Le Cordon Bleu Paris – Day 14: Disastrous Doughs

The day started with our practical for the Écossais (Scottish log), croissant and brioche doughs. To be honest, I was dreading this practical. As much as I am very interested in boulangerie, I definitely do not have much experience working with dough. I also felt that we did not have a very good demonstration on the doughs the day before.

Doughs are finicky. They need a lot of care and attention. You have to give them time to grow. I think that’s what really got me interested in bread making to start with. The fact that they have life.

We started off with our Scottish log, making the vanilla mixture first. I was really tired of whisking; my arms were so sore from my HIIT and yoga. I’m still trying to exercise at least four to five times a week because of all the eating! We chose to use the mixer for our chocolate mixture because it involved making a meringue.

IMG_0561.JPGÉcossais (Scottish log)

The cake is pretty delicious. I really love the texture of it. There is quite a bit of almond in it. The vanilla mixture has almond powder; the chocolate dacquoise has crushed almonds too. We ran out of rum, so I didn’t get to put as much rum as the recipe called for. I preferred it with more rum like the one from demo. The chocolate dacquoise should be in the middle of the cake, but most of us had cakes like this where the chocolate was at the bottom. I had piped a layer of vanilla mixture on top (which is the bottom when inverted out) of the chocolate, but somehow it all disappeared. Oh well. Still good!

I decided to give the entire cake away. I gave a third to the owner of the Thai restaurant I visit at least once a week, and the rest to a homeless lady who is always outside the supermarket. The Thai restaurant owner was so happy and so I was really happy too. The homeless lady said thanks but she kinda just snatched it from me once I offered it to her. Still, I feel really good doing that. I’ll definitely be giving away everything from now on. I’m seriously getting sick of all these cakes and pastries. I told myself I would just try a little of everything, because I should. It’s part of the job really.

We moved on to making our pâte à croissant (croissant dough). We kneaded the dough by hand, and though very satisfying, it was pretty exhausting. I was honestly perspiring by the end of ten minutes. I think I spent fifteen to twenty minutes kneading and slapping the dough on the work surface.

We had to do our brioche dough in pairs in the mixer because it is a very wet and sticky dough. Our first dough was a failure because we put in all our butter at once and it just did not incorporate well. Our dough was so much more liquid than it should have been. Chef asked us to redo our dough so I think we finished last this time.

We will be baking our croissants and brioche on Tuesday. Group A has already finished their practical earlier today and I saw pictures. It is really amazing! I think each person will have more than twenty pieces of croissant and brioche in total!

After practical, a bunch of us went for lunch at the Korean restaurant opposite my place. I had bibimbap and it was not as good as the one we have at Kopitiam in Singapore. Quite disappointing but I still ate almost all of it. My stomach was upset the whole time after, up to this morning when I woke up with terrible tummy ache. This is what happens when I eat too much rice. My body seems to reject it!

After lunch, we had to go back to school for theory class; this time on water, eggs, sugar and salt. This was the most interesting theory class and also the one with the most involvement. By the end of the day, I was pretty tired and I didn’t really want to do anything. I really knocked out last night.

This afternoon, Hyemin and I practiced crimping pâte sucrée at my place. It was quite a disaster because the weather is super warm and my kitchen is not the best place to do it. The crimping of the dough is not as easy as it looks. I think we can pass with our current standard, but I am just not satisfied with it yet. I’ll try to practice again next week. It will be out for our technique part of our practical exam.

We went for a walk with Nadia after dinner to Pont de Bir-Hakeim to take photosThis bridge is really popular with photographers and for wedding shoots. Maybe they are all Inception fans!

Nadia is a really awesome photographer and we are planning to take photos along this bridge in our chef’s jackets tomorrow after our picnic dinner. She made me pose with very serious expressions and I think I look like a joke!

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetNadia, Hyemin & I

I can’t believe that by the end of next week, we will have no more practical classes. Our theory exam is next week, and our final practical exam is on the following Wednesday. We then have to say goodbye and that thought is pretty upsetting to me. These two girls are really my two best friends here and I am so glad to have met them. I will be sad to leave because I don’t know when I will see them again ):

Le Cordon Bleu Paris – Day 14: Disastrous Doughs

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