We had another theory lesson today. This time it was about dairy products such as milk, cream and butter. These are some of the most important ingredients in French pastry and baking in general. Of course, I feel that the quality of dairy products here in Paris is so much better than what we have in Singapore. I am most upset about butter though. The good ones in Singapore are usually really expensive. For some recipes, the quality of the products is extra important. Take for example, bread. The quality of the flour is an important factor that will impact the quality of the final product. Chef also mentioned chocolate, and how the quality of the chocolate would affect a dessert such as mousse au chocolat. This was quite an interesting lesson. I know to some it may seem a little boring, but I am always interested in learning about how these products are produced, how they affect the taste and texture of food, and what are the options available to us.
After our theory class, we had a demo on Écossais (Scottish log), brioche and croissant dough. The Scottish log is a cake made with two batters – one vanilla and the other chocolate. The chocolate dacquoise is hidden in the middle of the cake. It was quite yummy. I now appreciate cakes with less sugar 😛
The brioche and croissant dough preparation was quite difficult to understand. I’m not very experienced with viennoiseries. I have made some bread before, but not brioche, and croissant is almost impossible to do back home. The boulangerie chef took us for the demo class and of course, he insisted it isn’t as difficult as we think. But from the little experience that I have, kneading can be quite challenging. For practical on Friday, we have to do the croissant dough by hand, and the brioche in the machine. Brioche dough is very sticky and supple, so the chef doesn’t want us to make a big mess probably. And also because it will take a long time to do it. We will do the Scottish log, and prepare the two doughs which we will then be folding and shaping before baking them off on Tuesday next week. Group A is completing their croissant and brioche on Saturday. I guess it’s because they have a lack of boulangerie chefs in the school at the moment.
Tomorrow is Bastille Day, which is France’s national day. I’m sure there will be quite a bit of festivities around the city. Not sure what I will be doing. I wanted to hold a little picnic along the Seine, but that is subject to the weather for now! I’m pretty tired at the moment. Had to do some work for my tea project. Not sure if I should head out now for the Firemen’s Ball!