Pork, potatoes and a passionfruit pudding

Passionfruit is one of my favourite fruits so I’m looking forward to making the bavarois today.  It’s a classic dessert from the repertoire of 19th century chef Marie-Antoine Careme  and is a mixture of a custard and flavouring, gelatine and whipped cream.  There are some tricky things to watch out for.  If the custard goes … Continue reading

A big lesson to start the week

Chef Paul tells us there’s a lot to get through.  It’s a big lesson alright: French onion soup, gnocchi with pesto, and a cold chocolate souffle with coffee Anglaise.  He says we need to allow about an hour for each course.  The soup is all about getting the right intensity of flavour; too much reduction … Continue reading

The Joys of Pasta

I reckon I’m finally getting the hang of the seasoning thing.  I have been trying to really taste the food and analyse the flavours rather then just hoover it down which is my natural instinct.  You know when you go a restaurant and the food is amazingly good and you wish you could replicate it?  … Continue reading

Genoise Sponge and Chocolate Pudd

After the hectic pace of the last few weeks, a cake and a pudding look like a doddle.  Sure, it’s a Genoise Sponge that looks like something in the window of a patisserie and the pudding has to spew molten chocolate from a perfectly formed outer crust, but compared to other lessons not too much … Continue reading

A complete meal to finish school for the week

Even though I feel dead on my feet, I am looking forward to class.  We’ll be filling the vol-au-vent cases with lamb ragout, making a marinated goat’s cheese salad and using the brioche we made yesterday to make a creamy bread and butter pudding and serving it with an orange and tamarillo compote. Once the … Continue reading

A lamb dish to die for

I get into school early knowing that there is no overnight miracle that will have turned my puff pastry into anything remotely close to being useable.  Chef Paul knows as well.  He takes me into the prep kitchen where he has started a new batch for me.  What can I say?  I get my own … Continue reading

Puff pastry, pistou and prunes

Class starts at 3pm so it’s going to be a late night with puff pastry, soup and a tart to get through.  I need to incorporate 750 grams of butter into a kilo of flour for the puff pastry.   There are ten vegies to prepare for the pistou soup plus the pistou itself to make … Continue reading

Pastry swans or in my case ducks

You don’t need to go to the gym if you’re making choux pastry – that is provided you don’t eat the end result.  It’s a serious work out when you do it the Cordon Bleu way, which is by hand, beating in six eggs one at a time until you get a glossy pastry.   Having … Continue reading


I’m not mad on mussels.  I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but honestly, they are really ugly.  And you’ve got to remove a beard before you cook them.  I have never cooked them or eaten them in a restaurant so I’ll be stepping a little out of my comfort zone when … Continue reading