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I82Much

Chez Jean-Francois

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Hello all. It's almost that time again for my school's annual "World Language Night". As a senior and member of French 5, I have first choice as to what sort of project I want to do for the night. Last year a friend and I did a project on French breads; this year I want to expand that into all manner of desserts, a patisserie as it were.

I'm looking for some ideas.

The recipes don't necessarily have to be French, but a French influence should be apparent. So far I'm thinking of making a Croquembouche (per Sherri Yard's Secrets of Baking), and another pate a choux creation, maybe eclairs or a paris brest.

Restraints - I would prefer if the foods were very lenient in the temperature department - I do have access to a refrigerator during the day and an oven right before the event begins, but if possible I'd prefer the food to be excellent at room temperature.

I think food that you can eat without utensils (or possibly even plates) would be the best choice, but if need be, I could furnish utensils etc.

Thanks in advance

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Are you a high school or college student?

How much quantity are you looking to prepare, how many people will you feed?

I think I recall you posting here before, but I forget details........what kind of things have you baked in the past? Have you ever baked a cake from scratch?

Are you comfortable making multi step desserts or would you prefer items that are rather simple to make?

Are you getting graded by the complexity of your project?

I'm just trying to figure out what level you are in baking so we can be of help.

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Are you a high school or college student?

How much quantity are you looking to prepare, how many people will you feed?

I think I recall you posting here before, but I forget details........what kind of things have you baked in the past? Have you ever baked a cake from scratch?

Are you comfortable making multi step desserts or would you prefer items that are rather simple to make?

Are you getting graded by the complexity of your project?

I'm just trying to figure out what level you are in baking so we can be of help.

Sorry, I should have been more clear. I'm a senior in high school, not college.

I'm looking to feed quite a few people; last year I made three large loaves of bread and ran out about half way through the night - there are probably at least 150 people there, if not more. Whether or not they all eat from my little place is a different story.

I bake a lot of things, but certainly am comfortable with multistep things made from scratch. I've made the commisary carrot cake for instance, and a buche de noel. Cheesecakes are my specialty.

The grading is really just a voting thing from the community - vote for your favorite project. Actually, that doesn't directly impact the grade but it can't hurt it. The grading really comes from the oral presentation that happens at a different time - most of the people at the night aren't french so I wouldn't be speaking French to them there.

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OK I was just messing around with the caramel recipe, making spun sugar and assembling some frozen, unfilled pate a choux dough.

My question is, how in the heck would one break off a piece cleanly? With the unfilled ones, it took quite a bit of effort to break one off, and instead of breaking off, it was more like ripping away the dough and leaving behind most of the caramel. Which is ok when there's nothing inside the balls, but that would be one HUGE mess if they were filled with pastry cream.

The taste of the dough and the caramel together is amazing though - Maybe I'll go for individual cream puffs dipped in caramel rather than the entire croquembouche... hm

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OK I was just messing around with the caramel recipe, making spun sugar and assembling some frozen, unfilled pate a choux dough. 

My question is, how in the heck would one break off a piece cleanly?  With the unfilled ones, it took quite a bit of effort to break one off, and instead of breaking off, it was more like ripping away the dough and leaving behind most of the caramel.  Which is ok when there's nothing inside the balls, but that would be one HUGE mess if they were filled with pastry cream.

The taste of the dough and the caramel together is amazing though - Maybe I'll go for individual cream puffs dipped in caramel rather than the entire croquembouche... hm

Croquenbouches are served by holding the targeted profiterole with tongs and clipping it off with scissors. Classically the profiteroles are filled with kirsch or rum pastry cream. About 3 per quest with icecream of fruit. Don't put in the fridge, however. It is held together with caramel which doesn't like humidity! It should really be put together not long before serving. For a crowd you could make brioche bread pudding just choux buns filled with pastry or whipped cream or the two mixed. Good luck. Woods

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Thanks for that tip; I hadn't read anything about the actual serving of a croquembouche before. It's something to think about at least.

I'm going to have to do some shopping though; I lost one half of my coupler for my pastry bag which makes it just about completely worthless, and I don't have half the ingredients some of the recipes I've seen call for (cake flour in particular..)

