30 October 2009

Petit Fours and Mini French Pastries

I can tell I'm in a bit of a lull lately because I wasn't really excited to write this. We made some really delicious treats during this portion, but everything feels reminiscent of things we've already learned, such as tart shells and meringue, which makes it slightly more difficult to get out of bed on time in the morning. The upside of such repetition, however, is that I could probably make pastry cream with my eyes closed if the situation ever arose.

The general idea behind the petit fours class is to create small bites. Here are some examples...

blueberry with streusel
chocolate espresso
fresh fruit
dacquoise (the French call these "cat's tongues" - ew.)
macaron shells on the sheet tray
filled macarons
...and a few other treats:
pate a choux, before being baked
baked pate a choux, now transformed into filled eclairs, etc.
opera cake, which, as far as I can tell is the French equivalent of tiramisu... though you'd never convince any of my chefs to admit it...
Next week we have an exam over breads, breakfast pastries, and petit fours. I am truly grateful for the approaching time change, as I'm sure it will lure me into a normal sleeping pattern for at least a week or so. Boy, do I need it.
Also, my brother, Thomas, is on his way to Chicagoland as I write this! He is moving to Skokie, IL from Raleigh, NC, and will continue to work for McCormick & Schmick's. Though I have no idea where I'll be two months from now, it will be great having a family member nearby in the meantime.

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