Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fruit Tart

Just a quick post before I get to my homework. We made tarts today in class - pate sucree for the tart crust, pastry cream for the filling, fresh fruit on top with an apricot glaze. I know that the plastic wrap doesn't add too much charm to the photo but I was in such a hurry that I almost forgot to take a pic at all!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Almond Macarons!

Today was a super exciting day in class - almond macarons! I know these are very trendy right now (although the hoopla has not hit Minnesota yet) and I've wanted to try them for a while. These are very basic - egg whites, white sugar, almond meal or flour, powdered sugar, and a few drops of vanilla. Nonetheless, I've heard that they are a little tricky so I was worried. Mine turned out pretty well - could have risen a little more but they had the frilly "feet" that are the hallmark of the traditional macaron.

I sandwiched some raspberry jam in the middle of mine. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to experiment with some different flavors and colors at some point.

I debated about posting a recipe here (our school recipes are all in weight measurements) but decided not to. There are a million recipes out there on the web.

Here are mine:
Here are a picture of Chef's (look how perfect!):

Friday, January 22, 2010


Well, my knife cut practical is done and so are the first three weeks at Le Cordon Bleu. I know that knife skills are important for anyone in the industry, but there's a reason I'm in Patisserie and Baking and not the culinary side! I just managed to get everything done in the 1 hour 15 min time frame. Unfortunately, I did cut myself in the last three minutes while trying to get my parsley finely minced. I'm proud that I didn't let that stop me; I threw out the product, took care of the cut, cleaned and sanitized, and got more product. Still finished in time, too! Yay!

So, now I'm done with the basic cooking and sanitation part of our program. Next week starts basic baking skills - cookies, biscuits, and the like. Now, that's more my style :)

Below is a pic of my battle wounds.......

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Here is a pic of the toffee I made over Christmas and never got a chance to post. I was pretty easy but it's really pretty essential to have a candy thermometer. I used the recipe from a book I've had for a while now, Brittles, Barks, and Bonbons by Charity Ferreira. I'd definitely recommend it.

I didn't modify the recipe at all so I'm not going to post it here. This recipe is really close to the one I used, though:

I would definitely add a little salt - maybe 1/4 teaspoon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First Week of Le Cordon Bleu

Well, I've completed my first week of my training at Le Cordon Bleu. I'm enrolled in the Patisserie & Baking program but am learning basic culinary stuff right now. Above is one of the two trays that I have to study for my spice identification test. We're also learning basic sanitation and knife cuts.

On Friday, we made fresh pasta from scratch. It was awesome and so easy, really!

Here's a good place to see how it's done:

Noodle before cooking above and after below