Thursday, 17 April 2014


So I'm stood with my back to the hot sun looking on at Ile Saint Louis.  Is it just because I am so interested in sweet things that I seriously believe this island to be wholly devoted to the famous Berthillon ice cream?  I think not.  Every brasserie and restaurant which surround the small ice cream parlour serves Berthillon.  It is the only ice cream to be able to fight for France against the Italians, who are, and allow me to bow my head in all humble respect, the Best at ice cream, aka gelato. Fact.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Making sugar plates

What an intense week! I always find patisserie school so exciting because I come out having learnt so much and trying to cram my brain in with all the 'mental notes to self' and 'great idea to retain in head.'. 

On thursday we had a mock exam for the parisserie practical.  We are all shi**ing ourselves since there is only a month left until the real exam. Eek!! In six hours we had to make: 8 croissants and 8 pain au chocolat, 8 religieuses and 8 éclairs, a lemon meringue tart with five individual tartlets and a fruit 'entremet' decorated to the theme of the World Cup. We also had an oral exam on food science, which is not always brilliant when you're running between checking if your éclairs are not burning and your lemon curd is cold enough or your viennoiserie are ok, which, this time, unfortunately, mine were not. ...* I think I mixed the salt and sugar too close to the yeast which meant that the yeast didn't function well or something.  ...* When my business studies teacher saw them, he laughed and said "your croissants look like ones you find in Austria!". The French are quite snobby about their croissants.  And when I say 'quite', I mean, ridiculously so.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

World Omnivore Tour

I am a little mad at myself for not blogging about World Omnivore Tour sooner.  It is SUCH a cool foodie festival.  I take so many photos of everything food related in this life and then I don't even write or put the photos up. Not good Abigail, not good.

So you want to be a pastry chef?

Today we had a intern in the patisserie who for a week will learn about what its like to work in a kitchen.   Blonde and boss-eyed, the young girl had just turned fifteen years old.  She was innocent and awkward, and I couldn't help thinking that she was two years younger than my "baby" sister, who I would never imagine capable anywhere near the material or the equipment we use in a professional kitchen lab, let alone ever let her, for fear of scolding, cutting and injuries.

Friday, 14 March 2014


"Europain" as in, "Eurobread" is a world bakery, pastry, ice-cream, chocolate and confectionary trade show.  It is where you will find all equipment, ingredients, decoration and materials for a bakery/pastry/chocolate/confectionary industry.  Sounds crazy? It is.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

My Favourite Patisserie

It all started once when I missed my stop.  But now I seem to miss my stop very often, and almost consciously too...

So I get out at Montparnasse and it's freezing cold and pissing down with rain. But all I want to do is go and check out my favourite little patisserie which is on my way home from Montparnasse, the wrong stop.  

Monday, 13 January 2014

Galette des Rois

"Galette des Rois" would be best described as a sweet pie made of puff pastry and filled with an almond cream.  It is traditionally eaten in order to celebrate the Epiphany (around the 6th of January.) Inside the galette a lucky charm is hidden (like a little toy made of ceramic) and whoever finds the charm becomes the king (or queen) and can wear a crown in honour.

The galette is cut into slices and the youngest member of the family goes under the table.  The adult calls the child "pour qui ça?" ("who's this for?") and the child responds by appointing slice after slice until all are distributed.  As the child is under the table the adult finds the charm and reserves it for the child. So when the child finds his charm he is excited to wear the crown and feels lucky, yet somehow he seems to get it every year..:)

I have been making this galette for the past two weeks at work.  It is post- Christmas season, it is now "galette" season.  All other patisseries have been postponed for the time being. 

(no longer making chocolate truffles- the season is over.)

The galettes are made as so:  

the almond cream is evenly distributed on the base layer of pastry.

**Many galettes are made with "frangipane," however I believe that "creme d'amande" is better.  Frangipane is simply "creme d'amande" with "creme patissiere" added to it.  It is cheaper to produce since there is less almond.  **

The lucky charm is placed inside.  Water is painted around the edges in order for the upper layer to stick.

The galette is then closed with the upper layer and using a knife re-sealed together.  

All photos are taken at Maison Landemaine.