Thursday, May 12, 2011

French Sweets

Alain Ducasse was at the farm this week, just for the day, while his sous chefs worked diligently to prepare his cooking school class and the dinner for the finale  of the school.  The savory chefs, Sylvain Portay and Kelly Hughett, seemed to be peeling an awful lot of asparagus.  They roasted shallots, peeled artichokes, braised pork belly.  Chef Portay taught the class, while Chef Ducasse helped some, from what we could see.  Chef Ducasse came by the pastry department after the class, asked me how I was, and took some vanilla cookie scrap from my sheet pan.  He proclaimed it good and walked away.
  But his pastry chef, Sandro Micheli, worked in our chocolate room for two days, crafting some beautiful stuff.  Above, courtesy of Melanie who worked last night, are photos of the chocolate dessert.  It's a milk chocolate dacquoise topped with a tempered circle of milk chocolate, topped with caramel-milk chocolate mousse, another piece of milk chocolate, then milk chocolate Creme Chantilly and a chocolate garnish.  On top is milk chocolate sorbet.
  The second dessert is poached rhubarb surrounding a fromage blanc mousse and a rhubarb mousse, topped with a rhubarb granite, and a rhubarb soup poured table side.  I wonder if he won that battle?  I've never been able to get the wait staff to pour anything table side!
  When I left work yesterday, he was painstakingly lining up the little slabs of rhubarb in acetate cylinders and trying to get them to stay lined up long enough to get the mousse in them.  He didn't want any help, seemed perfectly happy, though a bit nervous, so we left him alone.
  And at the end of the dinner, he passed out macaroons and chocolates.

He had more macaroons, but when they arrived, a lot of them were broken.   When Krissy asked him what happened, he said, "I guess they don't like to fly."  But the remaining ones look beautiful, don't they?


Roxie said...

My mouth is watering so hard it hurts! What flavors in the macarons? I think I'm hosting the knitting tea in July, and red, white, and blue macarons would be awesome!

For macarons I've read that you should leave the egg whites sit uncovered at room temperature for three days to "temper." Really?

Maggie said...

No, Roxie, three days will kill your guests and you will have one sad tea party! They should be older, not from fresh eggs, and they should simply come to room temperature before you start making the macaroons.

I don't know what flavors they are; he and I were busy at the same time and we didn't have much time to talk. I'm pretty sure the red ones were raspberry, because he had a bag of raspberry jam.

LA said...

How fun....did you pick up any new tips of the trade????

Sharon said...

The display is beautiful. I wish I enjoyed desserts - I'm not sure how I got left out of this loop. Oh weird, my authentication word is sugog - perverted sugar?

Roxie said...

My mouth waters so hard it hurts!

Sharon said...

I don't have your email so will answer your question here. I do sell my soap. It's $6 for a six ounce bar or four for $20. The shipping is almost the same for one as it is for four. It won't be cured until the first week of June, in case you're still interested then.