Mention Complémentaire Practicals Week One

Last week was the first week on the Mention Complémentaire Pâtisserie, Confiserie, Chocolaterie, Glacerie et Desserts de l'Assiète / Specialistion in Pastry, Sweets, Chocolate, Ice- cream and Plated Desserts. 

We have lessons such as Science and Food technology like last year, however what has changed the most is the practical level.  We are expected to produce finer quality products as well as the complete freedom (yes, freedom..!) to experiment with ingredients and designs that we choose.  My creative energy was on fast forward.  

We were asked to make:

A pear tart re-visite ("re-visited" a common word when it comes to food in France, it makes changing old traditions acceptable..) Presented as a restaurant dessert.

A bavarois (made with Bavarois cream) a chilled dessert.  A large cake and a small plated dessert.  Theme "Happy Birthday"

Eclairs with a crunchy coating

Sugar Plates

The day before I started thinking about  projects ahead.  I had all these crazy ideas about making fruit inserts and fancy things with pieces of pastry.  But then I realised..  The idea of constructing desserts as if I'm creating a collage does not interest me.  I want to make desserts that are delicious and fresh, centralised around one main element.  

My pear tart: The element was the pear.  Poached pear, caramelised pear and pear crisps on a not-too sweet pastry and almond cream base. 

For me this tart is autumn.  It is seasonal, fresh, real. 

I left the skin on and sliced the pear to leave the stalk.  I was advised not to, but I just think the shape of a pear is too beautiful to cut up. 

I decorated the plate with splashes of caramel, pieces of caramelised pear, squares of fudge and slices of toasted almond biscuit.  

This is intentionally a plated dessert, designed to be eaten immediately.  Understandably the colour of the pear in the final picture is slightly dark and that is because I made it the day before taking the final pictures.  Ideally, the tart would be eaten shortly after being made. 

The bavaroise was a completely different scenario.  It started as a bavaroise, but then I made the biscuit cuillère with cocoa to create a stronger chocolate element.  The dessert ended up seeming more like a foret noire (black forest gateau.)

I arrived later than usual on the first day of practical classes and was one of the last to arrive in class.  There was no space left on the marble benches so the teacher had prepared a work space for me.  I had it all to myself. 

Everyones desserts showed their personality and the training that they had undertaken through their desserts.  It was really fun to see them all.  The teacher went round at the end analysing every single product.  It was all pretty intense. 

(Please note that the photos in this blog are NOT all desserts that I have made unless specified otherwise.)  

Stevan Babic display

Presentation de Johanny Gendry

Poached pears cooked in mulled wine, almond disks. 

Posted on October 4, 2014 and filed under paris.