It was a more leisurely start to Day 4, thankfully after the excesses of the night before. We began the day as everyone should …. with chocolate!! Our first job of the day was to prepare the dessert for the evenings meal. We already had our accompaniments made, the Sea Salt Tuille from Day 3 and the Mixed Berry Ice-Cream from Day 2, so the main task was the Chocolate Mousse with Paillete Feuilletine.
Jim explained that Paillette Feuilletine is crunchy flakes of Brittany crepes and we would use it to create a crunchy chocolate base for the mousse. Obviously, the first question off my lips, is what would we use at home? Cornflakes, he responded, and I was immediately transported back in time to when I was five and making chocolate cornflake cakes. So without further ado we combined melted chocolate some hazelnut paste (nutella) and mixed through the Paillete Feuilletine to get the right texture, before creating a base layer of this in some cooks rings. We then combined more chocolate and hazelnut paste and mixed it with whipped cream to create a mousse and spooned it onto the base to fill the rings. This was then chilled in the fridge till the evening.
The rest of the day was spent preparing the main course for the evening meal Orange and Chorizo salad with an Orange and Walnut Oil Vinaigrette. This started by learning how to do the cheffy restaurant trick of pre-preparing poached eggs and getting them so they are perfectly cooked and not a straggly mess (like mine always are!). You need the freshest eggs possible, and then use a saucer to put them imto vinagared simmering water. By cooking until slightly under-done and then submerging in cold water, you can prepare these ahead of when you want them. Just reheat in simmering water to serve. Genius!
We were so impressed that I’m sure we will use this technique back at home. We then went on to the preparing of vegetables, learning about how to prepare them so your final dish looks amazing, i.e thinking about shape and colour of the various components, and then how to cook them ahead of time. The trick is to work out how long each one takes, if any have strong flavours which will taint the water and put them in order them accordingly, and then cook in batches in boiling water.
And finally we learnt how to make a wonderful vinaigrette. We had reduced the juice of some oranges by half, then added cider vinegar, seasoning, Dijon mustard, honey and locally produced walnut oil (which we bought a tin home with us as it is so lovely!)
Then it was a simple matter of plating up the salad in true bistro style.
The vegetables were accompanied with lozonges of Chorizo, orange segments, the poached egg prepared earlier and finished off with a drizzle of vinagrette. It was very good, full of fresh and clean flavours and even hubby who is not a fan of vegetables really enjoyed it.
After devouring the main, we then headed back to the kitchen to plate up the Chocolate dessert. First was a cheffy smear of fruit puree, then delicately removing the mousse from the cooks rings before sprinking with cocoa powder and then placing on the plate, a sprinkle of the crunchy chocolate mix, a scoop of Mixed Berry Ice-cream and finishing off with the Caramel Sea-Salt Tuille.
This was pure chocolately heaven, and I thouroughly enjoyed it. Some of the sous chefs with less of a sweet tooth struggled to finish theirs, so there was my hubby willing to do his duty!! 😉
Back soon with the final day where we got to get all creative and inventive!