Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Week 5: Eclairs, Paris-Brest, Pate a Choux & Gougeres

As you may have picked up on, I skipped over week four. I came from week 3 right into week 5. Truth be known, I missed week 4 due to a family vacation. I will be making it up next month with something else.

Last night we made Eclairs! This we used a basic pastry dough-
Making the dough was something I hadn't done before but also a process I hadn't done either! I've never boiled butter and water on top the stove, added flour and stirred vigorously until everything is Incorporated and piping hot. We then put it in the mixer and mixed it until it was almost cooled. Then added 10 eggs one at a time.
This dough was the base for the 3 pastries we made last night.
I piped out the pastry dough in mini finger sized lengths. Baked for a number of minutes at different temperatures. Then when cooled I piped into them either chocolate or vanilla creme! Because they were completely hallow, this was very easy... more so than I expected!

Cheese puffs (Gougeres) are identical to creme puffs except we put a sharp cheese in the dough. They are SO good. If we left out the cheese, we could have easily piped in creme.

Paris-Brest is one of the most amazing thing I've ever tried, apart from the chocolate gounache of course. :) Put they're totally different. So I guess I can say that. :)
This was very very light. The past in the inside is made of a praline and hazelnut vanilla creme. Then the top and bottom of the pastry is the pastry dough used for the other two stated above. So it was hallow in the inside so it made it great for piping in the filling.
There is some history to this also, which makes it even more rich.

I really, really loved week 5.
Next week is my last for the baking/pastry class! :(

Week 3: Popovers, Pate A Croissant, Pate A Brioche

I'm very sorry it's been a while since I have blogged! Yes, classes still have been going on, but Ive been more busy than I ever have been.

So week three of my baking/ pastry class consisted of Popovers, Croissants and Brioche.

The popovers were incredibly easy... I've made them at home before also. It's a family favorite for us at least.

We were able to use a popover pan which is displayed in the picture. It's almost perfectly cylinderical. Popovers, as is almost all pastry, leavened by stream. So they get really big in the over, but deflate a bit after taking them out.


It was so neat! I never realized 1) how much WORK was involved in those little things.... and 2) how much butter! People who are self conscience about butter, I'm warning you, forever stay away from the croissants!
The process fascinated me. You had to fold butter into it multiple times before you could actually roll it out a certain way and then cut it. The tool to cut the croissants was pretty cool.

Brioche (Pate A Brioche) is something I like to describe as a cross between a popover and a croissant. The consistency and texture resembles a little of both... especially when warm!
The process and making of the brioche was also neat. There is a certain way you had to form it into a ball to make it perfectly round. It was by making an 'o' with your hand and putting it pinky down on the table with dough inside and making a circular motion. Then you needed to form it a certain way in order to get the classic Brioche shape.

Then we made typical blueberry muffins as in a "quick bread". I've made lots of "quick breads" then. Stuff like that is a regular almost in my home.
They turned out great!

Week 3 was a complete success!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Week 2: Tarte Aux Pommes & Tarte Au Ganache Chocolat

I believe that's French by the way. :)

Week 2 was very very fun. We made tarts! I've never made a tart before! We made the doughs, which were individually different, from scratch, and then made the fillings.

The filling for the Apple Compote Tart (Tarte Aux Pommes) had a sweet taste with spices. It was a mixture of hard apples, sugar, a vanilla bean, lemon and spices. It made a nice, paste like consistency. Similar to apple pie actually! The pie dough was sweet- it's called Pate Sucree.
Here it is:

Then there was the Chocolate Ganache Tart (Tarte Au Ganache Chocolat). I have found my love. That's right, I fell in love with this dessert! I am ruined for anything less!! lol. :)

It was incredible----

We made a very simple and non-sweet dough called Pate Brisee which is has a very similar taste to a premade crust you would buy in the store. Obviously, store bought has no comparison to something homemade, but I just wanted to use that as an example of taste. The filling was made from Timoline (we used corn syrup), butter (lots), bittersweet chocolate, and heavy cream! We toasted some coffee beans and let them steep for 30 minutes in the heavy cream atop the stove to infuse some coffee flavor. The cream was then strained, removing the beans and put directly over the butter, sweetener, and chocolate. The heat of the cream melted it all-- The coffee flavor added SO much to the chocolate! It wasn't just chocolate anymore! It was fabulous.

Cover it with some homemade whip cream and you've got a cracker jack of a dessert.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Week 1: Lemon Blueberry & Sables

Last night was my first class at Chez Boucher French Cooking School!! I was totally "in my element" as dad would say. I felt so at home with my hands all flour-y and messy. :)

There are only 4 students in this particular class- that's nice because we are able to get some serious one-on-one attention and help if need be.

The instructors are Jon and Leander. They're pretty great so far- They gave us their phone numbers and emails just incase throughout the week, we need help with anything of have any questions. Thought that was pretty cool.

The facility is very, very nice. There are eight ovens! 4 convectional and 4 regular. All full size. They have a walk-in fridge too! They gave us a tour before we started and said that pretty much everything there is for our using. So it's our responsibility to get the ingrediants needed and stuff.

I thought going into this that I would do alot of watching and that they would be doing the cooking... NU-UH. Us students are doing everything they are. We each have our own kitchen set up complete with: trays, towels, spatula, bowls, bowl scrapers, measuring cups/dishes, apron and a our own Kitchen Aid mixer! I love that thing...

The gave me this incredible book called 'Professional Baking' by Wayne Gisslen. This book is huge! And all of it's 27 chapters sound amazingly informative. It's crammed with information. It shouldnt be called a recipe book beacause it really isn't. There are ssome recipes that compliment what you learned in that particular chapter. It's nearly 800 pages! I've never seen a book that think before let alone owned one!

The class is roughly 4 hours long-- from 6pm-10pm. It's super concentrated too. Jon and Leander's mouths are moving all the time with information and instruction. I LOVE IT. I'm soaking it up-- like a dry sponge to water. :)

Here are the two cookies we made last night:

Lemon with blueberry jam in the middle. The consistency of this cookie is like nothing I've tasted before. So smooth and light and airy.

This one is a chocolate-vanilla swirl cookie. You know, the ones you roll and cut. This one was more work overall than the lemon. More steps until the final product.

Both of these pictures are actually pictures of what I made. What I love about both of the cookies is that they aren't that sweet! There isn't a lot of sugar that goes into either of them. I guess that's a good thing and a bad thing--- you can eat more without feeling sick from the sugar. ;) lol.

So, I very much LOVE this class. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Aren't these some of the most amazing cakes you've ever seen?
I picked this picture up at:
I dream to be half this good. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yet another blog

A friend of mine asked me to log all my kitchen endeavors and classes that I take here so she can see all I learn. :)

I am enlisted in a Culinary school and classes start for me this Wednesday! I'm very excited. So stay tuned!