Sunday, October 16, 2011

Le Croissant !!!!

So the day came when we learned how to make croissants!!! One of the most iconic things about France and specially to anyone coming to Paris is Croissants, so everyone in class was really excited to reqch this class. I have love croissants all my life, is one of my all time favorite breads ever. I like it salty with some ham and cheese like a sandwich, I like it sweet with jam, chocolate, cajeta (goat's milk caramel) condensed milk, and specially by itself, with a nice cup of coffee with milk; so, as you can imagine I was very excited to learn how to make them.

When class starts, it begins with the chef teling us that he has prepared 3 surprises for us, he was going to teach us 3 extra recipes using croissant dough making a total of 7 different things he was going to do in class.

The chef made:

Croissants and Pain au Chocolat

The croissants might not look picture perfect golden, but they are the best ones I have had in my whole life, they were spectacular, and how couldn't them since these are one of the specialties of the chef that gave us the demo. And the pain au chocolat, what can I say?  Incredible too.

Moulins aux Cerises et Oranais

Since I don't like cherries I didn't try the moulins but the Oranais which are filled with pastry cream and have apricots at the ends, I did try and were so good. It was unbelievable how good everything was.

The three surprises that the chef made were:

Apricot and Cherry Tartines

Again I didn't try the cherry one, but the apricot one was soo good. It doesn't really matter what you put on the dough, what made everything unbeliebably good was the croissant dough itself, and how good it was.

Pain aux Raisins

These are usually made with brioche dough, but the chef told us he personally liked them better with croissant dough and since our next lesson is brioche dough he told us he though he would make us some, so we can actually compare and see which way we like them better. So far these will be very tough to beat since they were very good.

and finally the chef made Kouign-Aman

I know that I have been saying for everything that it was so good, and it really was, but the best of all things is this, the chefs other specialty. He told us that he learned to do this when he was only 13 years old, and when he came to Paris he was asked to make it, and was told he did the best Kouign-Aman in Paris. He said that is made more commonly now than when he first came to Paris, but he still believes his might be one of the best if not still the best in Paris!!! I know it might sound a bit pretentious of the chef to be saying that, but after tasting it I believe him 100% and have no doubts he makes the absolute very best one.

Just looking at the chef make all this was good enough, but tasting it all was awesome.

There was not a single thing I didn't like and we all in class usually behave and keep our manners eating just what is given to us in our plates, but this time, none of us in class cared. We were all surrounding the chef's table trying to grab an extra piece. The chef at the end just threw all the leftover food in the table and said here you all can have it, and everyone just threw an arm to take whatever was at reach. Personally I didn't care how much calories it had, everything he made was so incredibly good, I couldn't make myself stop eating, it was awesome and horrible at the same time!!!

Now practical was going to be our turn in making these yummy goods. Personally I didn't think it was very hard to make them. I do admit that I definitively need more practice in making the croissant shape, since mine are not very pretty looking. My pain au chocolate came out looking pretty good!!

These layers are insane, and the flavor is very good too!!

In the same practical we also made the brioche dough we are going to use next class since it has to be let to rest and rise. We had the choise to make it in the mixer or by hand, and in my class I was one in three who choose to make it by hand and it was intense!!! We had to knead the dough for like 40-45 minutes!!! I couldn't believe it took so long, and though I was never going to finish on time, but barelly did. I am so glad I did it, is one of those things you will never do again, but so glad I did it once since I get to say I did. My arms were so sore for the next couple of days, I will never take this bread for granted, specially one made by hand!

Lets hope all these work comes out pretty tasty.

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