Original Gateau and Patisserie Exam

By the beginning of June, I had to prepare my original gateau for the exam. Original Gateau is an entremet (cake) which is being created by the students themselves, the flavour, colour, texture, glaze ,decoration etc. This is my original gateau.

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This is a Matcha Green Tea entremet. It is pistachio dacquoise layered with lemon curd, white chocolate ganache, matcha mousse and glazed with white glaze. The photo was taken during the trial ,one last lesson before the actual exam. The good news was that this cake was really good, the flavour went really well together, the decoration was neat, clean and really simple. However, the bad news was that it didn’t look like that during the exam.

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I didn’t have the photo of the full cake as I was really upset with it. This photo was taken after the chefs tasted the cake. As you can see, the layer is different, instead of having 2 biscuits in one cake, I only have one and that caused all the trouble during the exam. Since I removed one of the biscuits from the cake, I should’ve increase the quantity of the mousse but I didn’t and I didn’t have enough mousse to build up the cake. I made a second batch of mousse and put it on top of the first layer that’s why you could see the difference on the top layer. However, I managed to finish the entremet, and be able to fix the problem under the pressure. I finally finished the patisserie exam.

Sugar Works

First of all, sorry for not posting for about a month. I’ve been really busy, so I’m going to post my last lesson in my patisserie course today.

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It was an interesting sugar week, last week of may. This piece was made of pastillage, 100% sugar which has been coloured. Pastillage is made of powdered gelatine, water, glucose, icing sugar and corn flour. The flexibility is similar with marzipan or fondant icing, but if it’s left uncovered for too long, it’s going to become hard and keep its shape.

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The 2nd sugar product is a fruit basket. This is the most frustrating sugar work that I’ve done. I used the classic sugar recipe and casting sugar recipe. Blowing the sugar to shape it into the desired shapes might be the most difficult part but it got easier as you did it and I honestly felt like it was the easiest job to do by the end of the lesson. HOWEVER, when I did the assembling, it was easy at first but when I started to assemble all the pieces together, the side of the sugar basket started to crack and fell into big pieces. Everything went really well until the assembling part. I was really really upset, but still it was a wonderful experience.

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The 3rd product of sugar work is my first ever sugar sculpture which is the most amazing lesson ever. The sugar used for casting was isomalt. The flower and ribbon were made using the similar method – pulling. The most difficult part for me is to keep the petals of the flower thin. The sugar was so hot that it was a really painful job to work with them, but I did it anyway and finished it. Really amazing experience indeed. Thank you Chef Sebastien.

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Traditional Celebration Cake

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I love this lesson so much. This celebration cake / wedding cake looks really beautiful. It’s a dark fruit cake inside which has been coated with marzipan and white fondant icing. I piped the flame around the cake using royal icing. Garnished with flowers and leaves that were made of fondant icing as well. I used marzipan to cover the whole cake before I covered the cake with the fondant icing. The reason was to get the cake to be as smooth as possible. As you probably have known that dark fruit cakes look like this:

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(Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk)

As you can see the surface of the cake is not as smooth as a sponge cake. That’s why I covered the whole cake with a thin layer of marzipan (2mm) before I put another layer of fondant icing (3-5mm) on top of it. This cake could last up to 5 years as it was made of fruit cake which has a really long shelf-life.

Coulibiac of Salmon

Prepared by me

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Coulibiac of Salmon. Simple, traditional ,yet really delicious. It’s salmon layered with quail eggs, duxelle and puff pastry. Duxelle is made of rice pilaf, herbs, velouté and mushrooms, it has a really beautiful flavour. This dish is extraordinary, you could feel the crunch and buttery texture from the puff pastry, the flavour of salmon and the duxelle really goes well together. It was my first time making this dish ,it turned out pretty well even though it wasn’t perfect.

Squid Ink Pasta & Roast Loin of Venison

Both dishes are prepared by Chef Paul

Finally gonna post some cuisine stuff! If you’re wondering why I don’t post the photos of the one that I cooked is because during the cuisine practical, we want to serve the dish straight away to the chef for tasting while it’s still warm, really different with patisserie practical (where I could take a picture of the product at the end of the lesson) that’s why I don’t really take any picture of the food that I cooked during the cuisine practical.

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Lesson 10, the first dish is Sautéed crayfish with herb butter and squid ink pasta. I love the squid ink pasta, well, it’s like a normal pasta but it’s black. The crayfish in this dish really stands out ,served with herb butter. The crayfish was really fresh, they were still alive when they arrived in the kitchen, that freshness makes it even more better. This is the crayfish that I’m talking about:

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(Source: Google.com)

The second dish that we prepared is one of my favourite dish in superior. (Not an easy one unfortunately)

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We made a Roast Loin of venison with mushroom crust, served with parsnip and eggplant timbale , and also redcurrant and port jus as the sauce. As you can see, there are fats in the middle of the meat, those are actually lardo (pork fat) that has been pushed into the venison meat for cooking. For example:

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(Source: Google.com)

I love to eat venison rare because the meat is not as chewy as beef when it’s eaten rare ,when you eat it the lardo just melts in your mouth, the sauce also compliments the flavour. A really fantastic dish, love it !

Coconut – Passionfruit Entremet

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One of my favourite entremets so far , coconut and passionfruit entremet. “Russe”, coconut biscuit meringue ,layered with coconut mousse and passionfruit curd, glazed with white mirror glaze and garnished with tempered white chocolate and macaron shells. I really love this entremet because the flavour is really refreshing, the acidity from the passionfruit curd balanced the sweetness from the mousse, biscuit and the glaze as well. I love the smell of the coconut, and the texture it gives to the biscuit. We fully glazed the cake with the white mirror glaze and garnished with plain macaron shells as well as different shapes of tempered chocolate. It was a really delicious entremet, absolutely fantastic.

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Chocolate – Vanilla Entremet

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Last week’s entremet week ! One of the entremets that I made is chocolate-vanilla entremet. This entremet was made of chocolate mousse, flourless chocolate biscuit and vanilla crème brulée insert. Yup, crème brulée as an insert. The amazing thing about the entremet is I used Varlhona chocolate for the chocolate mousse. For those who have tried Varlhona dark chocolate, you know that Varlhona chocolate has a unique flavour, I think it is more fruity than normal dark chocolate that we eat. The other interesting thing is that I used tonka bean instead of vanilla beans for the creme brulee, which looks like this:

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It doesn’t have that strong vanilla fragrance, it has a unique flavour and you can smell the different spices all combined in one bean. It’s really interesting for me because back home I didn’t really use tonka beans.

If you’re wondering about the glaze, we used a spray gun (chocolate milk flavoured) to glaze the cake so it has that unique texture. This is a picture of my chef, Chef Sebastien demonstrated how to use the spray gun. It was pretty cool. Follow my Instagram: nananadyas, to see the video of the demonstration.

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This entremet was also garnished with cocoa nib nougatine and shiny chocolate glaze.