Monday, 16 August 2010

Patisserie class

On Sunday morning, I took part in a one-off patisserie class, Making Great Patisserie with WelTec, one of the Wellington on a Plate festival events. With just sixteen places available, the event quickly sold out. On arrival, we were welcomed with a cup of Celcius coffee and a mini lemon tart - a taste of what was to come. With the guidance of patisserie tutor Paul Gibbs and two students in his current patisserie class, we had the most amazing morning learning how to make pastry and gleaning gems from their wealth of cooking knowledge.

Two recipes were on the menu for the morning: choux pastry (which would become chocolate profiteroles) and pear and almond tart. I've never really tried making pastry before, apart from my cousin showing how to make chocolate eclairs years ago; it looked like a lot of hard work to me and I thought there was far more that could go wrong than with regular baking. Apparently lemon, or citrus, tart has more possible factors that can go wrong in a 3-hour session so, although we didn't get to make it ourselves, we were given the recipe to take home and try.

We mixed, beat, creamed, dipped, sliced, piped, and gently added ingredients all morning. We looked very professional in our white dust jackets. We grinned as we took our creations out of the oven and moved on to the next task, made easier by having all the ingredients pre-measured and stored in separate containers - I wish someone could do this for me at home! My cupcake piping skills came in handy when dropping profiterole mix onto the oven tray; it also meant that I could evenly pipe frangipane on to the sweet pastry base when making my pear and almond tart.

Profiteroles straight out of the oven
Paul shows us how to dip profiteroles in chocolate
Magic trick - Paul removing the flan tray in one swift move
I have been hoarding a voucher for The Cake Shop since Christmas, acting like the proverbial kid in a candy store looking at all the great things I'd like to buy online. I've now decided to stock up on some pastry-making items so I can try making it at home and add patisserie to my baking repertoire.

And  the result? Well, let's just say that a friend and I were going to meet for coffee on Sunday afternoon. As I had gone home with about 20 creamed profiteroles and a whole pear and almond tart, I put the coffee on and she came around for Sunday afternoon treats. What a perfect way to spend a Sunday!

Chocolate cream profiteroles
Pear and almond tart

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Oh nom nom nom! These look delicious! I am in awe of your baking skills.