Days Ninety-Five, Ninety-Six & Ninety-Seven

Saturday, December 1, 2012
I disappeared again this week because things got a little busy.  But I’m back!  And now it’s time to tell you a story about the last three days.  Okay!  Let’s get to it.  On Wednesday we filled our pate a choux.  The little ├ęclairs are filled with chocolate pastry cream and glazed in chocolate fondant.  The salambos are the little guys covered in caramel; they’re filled with kirsch pastry cream.  The chouxettes are the little round balls covered in coarse sugar and granulated almonds, and they’re filled with a hazelnut pastry cream.  I think.  It might have been pralinette pastry cream.


The pastries that look like bicycle wheels are the Paris-brests.  They have a fancy filling made up of three different components – pastry cream, pralinette, and a buttercream made from whole eggs and yolks.  I’ve never heard or made such a thing!  I’ve only made buttercream with egg whites.  The egg yolk buttercream is fattier and much tastier.  Out of all of these I think I like the Paris-brests the best.  What can I say?  I love brests. 


On Thursday, we made something I’ve always wanted to make: Opera Cake.  I need to research opera cake and find out more about it.  Why is it called opera cake? 

It took the whole day!  I don’t have a picture of the final product yet because we haven’t sliced it. 

There’s a lot of layers in opera cake.  First comes chocolate ganache.

Then comes a coffee buttercream, followed by a biscuit cake, coffee syrup.  Repeat.  So all together there are eight layers.  I couldn’t believe how much coffee syrup was brushed on top of each layer.  The syrup was made with fresh coffee AND instant coffee.   I’m going to be wired when I eat this next week!


So that brings us to Friday.  We baked a simple sable cookie.  This is an extra-fine sable and it’s made with hard boiled egg yolk to make it nice and tender.


Hard boiled egg in a cookie sounds gross but it’s not.  It’s genius.  Perfectly boiled egg yolk is a beautiful thing.  The yolk should be soft, bright yellow, and slightly crumbly.  The egg yolk shouldn’t be green!  (….Mom.  *cough*  Just kidding love you!)

We also baked off chocolate financier.  These are little chocolate cakes that taste kind of like a brownie; they’re made with browned butter, and believe it or not, apple compote.  I asked chef why are you using apple compote in chocolate cake, and he said it was for extra moisture. 


Sneak peek of what we’re making on Monday in the picture above ^ Chocolate Macaron.

Today we made pistachio macaron!  This was a fun day in class that I’d been looking forward to.  The secrets of macaron-making!  The secret to good macarons is drying out your egg whites for a few days.  Some of the water from the whites is evaporated, giving you’re a stronger meringue.  You can also use a combination of egg whites and egg white powder.
The method we used today also gives you a stronger macaron.  You start by making a syrup with water, glucose and sugar, and add the boiling syrup to whipped egg whites and salt.  One the mixture is cooled you can fold it into find almond powder and confectioners’ sugar. 

The batter is deflated slightly, piped into rounds, and dried for about thirty minutes to form a skin. 

Mine turned out pretty good.  I think I went a couple of degrees over on the syrup and it made my batter too thick.  When you pipe the macaron, the batter should sink down and you shouldn’t see any marks on top.  Do you see where I have some peaks on some of them?

Do you like the color?  I used a lot of green.  :)


The filling is that delicious egg yolk buttercream and pistachio pralinette.  The macarons were good!  Now I want to bake them at home.  What flavor of macaron would you like to see on the blog?

Have a good weekend!  I can’t wait to sleep.

10 comments on "Days Ninety-Five, Ninety-Six & Ninety-Seven"
  1. em, i have been following you on your pastry school adventure every step of the way, although i have not seem like you are having so much fun!! you're such an enthusiastic student, i am very proud of you. it would be hard for me to be in a room with SO many goodies! i would be big as an elephant by now! your macarons looked great, maybe a chocolate/ mint combo would be delish to try. keep up the fun blog posts and have a pastry for me! love ya gal, joanne

    1. Hey, no worries! Thanks for reading, Joanne! Commenting is horrible. I hate it. I am having fun at school! I like your mint chocolate idea. Fabulous.

  2. As a waitress with an obsession with food and baking, you are an inspiration. and its awesome that you blog about school.

    1. Waitresses unite! Well, I was one. I am so not an inspiration! But thank you. Thank you for reading.

  3. Wow i'm in awe. Everything you make always look gorgeous and so tempting. Can't wait to see your opera cake. It it assembled upside-down? I though ganache went on the top?

    I'd love to see a hazelnut macaroon, or maybe something Chirstmassy like cranberry (is that even possible!?)

    1. Katie, you're a little smarty pants. Yes, it was assembled upside down. We're going to flip the cake over. Cranberry sounds amazing!!

  4. Awesome goods! Anna and I know all about the greatness of hard boiled eggs in cookies. ;)
    Great tips about macarons, still trying to perfect them. So I have a question--you said "drying out the egg whites for a couple days"---do you mean just having them on the counter (uncovered?)? I used room temperature whites that sat on the counter overnight, in a covered container. Just made some on Saturday and they turned out to be my worst try so far. But I've made them 3-4 times and they've been great otherwise. The recipe I used said beat egg whites to soft peak, but I thought maybe I went to about stiff peak. sigh
    Your green macarons look great!

    1. Yes you do! I saw that you were making macarons. We dried ours for about 4 or 5 days, I think. They had buckets of egg whites covered with plastic wrap with a hole poked in the wrap. I believe they aged them in the refrigerator. I know you can age them in a cold room (like 60 degrees). Like a wine cellar or something. I'd say try aging them for about 5 days in the refrigerator.

      From what I understand, you should whip the meringue to a soft peak if you're not using the Italian meringue method. If you beat to a stiff peak the meringue doesn't "poof" and rise in the oven. It has nowhere to go.

  5. I'm obsessed with rose and lavender anything right now, so it'd be super cool if you made some Pretty In Pink macarons. I probably ate a dozen macarons when I was in Paris. I have yet to make some but I'm inspired now, Thanks ;)

  6. Hey Emily, your macarons are gorgeous! I find them difficult to make consistently well, even aging the egg whites and using egg white powder. Yours have the nice little foot just as they should, and they didn't crack as they cooled.

    I had never had egg white buttercream until I saw Ina Garten make it on her show -- only egg yolks for me. I guess you can call the one with the egg whites "light" buttercream.