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Well I bought some brioche pans from williams & sonomo this weekend. Tried them out last night

Will have to work on my presentation but the taste is absolutely amazing - I must have eaten half the loaf and 2 of the brioche a tete.

Recipe was from Sherri Yard's secrets of baking

I was worried it wouldn't work at all because I accidently exposed the sponge to a lot more heat than called for but it came through in the end

gallery_18253_719_29556.jpg

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I82Much,

I'm really impressed with your culinary skills, and you said you're in high school? :shock: I congratulate you.

Peut-être, vous voudriez devenir un cuisinier professional (ou une cuisinière professionale)?


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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I wish we had programs like that in my school. Then again no because I would have had too many arguments with the teacher and class would never progress.

Oh yea, we did have a class similar, it was called food & nutrition and it was horrible. The whole time I was reading and practicing my sugar molding skills and the teacher was teaching us how to use buttons on the microwave and how to screw up EVERY RECIPE THAT YOU WILL EVER RUN INTO

ohwell, high school was fun

enjoy, and lovely work.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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I82Much,

I'm really impressed with your culinary skills, and you said you're in high school? :shock:  I congratulate you.

Peut-être, vous voudriez devenir un cuisinier professional (ou une cuisinière professionale)?

Je pensais de le faire mais je crois que je cuisinerai pour mon passe-temps plutôt que mon travail

I should mention that this class isn't really about cooking - It's just a french class whose teacher really enjoys food (I sent her the link to this board and she spent the whole class showing us pictures of the newly opened patisserie of nightscotman (forget the name).

So yah.

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we did something like this in my senior high school french class too. well, sort of - it wasn't multicultural, we were a small class, so we had a picnic in the park at the end of the year. I made pain au chocolat, which tasted fine at room temperature, but were a hassle because I baked them the morning of so they wouldn't be stale. The real hit was the big loaf of good french bread and cheese selection someone brought - both good at room temperature, simple, and tasty!


Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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I studied spanish, our cultural experience was lame. A bunch of bags of toastito chips, salsa and bean dip.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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I made a "Galette des Rois" for my French class when I was in High school - it was not even close to the real thing (more like a sponge cake) and instead of the feve, I put a white navy bean in it - thank goodness no one cracked a tooth. :rolleyes:

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I made the brioche recipe again, and I can't understand why it's not rising much at all. The finished product is still excellent but it's not doing what's described in the recipe during the times it's at room temperature - never is it doubling in volume.

Made a coffeecake out of half the dough and a loaf out of the other.

gallery_18253_719_114132.jpg

gallery_18253_719_30651.jpg

Maybe it's my yeast..

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Are you still looking for recipes? an apple tart is fairly easy, not too many ingredients...you can make the rustic type in a cookie sheet, it's very French IMO. It's not spectacular like a croquembouche, of course, but seems like most people enjoy apple pie.

Also you can make the pretty kinds of tartes aux pommes or poires with the thinly-sliced fruit and a glaze (I can't remember how they're all called, these different tarts). Jacques Pépin has some nice recipes (Sweet Simplicity fruit dessert cookbook).

Bonne chance :smile:


Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Getting to be crunch time. I guess my teacher scaled back her vision a bit; she only wants us to bring in 1 thing (I'm bringing brioche and profiteroles (If I can get the damn pate a choux to work this time) and she's buying the rest (croissants and not sure what else)

And she's charging people for the food (to recoup the cost of the ingredients I guess)

We'll see.

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It's over. My feet and back were realllly sore after bending over the crepe pan for a good 2 hours.

Went off pretty well. Must have made and served at least 100 crepes.

Had to scale back plans, ended up just making brioche. Someone else made tartes aux sucres, someone made chocolate cheesecake, someone made a ganache cake... I had a slideshow running of nightscotsman's patisserie and baking school pictures (with his permission of course). Ended up grossing $75 before they stopped charging for food.

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I teach food and Nutrition, occasionally I take a lesson for the French teacher, the pupils make, all in French, Croque-Monmsieur or Soupe a l'Oignon.

I love doing the cross-curricular lessons, made Naan bread with a year 8 Geography class and planning on Jumblies with a year 8 history class for next term.

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