Friday, September 17, 2010

Judgement Day: Coffee Eclairs, Fruit Flan

Fruit Flan

It's been a long day. On our feet from the unearthly hour of 7am, rushing to meet the 1pm deadline, we weren't released till 3. The verdict? A woeful tale. Where do I start? Rather, where do I find the end to this long, dismal list of things gone wrong? Let's start with the flan.

Pastry shell thin and crisp, custard cooked and set without issues, Phew. I then proceeded to arrange the fruits overlapping the sides of the tart shell, which was a big catastrophic no-no. See, we were supposed to keep the fruits well within the confines of the shell, which should be left uncovered, as part of the visual appeal. Drat.

Coffee Eclairs

My eclairs looked painfully anemic; the fondant was a shade too pale while the pastry cream was 2 shades too dark. 

For the pastry cream I should've laid off the coffee essence a bit. As for the tricksy fondant I had made not 1 but 3 pathetic attempts at tampering it right, trying not to but always heating it beyond the point of no return i.e. 37 degrees. 

When I finally got it right on the 3rd try I just wanted it on my eclairs and out of my sight, not stopping to see just how ridiculous all the wrong colors looked together. Frick on a stick.

Work Flow

We were actually marked for this, I hope I got the 2 marks for effort (down the drain).

The Judging Panel

The Long Wait

For more than 2 hours, we were held captive in the kitchen as the chefs pondered over our products. By then I had resigned myself to the unpleasant fate of flunking and having to re-sit the entire exam. Ah well, more flan and eclairs for me then. Silver lining, Chef. Silver lining.

Guest Judge, Chef Brian

A chef and LCB instructor with 25 years under his belt, Chef Brian may look like your average friendly neighbourhood grandpapa, but he's no softie when it comes to assessing our work, telling us what we did right and where we went wrong. There is no better way to learn and improve, and for that I'm thankful.

Beautiful Disaster

Lo and behold, you may hold your bated breath no longer, I passed. Just barely, I'm sure. But I passed. Thank bloody goodness.

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