Braving the French Patisserie Class

Well, I’m happy to report that no international incidents were caused today (at least not by me). I survived my French cooking class and had a blast (even though I only understood about half the French). I started by treating myself lunch at Lênotreand it was well worth it. Finally, it was time to go downstairs for my class.We were to prepare 4 dishes over the course of our 3 1/2 hour class: A chocolate orange sorbet, chocolate tarts, individual chocolate cakes with a molten chocolate centers with raspberry puree and the French version of chocolate brownies. I learned the proper way to chop up blocks of chocolate, to whisk just about anything, how to weight the proper amount of ingredients in the metric system (for example rather than the recipe calling for just 2 eggs, they tell you how many grams of eggs to use) and the fine art of using a pastry bag to make those melting chocolate cakes.

Chef François Schmidt shows the proper way to use a pastry bag to create the cakes with little centers of molten chocolate:

Below, is a picture of cherry pits that are used to weight the pastry down and keep it from puffing up while cooking. The other American in the class says she uses dried kidney beans for this same purpose. Just make sure you use a paper liner between the pastry dough and your chosen weight.


Preparing the cake cups for the batter

Prepared cake cup with butter and almonds


Some of the finished product:

Brownies

Chocolate Tartes

Molten Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Purée

Chocolate Orange Sorbet

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