Final baking exam
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Our final baking exam was pretty straight forward. I actually almost missed it because I was feeling quite sick that day and I thought the exam was the next day. It’s a good thing I did end up convincing myself to go to school.

For our exam, we had to make coffee eclairs and an apple tart. We all passed, yay! Here’s my final baking products of the year.

Here's my apple tart for my exam.

Here's my coffee eclairs. I didn't apply the glaze too well. If you temper it properly, it should be shiny and not matt like mine.

They cut an eclair open to check that we had filled it completely and also to check our pastry cream.

The last two items we baked were kouglof (a specialty of the Alsace region) and kouign-amann (a specialty of the Brittany region). Kouglof is made similarly to brioche. It’s got the same ingredients as brioche but with the addition of rum-soaked raisons and almonds.

Here's my kouglof. It tastes just brioche but with the added flavour of rum-soaked raisons.

To make kouign-amann (a Breton name which translates literally to cake-butter), we make a dough, then fold in generous amounts of butter and sugar, similar to making croissant.

Here's the sugar and butter layered dough for the kouign-amann.

We roll up our large sheet of dough and cut into circles like these to bake.

After baking, this is what you get. The kouign-amann is a super buttery, caramelized, chewy pastry.

On our last day, we took it easy and sat in the classroom decorating pastillage, a candy piece made of icing sugar, starch, water, gelatin, and lemon juice.

Here's my totoro pastillage. It only looks good because we got to trace our image onto the pastillage.

Then we decorated it with food colouring. Actually, lots of us cheated by using our watercolours from art class. I hope noone eats these!

After class finished, we went on a 3-day trip around Aix en Provence. I’ll post about it another day. Unfortunately, just as I was about to recover from my cough, I got sick again with the chills and fever. Hopefully I’ll be fine by next Wednesday, when I start my stage!

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!