Bon jour! I hope you’re keeping up with my wannabe-French lifestyle on my Instagram but if you’re not, here’s the rundown for my third week as a pastry student in the Intensive program at Le Cordon Bleu.
Week 3 was pretty challenging, the recipes escalated very quickly. All of a sudden we went from cookies and tartes to dacquoise and viennoiseries!
We started the week with Paris-Brest, probably one of the most gorgeous desserts I’ve ever made. The recipe wasn’t as challenging as I thought it would be by looking at the picture but it required lots of specific techniques and we had our demo AND practical with Chef Fabrice Danniel, one of the head chefs at LCB, so needless to say the pressure was on. I was very pleased with my results and very excited when I got a “très bon travail” on my grade book.
The next day we made Dacquoise. I can’t believe I actually complained about my arms with Choux Pastry… doing a perfect and “peaky” meringue by hand could definitely be considered some kind of torture (especially if you’re suddenly doing this every single day). Nevertheless the Dacquoise was amazing, we actually had this as a mock exam so we had to make a pâté sucrée as well and line it in a ring so time was pretty tight. Also we had to make a marzipan rose with two leaves, which I did literally in the last 10 minutes before time was up, but I was pretty satisfied with my results.
Mocha Cake has been the worst so far. It looked pretty simple in demo but the piping and decoration for the cake were very specific and not so easy to achieve. I got super stressed because my top layer was a little too high and I couldn’t get a totally flat surface, by the time I got to piping I was a little desperate and I’m not very proud of my final product. Here’s the picture as proof that pastry school is not all fun and games but I’m definitely not a fan of my work here.
Finally, we ended the week with our Viennoiseries workshop. I loved making croissants, pain au chocolat, brioches, and pain aux raisins, but I loved eating them even more. Believe me you have not really appreciated croissants if you have not eaten one straight out of the oven, it’s an absolute game changer. It was an intense 6-hour long workshop and I know have an utter respect for boulangers but it was an amazing experience.