Monday, September 5, 2011

Basics, and Shortbread Cookies

School officially started as I attended my first two demos, but first let me explain what a demo is. The school’s format is that we have two kinds of classes. We have the Demos (Demonstration) classes in which the chefs show us how to prepare various different things. We have a binder with all the “recipes” that will be covered in all the demos. I say “recipes”, but they are not true recipes, as to ingredients list. Part of the teaching techniques is that we each “create” our own recipe according to what we see the chef do, and we manage to scribble down, since the chefs don’t really wait on you to write your notes. You have to be real attentive, since they don’t follow real exact backing times, or there is any clock or timer. The chef told us he doesn’t carry a watch and neither should we, that we need to learn to eye and smell when things are ready. Since I am not ready to do that yet, I hid a watch on my pocket, and careful not to be seen, I was writing down the times things when in and out of the oven. So as you can see we have to be watching everything the chef does, and tells us. We eventually will have a written test, and since I really don’t know what will be asked, I basically write down all I can form what the chef says. You have to be careful because in the first demo, I was writing something down, but missed how the chef did something, thank goodness, he eventually repeated the technique so I was lucky to see it.
Now the other type of class are the Practicals, in which as the word say we practice or do, one (for now), or eventually more of the recipes that the chef did on the Demo. I have yet to take my first Practical which will be tomorrow.
Now the first demo which was #00 was part an introduction where we were given our binders, and we were shown how to make some basic stuff, which for practical purposes is usually bought, like the following:

Apricot Glaze

Coffee Extract

Now for demo #01 we learned how to do shortbread cookies.

Diamants, Sables au Chocolat, and Lunettes

Galettes Bretonnes, and Sables Nantais
We will be doing only one, the Diamants, of the 5 different cookies that the chef did during demo. Of course we HAVE TO TRY the cookies to see what they should taste like, so this is what ended up home with me : )

A small sample with every cookie
And let me tell you they are all really good!!! I am happy to report I controlled myself and didn't eat the whole thing, I just ate one of the small cookies, and a little piece of the big ones. 

Wish me luck everyone, so that I don't burn anything on my first practical!!

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