Saturday, November 15, 2008

Afternoon Tea

Okay! The high point of Superior patisserie: Afternoon Tea. It is an exercise that every patisserie student must go through. For this week, we made crepes, savarin, all kinds of petit fours for an afternoon tea service, served to real customers. In the ambassador room, tables are set up, food displayed prettily on platters, and us, we became front of house, kick-ass members. 2 of the girls went behind the bar to churn out coffee and cold beverages, 2 made crepes suzette as an open presentation (you can totally see the flames going up high when the grand marnier goes into the pan), the rest of us became the waitstaff.

"Those who can smile go behind the buffet counter." I volunteered. Haha, I figured it was the easiest job out of the three. Well, it was, until I found out how lonely it can be. Most customers are just eager to get the food on their plate rather than stopping to hear you lecture on about the cake. (I am sometimes like that too, so I can understand.)

We had tons of leftovers. I really really tried to sell my gateaux but no amount of coaxing can give the (miserable turn-out of) customers a second stomach. In the end, our class tried to polish the pastries off the trays either by insane, vengeful eating or take-away in makeshift doggy bag made out of disposable towels and plastic boxes. I had no appetite for either. There's something about leftovers just puts me off. o_o

Before the service, each of us had to make a crepe suzette each. First you melt sugar on the pan, on its own, until the sugar turns liquid. Then you add the butter. Very quickly, orange juice goes in. With a wedge of lemon, you clean the pan with it to dislodge any stray sugar. Next, add the crepes to soak in the nicely caramelised orange juice mixture. Now, the most important grand marnier is added to the edge of the pan, so that it can catch the fire. If you tilt the pan a little backwards, then you add the grand marnier to the top and quickly catch the fire, a tall flame will erupt. Spectacular. I reckon this is how I got my A. Because, frankly speaking, standing behind the counter, smiling blandly, won't get you many points. ._.

The crepes, made two days before the service. We've got many complaints for this one. Mr. Ivan said they were too thick to be French crepes. Thus during practice, we ate the thick ones ourselves. haha.

Savarin. It is a yeast product which is just plain weird. Good weird since it tastes so good. It has got the texture of a bread, sweetness of a cake. My brain cannot make the connection. Luckily, my brain knows my tongue likes it. Finished like a cake with creme chantilly and fruits.

Les Macaroons et Les chocolat- contributed by the various Chefs.

Danish pastries- donated by Intermediate patisserie.

Sable boutin (I hope I got this right) and lemon meringue tartlets- made by us.

Sugar showpiece by Chef Herve, to impress our customers he says.

Thank god it is over. Sure it was fun but trying as well. I didn't pee for long periods.


1 comment:

Bean Sprout's Cafe said...

haha.....laughing so hard for the last sentence.