It’s about a month and a half until exam sessions are scheduled to start. That is, if there are no changes due to the epidemic sweeping across the world. France went into lock down the day after my CAP Blanc. So I’m glad I was able to get one last practice exam in before we were no longer permitted to have gatherings.
As for the previous practice exams, Mr. Hubby picked the recipes, only providing me with a shopping list. The morning of my practice exam, I made myself an extra large café crème, then sat down to take my first look at what the day had in store for me. I had previously asked Mr. Hubby to try to choose subjects that were a bit more difficult for me, or even choose things that I have never actually practiced before. I know it might sound crazy to purposely ask to be thrown into the deep-end. However, this may actually be what happens on the day of the exam, so I wanted to gauge my ability to handle such a situation.
The first time I tried to fill out an ordonnancement or daily schedule, I went over the allotted time frame, I missed steps, there were quite a few errors…as you can imagine.
I am not saying that it was perfect this time, however I filled it out with a bit more ease. Perhaps it’s the subjects that Mr. Hubby chose that fit together much easier, or the fact that I am getting better at it. Who knows..
For the exam, I will have to do make-
- An entremet (mousse cake)
- A tart
- Dessert based of either pâte à choux (choux dough) or pâte feuilletée (puff pastry)
- Viennoiserie – made of pâte levée feuilletée (croissant dough) or pâte levée (yeast raised dough)
This time around, Mr. Hubby did indeed choose some desserts that I have never made before. He also mixed in some recipes that he knew I wanted to work more on.
- Entremet – Pistache Fruit Rouge
- Tarte – Abricots Pistache Crumble
- Pâte Feuilletée – 6 slices of Dartois aux amandes
- Pâte Levée – 2 brioches Nanterre & 8 brioches à tête
Let the day commence!
The first recipe that I started was the brioche dough. For a good brioche, you should have we call the voile. You should be able to take a small piece of dough, slowly stretching. It should stretch to the point where you can see through it, without the dough breaking. This may take up to 20-30 minutes of kneading in a stand mixer.
While the brioche dough was kneading in the mixer, I got started on some other recipes. I generally make my tart dough in the mixer, but it was in use, I made tart dough by hand. After it rested in the fridge, I lined the tart pan and then made pistachio almond cream by hand.
By the time that the brioche dough had the voile, the dough was at 28°c. This meant I could forgo the proofing time at room temperature and it could go straight into the fridge. The rest of the morning went off without a hitch. When I went on my 30 minute lunch break; the tart was cooked, entremet in the freezer, brioche was proofing and the dartois was in the fridge, waiting to be baked.
When I got back from lunch, the brioches were ready to bake. I made brioche à tête as well as brioche nanterre (or loaves), I baked the loaves and the dartois at the same time. Once the loaves were baked I rotated the brioches à tête in, allowing everything to be done baking at the same time.
All in all, I would have to say this practice exam was the most successful thus far. Not only did I finish an hour ahead of schedule, but I didn’t really have any difficulties in particular.
My brioches à tête are a work in progress, but these are the best that I have done thus far. The dartois leaked from the sides, so I’ll need to make sure that the seams are closed around the perimeter. I did have the flakiness that one should have with a puff pastry. The tart and the entremet turned out well, but I still need to work on writing with a cornet d’écriture.
I am disappointed that I did not take any nice pictures this time around, but due to the lack of sleep over the last week, I was just too exhausted to drag out the camera gear.