Saturday, July 11, 2015

Savour - Petite Gateau Class (Melbourne)

I spent a pretty large proportion of my time last year baking quite avidly. Cupcakes, macarons, cakes, bread, failed cakes, failed macarons, more failed cake attempts... you know the drill. Ever since moving out to Kingaroy and starting work, I also (finally) began to watch MasterChef. It was on one of these episodes where I first heard and found out about Kirsten Tibballs, a pastry chef who presented one of her entremets 'Eve' to the contestants in either a master class or a pressure test (I can't remember which).

I was pretty blown away by the complexity of the challenge (you can read the recipe here) and noticed that she had the Savour logo on her uniform. 
Kirsten Tibballs in the Master Chef kitchen with her cake 'Eve'
After some quick googling, I found out that Savour was actually a chocolate and patisserie school that offered an array of very professional looking classes! By that, I'm talking about using those $100 silicon moulds you see on masterchef, blast chillers, spray guns for chocolate, mountains of chocolates for tempering etc. Unable to contain my excitement, I told a close friend about how I would really love to do a class at Savour some day. The main thing stopping me was the costly price tag on these classes (a day class was about $260, or a 2 day course for $500). I even thought the school was just in Brisbane (how convenient right?).

So some time later, this said close friend I spoke to surprised me with a gift voucher for a cooking class that was contributed to from a few friends! THERE'S NOTHING STOPPING ME NOWWWW!!!!...right?


When I looked once again at the website to pick a date, it suddenly dawned upon me that it was in Brunswick VIC and not Brunswick Street QLD. Genius as usual... What else to do but plan a Melbourne trip this year with mum and do the class while I was there, right?

So after months of anticipation, I was finally here sitting in the Savour meeting room with this baby in front of me, excited out of my wits!

It was the best ever class. The class I went for was the Petit Gateau class, which basically means 'small cake' in French. These are the pretty little mousse based cakes you might get at a patisserie or at a fancy buffet.

They got us straight into things by splitting us into groups of 4, working together to measure out the ingredients of the multiple elements in each dessert. Cream by the litres... YUmMMm...

I just loved the fact that I was in a commercial kitchen, with all this massive equipment and fancy ingredients left, right and centre. I managed to snap a few photos through the day when I remembered  while I tried to stop myself from grinning ear to ear non-stop.
This is the said silicon mould that costs about a hundred, and that funnel dispenser contraption that costs twice as much

More than half of the attendees were actually professional bakers or pastry chefs who were there on professional development! So I must say that while there is a lot of guidance and information provided during the class to help you through and minimise failure, it would be easy to make mistakes if you weren't surrounded by members in your team that were professional. There were many times I was just happy to watch one of my team members who was a Malaysian girl who had been working as a pastry chef for about 4 years.
Our main teacher for the day.

We worked together to make three different petit gateaus, each dessert having at least 5 elements to prepare. I must admit, it started to feel a little like a MasterChef pressure test right before lunch because we were running a bit behind time.
And THIS is what you use to spray a chocolate coating all over a cake. Straight from Bunnings
 Enough boing technical information. I was surprised how much this class just invigorated and reignited that little flame of wanting to learn something. Over these months I've been feeling a bit dispassionate towards a lot of things, but that's for another blog entry.
How do you transfer mousse cakes onto their cardboard bases without touching and messing up the sides?
 Toothpicks of course!

That plastic funnel is a cheaper cousin of the metal one in the photo above. It's apparently $50 or something. This was a chestnut and passionfruit mousse 

Shiny balllsssss...... White chocolate mousse with mandarin cremeux 
We each brought home 13 of the cakes we created. SCOREEEEE
Right now it seems that working as a pastry chef may be a very valid retirement plan :P

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