Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 20 - Tart Day

Today I found out that my grade on last Friday's practical was a 96. Yesterday I feared I may have received a lower score based on the review the Chef gave me. I'm guessing that the review was to push me to strive for perfection.

The grade of 96 is an overall grade on the practical test. We were graded on three areas:

A) Sanitation/General (grade: 20 out of 20)

  1. Organization / Work flow
  2. Hygiene and Safety Practices
  3. Timing
  4. Professionalism

B) Brysselkex (grade: 39 out of 40)

  1. Texture
  2. Flavor
  3. Checkerboard (-1 point)
  4. Color
  5. Cuts

C) Chocolate Chip Cookies (grade: 37.5 out of 40)

  1. # of chips
  2. Texture (- 2 points for being domed versus being flat)
  3. Color (-.5 points, just a bit overcooked, maybe)
  4. Taste
  5. Richness
Today I started by making two fillings. One filling was Almond Cream and the other Pastry Cream.

Then, the first tarts I made were Pear Frangipane Tartlets. I used the Pâte Sucrée dough I made yesterday. Then I mixed Almond Cream and Pastry Cream to make Frangipane. I put the raw tart dough into a 3" ring, then added the Frangipane into the shell. Then I cut the poached pears (which were poached yesterday) into slices, but kept the pear half mostly assembled. The pear half was placed on top of the Frangipane. Then it was baked at 375 degrees. Afterwards I brushed on an apricot glaze on top of the pear then sprinkled some crushed almonds around the top.

The second tart was a Fresh Fruit Tart. I used the pâte sucrée dough placed in a 3" ring. This was baked first before assembling the tart. While baking I made a Diplomat Cream which is Pastry Cream and Whipped Cream mixed together. This was then put into the baked tart shell. Then I put the fresh fruit on top of the Diplomat Cream, then brushed some apricot glaze on top. Fresh fruit was a little scarce in the class today so I didn't have much to work with. So I had to slice what I could get and stretch it.

The tart shells were no better than what I had made at home. I still don't like how hard they are. I guess I would like it better if it was more like a flaky pie shell. The Frangipane didn't really have a lot of flavor. The Diplomat cream tasted better to me. The poached pear wasn't that great. At Christmas I had fresh pears that tasted much better. The poached pears were poached in red wine yesterday by the Chef. I would imagine the red wine wasn't a great wine, but regardless, I don't think I like pear poached in red wine. To me it didn't do anything for the pear.

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