In this Demo class, Chef Cote made Paris Brest and Saint-Honoré. These two extremely popular and beautiful French sweets are basically puff pastries sandwiching a massive hill of cream. I am not exaggerating, that blob of cream can be intimidating. No doubt it is perfect and irresistible to look at, but I don´t think many people in Hong Kong, a city that relatively appreciates thinness, will be able to stand eating the whole thing without secretly scrapping off part of the cream.
Like many other Hong Kong people, I have never been a fan of cream. I often try my best to avoid it. When I eat cakes, I only eat the sponge cake layer and scrap off the cream with the back of my fork. Whenever I order ice-cream, I often make the request to skip the cream. But this Saint Honore opened my eyes and woke my taste buds. The chantilly cream we made and whisked by hand for a whole 10-15 minutes, was super light, fluffy and just taste sooooo good. Our hard work really paid off. If I were at home, I would have simply used an electronic mixer. If I were to whisk that 500ml of cream by hand at home, I would have given up in just 1 minutes. So I guess sometimes I really need some people to push me, only then will I realize my own potential.
The Practical class was super intense. The Chef assigned to supervise us this time is well-known for being strict. He is nice though, I like him. But his voice was the background music, rapping out strings of instructions with a cute French accent like ´Clean your station!´, ´What is this paper towel doing here?! It is like a market here!´, ´Allez, Allez! Quick, Quick, Quick!´, ´I want to see all the baking sheets on this rack in 2 minutes!´.
This can be quite stressful I can assure you, especially when you already have super many things to do, including checking your cooking and easily-burning caramel every now and then, but you still have to clean the station and walk all the way to the other end of the room to line up and wash your gear. BUT, looking back, I understand how important it is to develop the habit of regularly cleaning and keeping the station clear of garbages and idle utensils. As the Chef always says, this is for our own good. This is afterall to protect us from accidents and em... undesirable inefficiency.