Three people cut their fingers; one person never showed up; one girl lost her wedding ring (later found); another thought she’d lost her mind when she couldn’t find her things in the locker after class (she used the wrong locker and the rightful owner of the locker turned her things in to the administrator); many people locked themselves out of their own lockers (myself included, twice. LCB has a really stupid locker system). Yup, that about sums up my first practical session at Le Cordon Bleu. Eventful, huh!
So what did we make? Fruit salad (to practice cutting fruits the correct way) and Flan au Caramel (aka pudding).
The first lesson wasn’t too bad because the subjects were relatively simple. Besides the salad and pudding, the teacher also demonstrated how to make crème brulee. The fruit salad was really nice due in large part to the quarter of a vanilla bean that was thrown into the mixture. The pudding was the creamiest and most flavorful I’ve ever had. Granted, I don’t usually order the humble flan au caramel in restaurants so I only have the convenient store variety as a yardstick, but I’m still pretty sure it was good. I have mixed feelings about the crème brulee, however. On the one hand, the full-on vanilla flavor was heavenly (can you see the vanilla seeds swimming on top?); but on the other hand, I felt that the texture was not as creamy as the one I made the more scientific way. (LCB does not believe in giving baking time so everything is done by eye-balling, without even a timer! I find this very hard to get used to.)
I hate to sound like a wimp but I was EXHAUSTED after a full day of class (3 hours practical plus 3 hours lecture). Interestingly it wasn’t the practical session that tired me out, it was all that Japanese thrown at me during lecture that gave me a huge headache. It felt exactly like the first week at work: brain overload. The problem is that I have to listen to the lecture in Japanese and take notes in English at the same time. Maybe I will go for the test for simultaneous interpretation after I’m done with LCB, but for now it’s taking every bit of energy and concentration I have in me. It’s still fun though, and I can’t wait till my next practical, where we make classic apple tart. It’s a beauty to behold. I hope mine turns out pretty.