Diary of a Wannabe Chef: Day 9 of my Chef Diploma at Ceria Brussels
(sorry I don’t have any photos for this, I forgot to take my camera!)
I have a few posts to update you on for my course at Ceria, but I thought I would quickly jump forward to this one, since it is Shrove Tuesday today. I will post the other recipes over the next couple of weeks.
The first week after Christmas, the Chef gave a brief explanation for the starter and the main course, and then said ‘For dessert, make Crepes, and make whatever you like with it’. I don’t think Chef had quite got into the swing of things yet! But, I was on dessert, and I had just been given ‘carte blanche’ as long as it included crepes. I was happy! I went into the large fridge to see what fruits they had, and unfortunately they only had pears. So I came back through, and said that we would make Crepes with Pears, Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream. Chef looked at me, and said ‘Pear with crepes? Bleugh!’, to which one of my team members said ‘have faith in her chef’. I informed him that that was all there was in the fridge, and he personally took me through to the fridge to end up going ‘oh, you are right’. I then discovered that he didn’t really like pears and that was why he was against the idea of my dessert. However, when I served it, he liked it so much, that he ended up eating two servings, and exclaiming that I could happily sell this in a restaurant. So, if it was good enough for Chef, I also think its good enough for you – enjoy!
For the Crepes:
This makes about 4-5 crepes, depending on the size of the pan you are using, so adjust the quantities to suit the number of people you are serving.
- 4 large tablespoons of plain flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp of oil
I have been making this recipe since I was a child, so I am sorry I don’t have the exact measurements, but hopefully you will be able to tell how much milk you will need from the consistency of the batter. Sift the flour and the salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the bowl, and add the egg. Beat the egg with a fork, keeping it roughly in the centre of the bowl, and not incorporating any of the flour (I do this, to save time, and washing extra dishes, but you could beat the egg into a separate bowl first, before adding it to the bowl with flour). Using a whisk start to incorporate the flour, then slowly add milk a little at a time, beating vigorously in between, to ensure that everything is incorporated and there are no lumps. Check the consistency of the batter, you want it to be a nice pouring cream consistency. Add a tablespoon of oil, and it is ready to be used. You can keep it covered in the fridge for when you are ready to make them.
Heat a frying pan until it is very hot – for best results use a Crepe Pan. Add some oil, and ensure that the oil covers the whole area of the pan. If there is any excess oil pour this out into a cup, and keep to the side. You can keep using this oil, to re-oil the pan, in between making the crepes. Pour a small amount of the batter into the pan, and carefully swirl the pan around, to get the batter all over the pan. Leave it to cook for a minute or so, you will know when it is ready to turn over, when it has changed colour, and it starts to look dry. Carefully turn the crepe over, and cook for another minute or so on that side. Both sides should be a nice light brown colour. You can keep these, on a hot plate wrapped in a clean dishtowel in a low oven, until you are ready to serve. Repeat this, until you have used up all the batter.
If the first Crepe that you make is a little thick, whisk in a little more milk to the batter.
For the Pears:
- 3 Pears
- 1 large tbsp Caster Sugar
- 1 Star Anise
Peel, core and chop the pears. Place them in a pan with the sugar, a little water (about a tablespoon), and a star anise (this will help give it a little flavour). Leave to simmer until the juices have reduced and it becomes a puree.
For the Chocolate Sauce:
- 100g Dark Chocolate
- 80ml Cream
The amount of chocolate you use will depend on the number of people you are serving. Break the chocolate up into small squares, and place into a bowl. Place the bowl over a simmering pan of water, making sure that the bowl does not touch the water. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring it frequently (Stirring the chocolate while it melts helps to stimulate the crystals within the chocolate, ensuring that it is evenly melted). Once the chocolate has melted stir in about the same amount of cream that you added for the chocolate, until you have a chocolate sauce which is of pouring consistency.
For the Vanilla Ice Cream:
- 14 egg yolks (14 egg yolks if using small eggs, 12 egg yolks if using large eggs)
- 250 g caster sugar
- 1 litre of Milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- ½ litre of cream
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until they are pale. Cut open the vanilla pod. In a pan, add the milk and the vanilla pod. Slowly bring the milk up to the boil. Once it has just come to boil, take the milk off the heat, and slowly add it, stirring all the time to the egg and sugar mixture. Once it has been well incorporated, pour it back into the pan. Place the pan over a gentle heat, stirring all the time, and continue to cook, until it reaches 82C. If you do not have a thermometer to check this, you will know when it is ready, as all the froth will have disappeared, and you will have more of a custard consistency. Take off the heat, and cool completely. To quicken this process, place the pan into a bowl of ice (making sure that none of the water gets into the mixture). Once cooled add the cream. Adding the cream at this point will ensure you get a smoother ice cream. Pour the ice-cream into your ice-cream maker, and leave it. The length of time it will need in the ice-cream machine will depend on the machine. Once ready, place it into a tub, and keep in the freezer.
Place a crepe onto the plate, and fill it with the Pear Puree. Fold the crepe, and spoon over some Chocolate Sauce. On the side place a ball of Vanilla Ice Cream. Serve, and enjoy!