served the end crust! The two extremities are meant to be discarded (which is why there was 5cm spare...) If only I had known. Very frustrating.

You can see all our products laid out and awaiting marking in the mirror.

And finally we welcome our latest visitor who arrived after googling: "how to make a puff the magic dragon cake".

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