We had two days off – Sunday and Monday, and I was feeling pretty recharged for the new school week.
On Monday, I went out with a friend to see some of the specialty kitchen stores. In the last two weeks, I have lost quite a few things – paring knife, bench scraper and pastry brush. The paring knife was the most heartbreaking, because it costs 36 Euros. ):
I felt like a kid in a candy store. I really wanted to buy everything there! All the stores are in the same area, but most are on the same street – Rue Montmatre. The list of stores we visited: Deco Relief, Mora, A.Simons, Dehillerin and La Bovida. We got off at the metro stop Etienne Marcel and all are within walking distance.
We walked quite a bit after, and did some shopping along Rue de Rivoli. The stores everywhere are having sales now, so we managed to snag some footwear at half price! We stopped for dinner at Les Deux Palais.
I had the Croque Madame – that awesome “sandwich” with gruyere, ham and a fried egg. Oh man, it was so good! We sat and chatted for almost 3 hours before heading home. It was a good day!
On Tuesday, we had an internship talk in the morning. This was for students who are considering doing an internship at the end of the superior course. I have no idea when I will be able to finish the entire course – hopefully next year. The school assists students with looking for an internship at either a hotel, restaurant, bistro, brasserie, catering company, pâtisserie, ice cream shop, chocolatier or boulangerie. Alternatively, students can also look for their own. I don’t know if I will ever do an internship here. I guess a part of me really wants to because France is, to me, the best place to learn. Of course, there will be some places which only make you peel apples or do some mundane tasks, but if you manage to find the right place – jackpot!
In the afternoon, we were going to make another cake – a Fraisier, which is another French classic, made with two layers of génoise soaked in kirsch syrup and filled with fresh strawberries and crème mousseline. We then roll out a thin layer of marzipan to top. It is definitely one of the prettiest cakes around! During the demo, Chef made it look pretty easy; easier than the Moka at least.
When it was time for practical, I have no idea whether it was just me, but everyone was moving extra fast and I ended up being one of the slowest. When people were done with their cake, I had only just started assembling mine! I felt super pressured, so I rushed and I don’t think I did the best I could’ve.
Inside the Fraisier
I had a couple of strawberries which were not flat against the side, so now the cream was covering a small part of the berries. However, once I peeled the plastic wrap off, the cream also came off and the cake looked so much better. I wish I pushed the strawberries down a little more; it would make the proportions look better.
The chef who took us for demo was really encouraging. She is the only female chef in school, and I really admire her! She’s very observant, helpful and motivating. Usually, the chefs don’t really bother with us during the practical, letting us do our thing until the end (unless we are endangering our lives or seriously struggling). However, she goes around and takes note of what each of us is doing and she either corrects or praises us for our good work. Really, she’s great! This was the first time we had her for practical. At the end of the lesson, she told us that she was honestly very impressed by our group’s organisation and speed. The chef next door who was in charge of the other group walked into our class and he was so shocked that we had already finished, while the other group was so much slower. I heard from my friend in the other group that he went back to them and told them that there must be something wrong because we were already finished and they were much behind. So maybe, just maybe, my group has more experienced people? So I’m not wrong to feel stressed in this group, right?
For our next lesson, we will be learning how to make brioche and croissant dough! Here come the viennoiseries!