It’s officially been a week since the first day of lessons at Le Cordon Bleu Paris! Time really flies when you’re doing what you love.
For our sixth demo and practical, we carried on from where we left off last Friday with our puff pastry. We learnt how to complete our turns on the feuilletage (puff pastry) and made chaussons aux pommes (apple turnovers) and palmiers. Palmiers are puff pastries rolled in sugar. They caramelise beautifully in the oven, coming out crisp and golden. We also made a new batch of puff pastry that we will be using for our next practical class.
The funniest (or most tragic) thing happened during demo. Chef seemed to have completed everything so perfectly, and it was time for us to try the turnovers and palmiers. It turned out that what Chef thought he was using to roll the puff pastry in for the palmiers was a mixture of salt and sugar instead of pure sugar. The result was a sweet and salty palmier, which some of us actually enjoyed because it tasted like salted caramel. However, Chef was not impressed and he told us not to eat it and threw the extras away. He is so unhappy that he wants to make new palmiers tomorrow so that we can have a taste of authentic ones. Apparently, he makes amazing palmiers.
The chaussons aux pommes were really delicious. I don’t like eating apples, but when they’re cooked, they’re so much better. They were filled with an apple compote. So good!
We had practical right after demo, which is great because everything is still fresh in our minds. As a team leader this week, I have to be early to help the class put the ingredients and tools out for the practical. We got a different chef for practical today. He was very helpful and super funny. And he spoke English! Yay!
We started on our puff pastry from last week first, splitting half of it for the palmiers. Then we made our apple compote for the turnovers. We also made the new puff pastry dough for tomorrow’s class; we will be making pithiviers.
The thing about puff pastry is that you have to work relatively quick, as you want to work with the cold butter. Once it warms up, you’re going to get a sticky dough with butter peeking out. I think I am slightly more confident working with puff pastry now, so today went pretty smoothly. Rolling it is the fun part, although I can never really get it into a proper rectangle.
We baked our palmiers first, followed by our turnovers. The kitchen smelled exceptionally good today.
Chaussons aux pommes
I was happy with my apple turnovers. They look very pretty and you can see the layers of puff pastry along the sides. My palmiers though, not so much. Chef asked me to use the “classic” method of shaping the palmiers instead of the “Le Cordon Bleu method”. I did not stick the layers together well enough, so they kind of unfurled while in the oven. I actually think the Le Cordon Bleu method yields better looking palmiers.
I’m pretty excited for our next practical. Pithiviers look really impressive and I hope I manage to make mine look at professional as possible.