Lesson 15: Le Charlotte Au Poire
This lesson began and ended as the bookends to my weekend in London.
On a Friday afternoon we had the demonstration class which was focused on reusing and renovating.
Day old brioche was the basis for Bostock
Bostock is brioche soaked in rum syrup, then covered in almond cream and baked with flaked almonds.
It’s getting a little bit more complicated finally as we speak.
Second on the menu was Charlotte au Poire
Pear Charlotte is made of ladyfinger biscuit sponge imbibed with syrup filled with a pear mousse and presented in a very classical fashion.
The entertainment value is also extremely welcoming, the faces, quotes and noises as well as pot and tray drumming lighten the mood!
The piping technique today was of a very high standard. You could see his years of experience in every pattern he produced.
We learnt how to construct the cakes with rings and plastic tapes.
We played with gelatine and making mousse as well as with Italian meringue.
The little construction tips and techniques were actually quite helpful.
As usual it was too sweet for me! But it was an interesting start to the world of mousse cakes.
The conclusion to Lesson 15 began on Tuesday afternoon at 6:30pm.
I caught the 2:05pm Eurostar from London St Pancreas to Paris Gare du Nord. We arrived at 5:30pm, I ran to the metro with 2 bags like a madman. I arrived at school at 6:10 and ran into the change rooms! Threw on my uniform, grabbed my knife kit and ran into class on time but still feeling motion sick from the train, dizzy from dehydration and absolutely exhausted.
I splashed my face with water and there was a semblance of feeling human; but as I walked into class, the weight on my shoulders and the heavy clouds lifted because I was greeted once again by the smile of Chef Daniel Walter!
He is the beacon of hope at the end of a very long tunnel!
The class was hectic but as usual with his mere presence in the kitchen everything seemed to work!
And my final product is a testament not only of my hard work and of overcoming some self-imposed obstacles, but also of his positive influence.
So after hand beating egg whites to stiff peaks, incorporating the sugar and egg yolks and lightly folding in the flour we had to perfectly pipe out the cake designs for a Roof, Floor and Walls to house our pear mousse.
It was then filled with chunks of pear and filled with the pear mousse.
The chocolate was then moulded and carved into pear leaves for the final presentation.
And so the cake was assembled ready for inspection…
And finally the first slice was cut for a formal taste test…
Randomness and Creativity have given us poetry for generations
It too has given us cakes that are as unusual as they are delicious!
The way that we named our food has always fascinated me … The Earl of Sandwich is consumed on a daily basis; Eggs Benedict was supposedly named after a New York Stockbroker who went to the Waldorf Astoria with a hankering for a hangover cure in the form of toast, poached eggs, ham and Hollandaise; and a Caesar Salad is not named after the Roman emperor as I foolishly believed but in fact after Caesar Cardini who created this salad at the restaurant of the Hotel Caesar in Tijuana of all places!
And so whilst writing this post I was inspired, what would happen if a cake inspired a piece of writing…
Sadly with today’s recipe, this is the best I could come up with in the 3 short minutes I devoted to this weird creative process…
Charlotte au Poire walked to the bar,
Every day to drown her sorrows away,
Sadly no pear could ever compare,
Spiked mousse filled biscuit was the way!
I am sorry if you know have to gouge your ears and eyes out, or drink yourself into a stupor so that you may try and forget my almost insulting piece of prose; Might I suggest a bottle of the Pear eau de vie, the same spirit that we all poured excesses of into our syrups and mousses!