Final countdown

‘Final Countdown’ was first published on,  February 22, 2015

Last week at ENSP we had our ‘mock exam’ in preparation for our final exam in March. It was a very intense seven and a half hours. I don’t know I managed to finish everything with five minutes to spare and I can’t believe that I have to repeat it again in a few weeks!

It’s hard to believe that the time has gone by so quickly, but in three weeks I will be finishing the school part of my pâtisserie training and going back home to Lyon to start my internship. I think it’s fair to say that I cannot wait. The last several months have been…interesting. Somewhat of a social experiment which is now coming to an end. I’ve learnt a lot about myself and other people, but most importantly, pâtisserie.

Since I last updated properly we’ve covered so many things in class! Too many things to remember…I’m drowning in information over-load! We’ve covered:

  • Modern Entremets—layers of glaze, mousse, crunch and biscuit.
  • Bread Basics—There was a lot of bread…a lot…and many croissants.
  • Wedding Cake Basics—hideous sculpture, but lots of practice with making roses.
  • Plated Desserts—deliciousness on plates and the first try at pulling sugar.
  • Chocolate Bonbons and Chocolate Montage—started badly with a melt down over melted chocolate, but ended with a masterpiece.
  • Mixed Skills with different tarts and pastries—Tarte Tartin yay!
  • Sugar week with modern Croquembouche and pulled sugar—epic burns from falling balls of choux covered in boiling caramel.
  • Culinary Design—we worked on our own project. For me I took a famous Aussie cake and French-ified it!
  • Individual cakes and tarts—three groups, 15 cakes, plus seven cakes of our own designs.
  • More mixed skills—Paris-Montaigne, like the Paris-Brest, looks like hills instead of a wheel…
  • MOCK EXAM—stressful, hand-shaking, bad chocolate writing, good éclairs, ‘lost’ entremets in the freezer, chocolate tempered first go…actually finished on time.


All of this has been happening with a back-drop of freezing temperatures and snow. Being from an extremely dry part of Australia, snow is still a bit of a novelty, but I think I’ve had enough now! Luckily for the rest of the course we have evening classes, so no more 5:30am trudging through the snow to school….Oh, the stories I will have to tell the grand-kids!

Modern Entremets

Bread Basics

Wedding Cake Basics

Plated Desserts

Chocolate Bonbons and Montage


Culinary Design

Individual Cakes and Tarts