Sunday, July 25, 2010

Petit Fours & Chocolates

Remember those little bite sized marzipan and fondant coated jam and sponge morsels with a curly piped filligree on top and dotted with bright coloured gels?

Well, as delightful as I once found them...... the French have really taken Petit Fours to a whole new level.  Petit Four means small oven in French, and the requirement is simple.  It has to be no bigger than 2 bites.

The petit four course at Savour is a must!  Regardless of whether you are an experienced pastry aficionado or not, this is a wonderful place to start!  The 2 day weekend course saw many students travelling from all parts of the country.  All the petit fours went back to good homes.  Here is a little peek into our weekend.

It started with Paul offereing a sneak peak of the choclates produced in the chocolates classes.  Such pretty, pretty chocolates!

Unmoulding our perfectly formed chocolate cups

Filling our orange chocolate cups with mousse.

Look at how happy Evelyn is!  Working with chocolate does that for you.  Talented Evelyn is actually a dentist by day......patissier by night..... cool, steady hands.....perfect for this chocolate task - making little stands for the chocolate cups.

See....don't they look adorable?

with a perfect dome of blood orange jellies.

Sigh!  Almost too good to eat.

Brentons topped with whipped ganache

Brenton finishing production

Filling the divine raspberry & chocolate tarts

They made me so so very happy.

Chocolate raspberry tart finishing production

So sleek, so sexy, soooo goood!!

Chocolate moons (I called them eyelashes) for our lemon praline tarts

Lemon tart production team

Et viola!  Don't they look stunning!?

Guinea ovals.  Almond friands topped with sesame praline & pineapple gelee.

Choux profiteroles being dipped into hot caramel.  Much much hotter than boiling water.....ouch! 

Ready for taste testing.....

What next you ask..... walnut macarons of course.

Look at their perfect 'feet' and gorgeous presentation.

And last but not least,
Slow baked dark chocolate mousse

Melt in the mouth with a wonderful hint of coffee.  The memory is making me drool.

There was also an amazing almond mini cake with cherry jam that simply did not last long enough to be photographed.... 

As if there was not enough sugar in my life, I moved straight onto Chocolate class..

Tempering chocolate is one of those terribly mesmerizing things to watch.  Heating chocolate to melt it and then cooling it to a certain temperature so that it recrystalises properly to give fine chocolate its trademark shine and crack is certainly not as easy as it looks.

Here Robin is tempering our dark Callebaut chocolate ready for class.
Here I am.....attempting it...... somehow feels like an episode of Masterchef.....

The omnious looking Guitar cutter

See what it can do to a perfectly fine chocolate filling!

Dipped and dessed with the most beautiful chocolate transfer sheets

Smiles all round!  Chocolate is so good for the soul!


Perfect shine, filled with caramels and luscious ganaches all ready to be savoured.
So, get into Savour school, the art of patisserie is truly worth experiencing and you will have a whole new respect for the perfection that takes place there.

Back in Sydney, look where my topsy turvy cake has ended up.

Shop front at Alex and Alex shoes in Erskine Street, Sydney.  All glammed up and surrounded by shoes, every girls dream!

Hope you all have a great week ahead, stay posted for Entremet classes. 
(Entremets are formerly known as Gateaux)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gateaux and more gateaux

More patisserie training this week at Savour in Melbourne.  If you've never heard of Savour, well, they really are pretty famous in the pastry and culinary circles.  A whole wall of awards and accomplishments show what a talented bunch they are.....and that's not including the Guiness book record on chocolate flowers about to be attempted and the world class chocolate showpieces being created in the back rooms, for the upcoming champanionships..... (hush hush)

The interesting mix of students include seasoned chefs, bakers, apprentices and even the odd food blogger or two..... such as the lovely Ja of Beansprout's Cafe

Here is Kirsten,  Australia's Callebaut ambassador, full of smiles after arriving back in Melbourne at 5am on the morning of class, fresh from rubbing shoulders with world famous pastry chefs at the famed Culinary Institute in Chicago.

Of course covering jaconde sponges with raspberry jam is happy work....

And even more smiles when making a divine chocolate mousse with Callebaut chocolate....!!

Look at how gorgeous our Raspberry Labyrinth turned out...... just perfection......

Paul demonstrating the cocoa butter spray on the gateaux to give it a sublime velvet finish.  Yes, just like how we all have a spray guns and compressors at home....... well, actually, I have the spray gun, but haven't plucked up the courage the take the plunge with a compressor.......

And the maestro, Paul, demonstrating some chocolate garnishes.  It is so remarkable to watch and the reason why all the girls are probably a little bit in love with their pastry teachers (especially if they are good to look at).  There is something about a man who has a way with chocolate.

Yes, artistic, perfectly made and gorgeously edible.

One of my favourites of the gateaux we produced.  So much love went into it!

Making dacquoise is hard work and requires a lot of concentration :)  Hint, get a tall person to help out......

And because everyone has gold and bronzed almonds in their fridge......

We'll just crush them in a food processor and put them on the bottom of a little cake.....

or two....

Or perhaps you prefer a macaron on it instead?

Quick, let me grab a picture before they all go home....!!

*Contented sigh* 

And it continues, Petit Fours next on the schedule.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Covered in sugar and cream

Ahhh...... Melbourne, the eating capital of Australia.  The home of fabulous coffee, cake and fashion.

The pursuit in learning from the best in the country takes me to Savour.  Headed by multi award winning Callebaut ambassador and World Chocolate Masters judge, Kirsten Tibballs and World Chocolate Masters Champion Paul Kennedy.

As you walk in, there is an overwhelming smell of chocolate, it's like you expect to see Willy Wonka coming out to greet you!  And then lo and behold...... the most amazing chocolate flower display.

Delicate and beautiful, they set the tone for the days to come!

Training includes smelling and tasting.....naturally!

Here I am filling the moulds with the blood orange insert for the champagne logs.

and then making a pistachio dacquoise....

Carefully unwrapping the perfect chocolate curl.....

Oh phew!!

Ooops..... getting caught going for a french meringue tasting..... the smoothest....most satiny meringue.....

The completed Citrus Champage logs

Completed pineapple oval petite gateux with the chocolate curls!

Completed chocolate & raspberry framboise with pistachio cream.

And of course, the tastings!!

No time for rest.......more to come soon!!