She bakes at midnight

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You know you’re in the Kan household when it’s midnight, the oven is still blasting away and we’re all dozing in front of the tv, timer in hand waiting for the baking to be done. Tonight I had to finish using some leftover short crust from our first assessment on Tuesday.

For our assessment we had 5 hours to make a lemon tart and 12 profiteroles topped with caramel and filled with chantilly cream. We did lemon tarts right at the start of the course, and the profiteroles, well, if you are friends with me on Facebook you will have seen what happened to my poor profiteroles. This is how I got from the first photo to the second:

We had made St Honores that day. It is a traditional French pastry, named after the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs (yes, there is such a thing!), consisting of a puff pastry base with a ring of choux pastry round the outside, filled with creme chiboust and topped with profiteroles. It had been a long and stressful day in the kitchen. Chef had been shouting a lot and there had been some burnt caramels and some people having to start their choux pastry over again. I was heading up to the changing room, St Honore plus some eclairs made from the extra choux, and of course you only ever trip up the stairs when you’re carrying something that cannot survive a trip up the stairs. It only took a split second, then I was staring at the box sitting on its side on the stairs. And that’s how I ended up with soggy choux buns partly submerged in a sea of creme pat. But hey, it still tasted good!

So back to our assessment, everything was mostly ok, though I made a couple of errors, I didn’t quite blind bake my tart case long enough, it was only juuuuuuust cooked, and then I left my filled tart in the oven slightly too long so it began to separate from the sides of the pastry. My profiteroles were fine, just a little on the large side.

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After presenting our work we had to leave the kitchen whilst Chef examined and tasted what we had done. Kind of like the Great British Bake Off except without any glamour or Paul Hollywood or Star Baker award. Well, I passed :) as did everyone else in the class. There are more photos of our lemon tarts plated up in a modern style here.

We each made a double recipe just in case anything went wrong we would have extra to do it again and so that it how I ended up making a lemon tart and tarte aux pommel (recipe here) at midnight. Tonight’s lemon tart corrected everything I did wrong in Tuesday’s assessment, though I have now made 4 lemon tarts in the last month so I fear will not be making or eating them again for quite a while!

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