La Petite Finale

Macarons

All good things must come to an end and my time at ENSP was no different.  Our last week of the program was spent creating a winter buffet of petit fours for our graduation ceremony.

French petits fours are essentially little cakes, cookies or tarts; both sucre (sweet) and sale (savory). We spent the bulk of the week making little tarts, classic French cookies and cute versions of recipes we already knew; but the most challenging part of the week was learning to make French macarons.

Here are some highlights from petite fours sucres et sales (sweet and savory) week:

FinanciersFinanciers. These moist little cakes made from crushed almonds and brown butter are a Parisian specialty, said to get their name from their popularity in the financial district.

Financiers with Pistachio Cream and Chocolate DisksWe dressed these financiers up with pistachio cream and little chocolate coins.

Sable Breton avec creme citron et framboisesSable Breton avec creme citron et framboises (shortbread with lemon cream and raspberries).

Cake Comte et ChorizoThe sale (savory) cakes were my personal favorite. We made several, including olive gruyere and the crowd pleasing comte chorizo. As pint sized bites, they make the perfect party treat.

CappuccinoFor Le Cappucino, we cut out little squares of gingery speculos cookies, topped with cappuccino mousse and a little triangle of nougatine.

Sable Orange MeringueOrange Sable Meringue. For these tiny little confections, we used a orange scented shortbread round, topped with frozen molded lemon cream and topping with a torched piping of meringue.

Tartlette Courgettes a la Menthe et FetaPreparing Tartlette courgettes a la menthe et feta (zucchini tartlettes with mint and feta).

Tartlette Couragettes a la Menthe et FetaZucchini tartlettes fresh from the oven. These can be made well in advance and reheated, another great party treat.

Chocolate dipped Batons MarechauxChocolate dipped batons marechaux (almond cookies)

Cake Roquefort-NoixCake Roquefort et Noix (Blue cheese, hazelnut cakes) headed into the oven.

Tarte Ratatoiulle Tarte Ratatoiulle with crumble coming straight out of the oven.

Piped MacaronsPiped macarons. It takes a LOT of practice to pipe macarons the same size. I still have a ways to go!

Overcooked MacaronBaking macarons takes a lot of experimentation with your oven. I left the oven fan on high for my first batch, causing my macarons to fly all over the oven and overbake. This is the perfect example of how NOT to bake macarons.

MacaronsA rainbow of perfectly baked macarons. What a high note to end my time at ENSP on.

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