Anyway, what I gathered from our very precise lecture (not!), was that the entremets are more creamy and must be chilled--ice-cream cakes in the US would probably be considered entremets here, for example. This one is called Giverny, and has a very thin layer of cake on the bottom (called biscuit in French) that is soaked in Cointreau syrup, then a layer of pistachio bavarios, another layer of Cointreau-soaked cake, and then the raspberry mousse you see on the top. Very springtime and light when you cut it open and see the pastel green with the pink.
We also made Succès, praline buttercream between two layers of almond meringue. It has a very exciting decoration on top.
Then we got to play with chocolate for the decoration of our other cakes, Forêt Noire, and Feuille d'Autumn.
We also made Opéra cake (a glorious chocolate and coffee mouth-explosion).
Here is a lovely spread of our work:
We also have been taking oenology courses so we can learn the basics about wine. We only get 5 classes, but they are 3 hours long for each course. The first course was an overview and basic explanations about cépage, terrior, and savior faire. The second course, pictured below, we learned about wines in the Northern regions of France and got to taste a Reisling from Alsace and compare it with a Rully from Bourgogne.
|It forms a little tail!|
|Detail of decor on Succès|
|playing with chocolate!|
|my Forêt Noire (chocolate cake, chocolate chantilly, vanilla chantilly, and griottines)|
|My Feuille d'Autumn (French meringue base, dark chocolate mousse, almond meringue, buttercream, and sheets of chocolate to decorate the top)|
Here is a lovely spread of our work:
|Spread of our week-long work|
|Working hard in wine class|
Oh my gosh--side note. I got to meet Hervé This on Monday! He wrote a book that I devoured this summer called Molecular Gastronomy. He is absolutely brilliant, and they say about him that he is the man who unboiled an egg. BUT, he gives guest lectures every 3rd Monday of the month AT my school! It was incredible. I was just sitting in the back of the classroom in awe. It was just so interactive and informal, he sat amongst us in the audience seats and had volunteers perform the experiment in front. He kept asking hypothetical questions so that the audience got the feeling that we were the ones discovering it all. What a wonderful set up, and a great way to learn. I wanted to talk to him more but he had to leave pretty quickly after the lecture. Anyway, I also met this woman at the lecture who is a piano teacher (according to her, her students are the best in France). But she works a lot with comparisons of music and food--her students, at performances, have to create a dessert or a dish that characterizes their piece, and the audience eats it while they play. How cool is that!! She has a blog, La Cuisine au Piano, http://www.lacuisineaupiano.com/, it's pretty interesting.
This past week we made more cakes, and also got to work to make desserts for the dinner shift at the school's restaurant (11am until 11:30pm).
|My Roulade griottines (before glazing)--This is very thin spongecake rolled up tightly with raspberry jam and cut into rolls; it's filled with vanilla bavarios and griottines (alcohol-soaked cherries)|
|One of the plated desserts for the restaurant, Feuillantine choco praliné (plating design by Annegret)|
|My Moka--I'm proud!|
Next, we made a cake called "Mogador." It has a chocolate cake layer on the bottom soaked in a raspberry liqueur syrup, topped with a thin layer of raspberry jam, then smothered with chocolate chantilly cream, left to harden in the fridge, then topped with a very thin layer of buttercream so that the rapsberry glaze shines a bright and intense red on the top. It was extremely delicious (we got to taste it in class), but I decided to give it to my next-door neighbors instead of putting it in the fridge with my cake graveyard (I really have way too many cakes in my fridge right now). And it was great because I learned that my neighbor is a piano teacher (because I accidentally interrupted a lesson). So maybe I can trade cakes for lessons--who knows! I'd love to have some informal lessons again, or maybe I'll ask the lady with the best students in France!
Finally, we made what is called "mont blanc." It consists of French meringue piped into a pieshell-shape and put into the proofer to harden, then it's filled with crème chantilly and candied chestnuts, and then some chestnut cream is piped through a very thin tip to look kind of like spaghetti, and it's topped with a large candied chestnut. Personally, I don't think it looks very attractive to eat a cake that looks like a bowl of spaghetti, but it's apparently a classic.
|My Moka, Mont Blanc, and Mogador|
The past 2 weekends have been SO nice. I have made a point to get out and walk and see green and beautiful things. Last weekend I finally explored the Bois de Boulogne, which is a 5 minute walk from my apartment, and is 2100 acres of absolutely beautiful, very green forest land. During the weekend it's completely full of runners, cyclists, roller-bladers, families with little children, dogs, and nature-lovers during the morning/day, however I've been warned that during the night it's haunted by prostitutes and weird-folk, so normal people, and I stay away by night. Anyway, I love it and I'm so happy that I have such easy access to un-manicured green now--in Paris, most of the green that is there is so nicely landscaped and pretty, but it's nothing like the uninhibited nature you can find in the US.
|Entrance to the Bois de Boulogne|
|So crisp and green|
|I really liked this three-headed tree|
|lots of cyclists and runners use this road--and there's a horse-racing track just across the way|
|This made me laugh--it's a post put there just for dogs to pee on|
|Walking along the Seine on a lovely Sunday afternoon|
|Ben and Annegret in front of the Pantheon|
|Inside the Pantheon, it's magnificent|
|This pendulum proves that the Earth is moving|
|On my walk with Annegret through the Luxembourg gardens|
|From the Egypt exhibit at the Louvre|
|Versailles! and some little French boy-scouts|
|Look at all the gold!|
|Throne room, complete with a pipe organ|
|You know, just a ceiling in a room, no big deal|
|Ceiling of the hall of mirrors|
|Diana, goddess of the hunt|
|just look at the ceiling!|
|love the contrast|
|A nature trail inside the queen's nature area|
|Where Ben and I stopped to have a little picnic|