From London to Paris and a French pastry class!
The second part of our anniversary trip was just a special as the first.
These are Eurostar trains. One like it took us from London, St. Pancras Station to Paris terminating at Gare du Nord. This high-speed railway service with trains which run at up to 300 kilometres per hour (186 mph) on a network of high-speed lines traverses the Channel Tunnel between the United Kingdom and France.
Leaving in the wee hours of the morning, the Eurostar transported us from London to Paris in about 3 hours, traveling in a tube through the English Channel. A new time, a different currency, a different language and a new country!
Finding our way from the Gard de Nord station to our hotel was challenging but we made it. Then to pick up our Paris Pass it was off to the La Cuisine Paris for a cooking class.
Our instructor, pastry Chef, Frances, kept us busy during the three-hour class, teaching and demonstrating each step and overseeing our progress. We made four French desserts including Madeleines, Crème Brûlée, Baba au Rhum Chantilly and Mini Tartelette aux Pralines Roses providing us with plenty to eat at the end of the class and a box to take home.
This was a very fun experience with a friendly and helpful staff and I recommend it, should you have a chance to visit Paris. I did not receive compensation for my thoughts, just want to share a great experience. They offer many different classes too!
La Cuisine address: 80 Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004, Paris
I have already made Crème Brûlée twice and thought I'd show you how you can make it too.
Only four ingredients are needed to make Crème Brûlée.
Preheat oven to 225 Degrees Fahrenheit.
Begin by placing ramekins onto a shallow pan.
Cut a vanilla bean down the center and, using the point of a knife, scoop out the seeds.
Separate egg yolks.
Measure sugar. I used a scale to weigh 60 grams of sugar. It measured a heaping 1/4 cup.
Combine the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl. One with a spout helps when it's time to pour into the ramekins.
Whisk together and set aside.
Pour the cream into a pan and add the vanilla seeds.
Heat the cream and vanilla beans over medium heat until it begins simmering around the edges; remove from heat.
Now comes the only part when you need to take care. But, don't worry, it isn't hard.
I don't have photos because my hands were full pouring and whisking.
You want to pour the hot cream into the egg and sugar mixture very slowly, just a little at a time, whisking so that your don't cook the egg but have a smooth cream when finished.
Pour the mixture into the ramekins, stirring each time to evenly distribute the vanilla seeds that want to settle on the bottom.
ready to go into the oven
NOTE: in class we baked at 100 degree C. That converts to 212 F. But even at the slightly higher temperature, I needed to bake for a longer time. Baking time does depend on the size of the ramekin and how full it is. Some recipes suggest baking in a water bath but it isn't necessary with this recipe.
Bake until the centers are almost set and still just a little bit jiggly.The time will vary depending on the size. This time I used bigger ramekins because my family complained one smaller dish wasn't enough.
Allow the Crème Brûlée to cool and place in refrigerator..
When ready to serve, sprinkle top with sugar. Using a small torch, melt the sugar and caramelize.
Hard and crackly topping with a smooth and creamy center.
Pretty good, I'd say.
source La Cuisine Paris
(makes about 6 big or 12 small)
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
60 g sugar (about a heaping 1/4-cup)
6 egg yolks
1/2 vanilla bean
Preheat oven to 225 F
Measure the cream into a saucepan. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds out and combine with the cream. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar; whisk together.
Slowly pour the cream into the egg mixture, just a little at a time, whisking the two together.
Pour into ramekins that are on a baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the centers are soft set. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place in refrigerator.
At serving time, sprinkle the tops with a thin layer of sugar. Using a small torch, melt and caramelize the sugar.