Friday, March 02, 2007

Boutique Desserts By French Master Pastry Chef

I am having serious withdrawal symptoms, as I've spent the last two days amidst the wafting aromas of freshly baked dacquoise, cuiller, genes, ......

Finally, I enrolled myself in one of those fancy smancy courses offered by the French Culinary School, aka HTC, (with retail outlet known as gourmandines) under the tutelage of

JEAN-FRANCOIS ARNAUD,
Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France - M.O.F.


Actually this was made possible because of a gift voucher, given to me by my dear friend (aka the WOMAN I AM SCARED OF), for my 40th, which was to attend any one day course conducted by Monsieur Arnaud. As this was a 2 day course, I was allowed to pay the difference to attend. Trying to get into the golden triangle, by 9am, wasn't exactly my cup of tea, and wondered how the minions who do work in that area can take the congestion day after day. And I couldn't fathom why they would want to start at 9am, and have to contend with all that rush hour traffic. Then I knew, coz this course is actually "work", as most of the attendees were professional chefs, hailing from KL hilton, Genting, KL convention centre, etc etc. One of the ladies even came all the way from Bangkok!!!

First, we were given an introduction, by Bruno, one of the chefs in HTC, (I love the French accent, and when they speak English), and very systematically, Jean Francois explained (translated by Bruno) what we would do for each offering, each layer, etc etc. Very fascinating. We were told that we would only see the finished product at the end of the 2 days, which really made the build up even more exciting.

Well, as I do not have my camera or memory card with me here, today, the complete post with photos will have to wait. The repertoire was as follows:

Chocolate Jasmine Flower Entremet
Blackcurrant Chiboust
Dacquoise Walnut And Coffee
Opera
Lemon Praline With Lemon Macaroons
Strawberry Pistachio Tart
Lemon Strawberry Entremet With Printed Joconde
Passion Fruit Apricot Mousse

Of course, being the jakun that I was, very shyly raised my hand and said, "excuse me, what is ANTREMAT" ....French chef replies, "oh, ontromay, it means, ze cake, sort of like a gateaux". Haiya, say so lah, Cake. Actually, I bet none of the tai tais present there knew what an entremet was either.

One tai tai (or more likely, see lai) asked the chef, "oh, do you use dairy or non dairy whipping cream".... I looked at her aghast, and whispered, "eugh, no one eats non dairy whipping cream, its revolting"....she looked a bit miffed, but later on I found out, looking at the pictures of her cakes, proudly displayed in her digital camera, she uses that fake stuff on all her cakes. One look at that shocking white finish is enough to make me gag. Now now let's not be bitchy. But SERIOUSLY, fake whipping cream, IMHO IS inedible. If you need the cake to be decorated nicely, and not melt, and want to make it look like cream.....I think I'd rather go for buttercream. (not the Wilton variety which uses shortening....ugh) Even the French chef looked a bit puzzled at the question about fake whipping cream. Hallo, do you use fake chocolate in your cakes lady?!!! or fake rice in your rice?

Anyway, just to give yall a teaser, here are few pics of the first cake....unfinished, of course. It's amazing what make up can do. This is why you can never recognise a bride on her wedding day. Quite tragic right, when your children grow up, and look at your wedding pictures, and ask "mommy, who's that woman next to daddy".

To be continued. ...

15 comments:

boo_licious said...

Yippee, first instalment is in. LOL on the see lai's fake cream faux pas! I hate those fakey stuff, can taste the chemicals in it. Can't wait to see the bride all dressed up soon......When can taste ah????

Audrey Cooks said...

Another blogger makan? just for the cake??? uh? hahahaha! wah FBB, u no need to work one ah?

wmw said...

So you approved your own leave form to attend this? He he...Mmm...eh, entremet wasn't the only word I didn't understand. I think I'll just stick to eating cakes rather than coming out with one! ha ha....Yeah, can't wait to see your masterpiece(s).

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

it's not just the makeup, dahling, it's Photoshop too. Btw, can't wait to try your entremet.
(Not only do I need an english dictionary to read your blog, I also need a french one now. Merde!)

babe_kl said...

LOL... i dun care wat is entremat or ontromet... do you need guinea pig or not??? i can volunteer!!! cant wait to see the bride making the grand entrance

snowdrop said...

aaaargghhhhhh.... you attended the course that i wanted to, but no money nor leave! so JELES!!!

anyway, thanks for the write-up, will go read the second part now!

Melting Wok said...

hey fb, man wish I could attend classes like u e'day, this is really interesting !! Btw, can share the recipe for Dacquoise Walnut And Coffee a not ?

fatboybakes said...

snowdrop, aiya, aitelyu, this course i feel was REALLY worth the RM1350, AND the two days leave.

wmw, yup, i just announced to the office, "i'm attending a course the next two days". in my line of work, its quite normal to attend courses, so i conveniently omitted to mention what "course". that should answer your question too, audrey.

melting wok, usually, as ppl would know, i am very chinchai about posting recipes, but in this particular case, i think i need to check with HTC first la, i dont want to trod on their toes unnecessarily, as i have other dealings with them. (as in i get my foie gras from them...and now, probably valrhona and stuff). hope you understand ya.

does anyone know where i can buy tart rings, like the ones in the last picture, at reasonable prices? the mini tart rings are like RM50 a piece at HTC...aiyo, what is it, wonder woman's magic bangle or wat!!!

snowdrop said...

aaargghhh... all the more regret not going for it! never mind, will look out for their next course.

if i'm not mistaken, Guten Braun in Paramount Garden/Tmn Sea (never know which, sorry, it's near where the ipoh hor fun/kfc is) may have adjustable tart rings... if you find out any place that sells the MINI ones for reasonable price, let me know please!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

"....yup, i just announced to the office, "i'm attending a course the next two days". in my line of work, its quite normal to attend courses, so i conveniently omitted to mention what "course"...
UNTIL THEY READ THE NEWSPAPERS AND SEE YOUR MUG IN IT! :-p

Melting Wok said...

wow..you used pure volrhona in all your chocolate cakes ?? I've to try that too hehe, ohh gee, ok, gotta wait until you find a good wholesale source for the specialty ingredients, then I get my hands on that recipe hehe :) hey, SG got this wholesale bake store with all s/goods, forgot the name, but if I could smuggle a few back from here when I get home, perhaps I can trade that with your tiramisu cake(s) muahahaha :)

fatboybakes said...

NOOO LAH, i dont use valrhona in all my choc cakes. HOWWWWW to? it's RM91 per kg. that's like 8 times the price of normal chocolate, and 12 times the price of cooking choc.
oh, you from singapore ah? no need to smuggle wat, not illegal right? but i heard u cant get poppy seed in singapore.

Melting Wok said...

my godddd, so, if clients request their cakes with that, and if HTC runs out, then howww ?? ooh no lahhh, here=usa, home=m'sia, tt specialty shop=sg

fatboybakes said...

lyrical lemongrass, how nice of you to drop by. it was an honor meeting you at wong ah wah a few weeks ago. i stand in awe of your blog, and deem myself unworthy to be acquainted with you.....

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Fatboybakes, how gracious of you to reply to my comments, even if it has been two years since I dropped those comments. Like my monthly periods, better late than never, I guess.