A new turn, a new beginning…..

4 weeks….well almost! Since my last post!

There have been some huge changes in my life recently and I’ve been desperate to share it with you all! I’ve missed blogging last few weeks and missed visiting your lovely blogs more-so. As they say, it’s better to be late than never.
So, here I go with filling you in on the latest in my life.

Firstly, I’ve started school again! After 8 years, I am back to school and this time I’m pursuing something I am most passionate about! Pastry! Not just pastry, it gets better, it’s Professional French Patisserie! Secondly, the school I am going to is in Paris, in the heart of the city, and I am going to be here for a year! I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to be here and pursue my dream in a city of dreams!

A little bit more about my school, I am studying at Ferrandi. It’s a pretty old one, being established in 1920 and a good study environment. We have a huge deal of focus on practical learning making almost 2 desserts each day. Which means I have more than I can even give away! No complaints… 😉

This is going to be quite a short post, but i want to share with you some pictures and experiences. I barely visited places this time around as I was just settling in and also the long hours at school leave little time for the exploring. As I had already visited most of the tourist places last winter, I am going slow on the sight seeing part. 😉 Nevertheless, I’d love to share some of my experiences through pictures.

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A few from my trip to Deauville, to the north of Paris!

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Coco Chanel's first store!

Coco Chanel’s first store!

I'd never heard of lavendar icecream ever before! I had 2 in a row.. :D

I’d never heard of lavendar icecream ever before! I had 2 in a row.. 😀

How can we not have the Eiffel!

How can we not have the Eiffel!

Did I forget to mention that I’m terrible with french! I have started to learn… i hope to get a hang of it soon enough if not sooner… 😀

On a separate note, we have started with tarts at school and have made quite a few of them now. I’m just getting into my rhythm again and going to post updates from school and Paris quite frequently now. More importantly, going to be visiting your blogs regularly too and love to chat with you all again!

Sorry.. couldn't help but post this one!

Sorry.. couldn’t help but post this one!

PS: Apologies for too many an exclamations here and there, I simply cannot contain my excitement! 😉

Chocolate Eclairs

As I was raiding my fridge today I realized I still had some of the orange mint curd leftover from Sunday. I was wondering whether it was time to toss it into the bin, but my heart did not approve of it! While i was contemplating what I should make out of it I realized that I do not have a choux pastry on my blog yet. For any baker, choux pastry is the basic, most important to master. I wouldn’t go to the lengths of saying I have mastered it, but I have a basic grasp of it.

I first tried it about 2 years back using Michel Roux’s recipe, however it did not work out as well for me. I then gave Raymond Blanc’s recipe a go and voila! I made my first batch of edible, good looking choux puffs. I always used his recipe whenever I wanted to make choux pastry and this time I thought of experimenting with a different one.
Here, I have used Christophe Felder’s recipe which is similar to Raymond’s with the exception of milk and lesser use of eggs. It is a good recipe and my second favorite now.

Here too, I have paired my orange curd with chocolate in the form of chocolate eclairs, which turned out to be a brilliant thing if I may say so myself. It leaves a subtle orange flavor back of the throat which is quite refreshing.

I have a strange weakness for these eclairs. While paying the check at a patisserie, I usually end up asking them for chocolate eclairs without even having an inkling. Maybe, it’s bred deep into my sub-conscious mind. haha
I would gorge on croissants and these bundles of joy while i was in Paris for days at a stretch as if the world was going to end 😉

Yours Truly having breakfast ;)

Yours Truly having breakfast 😉

I shall try the same recipe again and hopefully post some different version of the eclairs!

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Ingredients :

Choux Pastry :

125 ml water
55 g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
70 g plain flour
2-3 eggs
1 egg, for glaze

Orange Mint Curd, recipe please click here

Chocolate Glaze :

120 g dark chocolate
100 ml heavy cream
20 g butter, softened

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Instructions:

Choux Pastry:

Preheat the oven to 170 C (non fan). Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

For the choux pastry, place the water, butter, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over a high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, quickly beat in the flour until the mixture is COMPLETELY smooth.
Turn the heat down to medium, return the pan to the hob and cook for about one minute, beating all the time, or until the mixture comes away from the edge of the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually beat in one egg at a time. For the third egg, beat it lightly in another bowl. As much as you need one spoon at a time to make a dough that is very shiny and just falls off the spoon.

Transfer the paste to a large piping bag and let the mixture to cool for about five minutes in the bag to stiffen slightly before you begin the piping. Pipe on the éclairs into 8-10 cm logs or small mounds to make profiteroles.

Bake the éclairs in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until brown, then transfer to a rack and leave to cool.

Chocolate Profiteroles

Chocolate Profiteroles

Chocolate Glaze :
Boil the cream in a saucepan. Meanwhile chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.

Add half of the boiled milk to the chocolate and whisk well. Add the remaining cream and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the butter.

Chocolate Eclairs

Chocolate Eclairs

Assemble the eclairs :

When you are ready to fill the éclairs, transfer the orange mint curd filling to a piping bag. Pierce the underside of each éclair 3 times with the tip of a pointed nozzle, and gently pipe a little of the filling into the éclair as you do so.

Pipe or brush the glaze onto the top of each éclair, then place in the fridge for the glaze to set before serving.

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There are amazing eclair festivals in Paris which I am so keen to experience… hopefully, some day! 🙂

Bon Apetit

Bon Apetit

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