Dessert island requests

Crème Brûlée

It’s official. I can now confirm that too much of a good thing is, in fact, a bad thing. Death by dessert. Not words I’d ever thought I’d mutter but Monday was a full day full of desserts. Not quite a Mr Creosote moment with his wafer-thin mint in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, but close.

The first demo hit me with 3 desserts. Lunch was…

Poire Pochée avec Sauce au Chocolat or poached pear in chocolate sauce. Chef’s tip: Use a jay cloth and lemon juice to rub the peel marks from the pear flesh. This essentially restores the fruit’s curvaceous figure and gently abrades the flesh so it can absorb more liquor during poaching.

Crème Brûlée à la Cannelle et Citron. Everyone loves a crème brûlée. I didn’t know the baked custard was infused with lemon and cinnamon. Chef’s tips: Before baking, once poured into the moulds, remove any bubbles from the liquid by passing a gentle flame over the surface using a blowtorch. Or fire gun as it has been named in our team. Caramelise 2 separate layers of sugar over the top. The first layer should be a thin dusting that requires minimal and careful heat. While that’s still melting add a generous second layer of sugar and take aim with the flame.

Lastly, Oeufs à la Neige au Caramel. We call ‘em floating islands. Like I said before, custard is always welcome in my tummy but these eggy stress balls confirm my dislike of meringue. Particularly when it’s poached. Making quenelles with Italian meringue and crap spoons is a challenge for Takeshi’s Castle. I had to make these egg plops in the practical along with the crème brûlée. You win some, you lose some.

Poached pear

Floating islands

Poached pear with pistachios

Poached pear in chocolate sauce

The second demo finished me off with another 3 desserts. Thankfully this demo had no practical so in theory we could sit back an enjoy it. Dinner was…

Gratin de Fruits Rouges avec Sauce à l’Orange et Cointreau. Red fruit gratin with a white wine sabayon, candied orange peel, and an orange and cointreau syrup. The orange peel was like that found in marmalade—tangy and chewy. The orange and cointreau syrup was packed with flavour and not sweet. Both lovely with the light sabayon.

Next up, Mousse au Chocolat avec Tuiles aux Amandes. The almond tuile turned out to be a cracker. Well more a crispy biscuit actually, but damn delish and an efficient scoop for sabayon and mousse.

And, for the grand finale, Soufflé Chaud à la Vanille—hot vanilla soufflé. Roberta loves a soufflé. Gimme the choccy mousse any day of the week. Just leave it a day or 2 please.

Red fruit gratin with a white wine sabayon and candied orange peel

Chocolate mousse in a jar. Topped with diced strawberries and shards of almond tuiles

Chocolate mousse with almond tuiles

Hot vanilla soufflé

We finished at 9pm loaded with way too much sugar.

Written exam tomorrow. Practical exam on Thursday. I may go dark until the weekend.