Sunday, 7 March 2010

Week 9 at Tante Marie

I have always felt one must be properly rested before attempting any sort of revision..

The week started with a morning off for revision as budget lunch exams were undertaken by some class members. We have a theory exam in a couple of weeks for which I want to revise for, however as always when it comes to revising... my attempt didnt last long, with me opting to bake some goodies instead. The afternoon was taken up by a Pasta demonstration and obligatory tasting... delicious!

Tuesday saw us making the pasta and then the completed dishes from Mondays demo, something I haven't done since my 2nd year at Uni. It was a fun and relaxed class and I learned a few new ways of shaping pasta which gave me some ideas for other dishes. Bonus. The afternoon saw us make Danske Weinerbrod dough, that's Danish Pastry in real money, and also 'meringue cuite' which we attempted to pipe into small baskets and also into a flower shape. I say “we attempted” when I actually meant “I attempted”. My flowers were not very flower-like, in fact they weren't like anything I can think of other than a mess. My little baskets were quite nice if a little on the little side, they were so little that I couldn't squeeze any raspberries inside them and had to make do with a whipped cream filling and perching one on top!

Wednesday morning was taken up by the budget lunch exam and the afternoon we finished our Danish pastries. The pastries were ok, I overcooked my first batch by a minute or two so they didnt have that slighty goey or chewyness I love about them. The other issue I had was with the glacé icing. Since there were no spoons in the kitchen we had to make do with our miniture palate knives to scoop up some icing and try and drizzle it over the pastries. The task was made harder as the pallete knife seemed to form two trails of icing and wouldn't hold enough icing to allow a pastry to be done in one go. I remember icing Pilsbury dough pastries from a can when I was a child being easier, but maybe thats because the icing was in a bag.... hmmm I know what I'll do next time, cheers P. Dough Boy!

Thursday saw the creation of a avocado, melon and lettuce leaf salad with a raspberry mayonnaise dressing. It may sound a little 'out there' but believe me when I say it was delicious. So much so I had to force myself not to lick the mixing bowl clean when it was done! The main dish was 'Fillets de porc roulé dans d'épinards. The dish was made by trimming two pork loins and slicing each lengthways into quarters. Lots of large leaf spinach was blanched and laid out carefully on a cloth. The pork pieces were laid onto the spinach and individually rolled up tightly in the spinach, this was repeated for 6 of the 8 pieces of loin with the remaining two pieces going into a food processor. Lots of bacon was laid out on a board and spread with some puréed pork, the spinach wrapped strips were placed onto and the remaining purée used to fill any gaps before being rolled and baked. Lovely looking dish when sliced, would love to have spread some dolcelatte cheese in and around the spinach and pork... deelish!

Thursday afternoon saw the final day of cake decorating. You may remember me mentioning in previous posts my lack of artistic ability... well I surprised myself a little. Its not a great cake, but for me its about as good as it gets...I am happy with it! There were a few magnificent cakes produced, one by a former sculptor and graphic designer... yeah its good... it is soooo good! Pics to follow next week when they get displayed for the rest of the school to ogle at!

Friday morning saw me don my marrigolds and pot wash for the final budget lunch exam. I have to say that the food produced by that exam group was for me the best I had tasted. I also think that the top marks will be awarded to a person in this group... The afternoon was spent watching croissants, brioche and a lovely seabass dish being created. All very tasty and looking forward to recreating them.



  1. No spoons in a kitchen!?!? Is this to make it more challenging for you? Or is it normal not to have spoons in a commercial kitchen? Anyway I think those pastries look divine! Can't wait to see your cake.

  2. Haha! Yeah they seem to move around the various kitchens like geese fly south for winter. Its a curious phenomenon indeed!

    I could have used a big cooks spoon but that didn't occur to me at the time!!!

    Like I said I am happy with my cake... just wait until you see the others!


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