Le Cordon Bleu Paris – Day 20: A Chef’s Masterpiece

We had no idea what was in store for us that day for our final demo. The chef told us that he was informed by the school only a few days before to come up with a recipe to share with us. It could have been anything, really. But ultimately, it was another tart – tarte aux fruits.

This was a rather strange fruit tart. And very complicated too. The crust was made with a mixture of Sablé Breton crumbs and the usual pâte sucrée, there was a layer of pain de gènes on top of the crust, the pastry cream contained no milk in it and the tart was topped with mini babas soaked in passionfruit syrup! Outrageous! Why the hell would there be babas on a fruit tart? Chef was either mad, or a genius.

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We were used to lining our tarts in a ring, but Chef showed us an alternative method of doing so without using a ring. This makes the tart look a little more rustic, using our fingers to crimp the sides too without using a pastry crimper. I hate those things!

You might be wondering still… A pastry cream without milk?! Well, it was a mango (or was it apricot?) pastry cream, and all that liquid was replaced with mango puree. Very clever. I thought it might be a disaster, but actually, it turned out quite well. And as for the babas? Mmm… I still don’t understand what purpose they served. I guess this tart is truly one of a kind.

As the chef was decorating the tarts, I was amazed at how beautiful the tarts looked. I wanted to hate it so badly, but when I finally tried it, I absolutely loved it. Chef Tranchant is a genius. He is a mad scientist. The flavours were a little tropical with the mango and the passionfruit soaking syrup. I actually really loved the pastry cream. But the best part of the tart to me is still, and always will be the crust. The addition of Sablé Breton crumbs made it a whole lot more special. Definitely worth the effort.

After devouring our tarts, we took our very last class photo together.

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That was the last of our demos, and all that was left was the final practical exam. Strangely, I was not as stressed out about the practical than I was for the theory exam. There were only a handful of recipes that could possibly be tested, and since we’d already made them at least once during our practical class, we shouldn’t have that much of a problem with the exam, right?

That was what I told myself.

Le Cordon Bleu Paris – Day 20: A Chef’s Masterpiece

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