All posts tagged: Pastry

Black Sesame Orange Tart

What better to do with a Saturday afternoon than to hole up in your kitchen for several hours experimenting? It all started with my relatively simple idea to actually practice some of what I learn in school on my own time and in my own kitchen, but then as all ideas I have tend to do, it quickly snowballed as it encountered the semi-jilted feeling I had of not having my recommendation to use black sesame in an entremets be well received. One thought led to another, and before I knew it I was dragging three bags of groceries home filled with more butter and eggs than any normal person would consume in an entire week, and I was ready to go. Even when I started baking though, I can’t say that I really knew what it was that I would be making. I knew the elements and I thought of ways I might combine and shape them into creating one dessert…but it wasn’t until about an hour into the process that I had an ‘ah …

Coconut Mango Entremets

Baking for my younger brother allows me the chance to reach into the crazy section of my creative side and try things and combinations that I usually wouldn’t try out on other people. I’m just going to come out and say it; he’s a complete weirdo. Since he is returning home from college this week, I decided to be a nice sister and bake something for him. This time my train of thought started out with a layer cake. Maybe I’ll make an exotic layer cake covered in coconut, I thought. Then I flipped to Miette’s Coconut Mousse Cake and thought maybe I would add in some coconut mousse layers… and then that led me to thinking about adding in some mango…and before I knew it, the idea had changed into an entremet with a never-before-seen liquid mango juice center. So I started in with my experimental creation–making a mango puree and simmering it with some simple syrup before straining it and putting the juice into some silicon molds. At the same time, I made …

Chaos and Strength: Week 15 in the Kitchen

I don’t know if someone wrote ‘lets all make fun of Maddie this week’ on my forehead while I wasn’t paying attention, or if we all just snapped a little at being overwhelmed by the new schedule and the lack of our chef in the kitchen…but lets just say that it is a good thing that I am relatively speaking an easy going and patient person. My American accent, my many lists, my desire to do everything and control everything possible, my lack of ability to correctly conjugate verbs in French, my laugh, my knowledge of French music…I basically couldn’t do or say anything without it coming back to me as the butt of a joke–in the friendliest way, of course. “How are you Maddie?” Stan asks me in English. “I’m fine and you?” I respond, speaking English as well. “WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT SPEAKING ENGLISH HERE? YOU ARE IN FRANCE!” T_T There is just no winning. Another winner of a conversation was when my coworkers said after one of the many times …

Writing in Chocolate, Midnight Adventures and French Skills: Week 11 in the Kitchen

“So…You do the opaline and the mignardise and everything else…And I’ll just be over here. Okay?” Sunday, I once again needlessly showed up 45 minutes in advance of my shift starting, and Stan and I had so little to do that he literally made the largest tiramisu I have ever seen while I slowly and calmly finished everything for the evening and then started on tasks for the next day. It was a win-win-win situation, as it allowed us to pass a calm day, me to learn more and become more independent in the kitchen, and everyone who works at Belles Rives to have an incredibly enjoyable staff meal that evening. So. The apprentice is scared of bananas. Like, not only does she not like eating them, but she doesn’t like touching them or looking at them. So naturally when Stan found out, he promptly left pastry and went and grabbed a banana from the cold storage room to put on the counter beside her. As the night went on, the banana remained in the kitchen—and …

Trials, Jokes and Translations: Week 10 in the Kitchen

I think my team has finally figured out how weird I am. I’m finally comfortable enough to be myself. It has not been easy to find my personality while speaking French and while simultaneously beginning a new job and career in the kitchen. It has been hard to balance being myself with being a student and a worker and a foreigner and a new language. But I think the two/two-and-a-half month point has marked the change in me going from that-timid-American-girl-who-for-some-reason-smiles-a-lot to being simply Maddie. Just Maddie. And I like it. Sure, I’m a weird person—I make random noises and sometimes talk to myself in languages that the people around me don’t understand. I’m sarcastic and I roll my eyes and sometimes I swear a lot. I sing Korean ballads and English show tunes to myself while I work. But in the end, that is me and I am happy that even if my coworkers find me strange and unique, it is my actual self that they are getting to know and not the facade …

Coupe de Feu & Meilleur que Hier: Week Eight in the Kitchen

I got a text message from Nans on Saturday night, telling me that he had a message for me from my Chef. He told me to come in at 9am on Monday morning—and while I thanked him and I know that he is serious about his job, he is also a complete goof and I had no small amount of doubt that he was joking and was trying to trick me into waking up way earlier than I had to. That said, I prepared myself—bracing myself for Chef having permanently changed my hours and I was quite disappointed all of Sunday thinking that I was going to have to start working Coupe de Feu (9am-2pm + 6pm-11:30pm) instead of my beautiful schedule of starting at 2:00pm every day. It didn’t help that when I showed up Monday morning, Diego and Clarisse were already there and working. Oh God, I thought, What is going on?! Turns out there was a buffet for 120 people at the beach for lunch that day, and the three of us …