How to make a ……. ? In patisserie.

Paris-BrestDid Chef ask you to make a Pâte à Bombe today? Are you confused when the recipe says make a Parfait? If your level of French today is what mine was a year ago then you’ve understood Chef asking you to make a Dough Bomb and a Perfect. Perfect what? And if you are new to French pastry then it’s even more confusing.

The language of a French pastry lab is introduced during the Ferrandi program via the recipe book we receive. Recipes are written in English, however the professional titles of the recipes remain in French. And when I say recipes, I don’t just refer to the finished cake, I refer to the recipes within the recipe.

Here are some recipes names (within recipes) you should know off by heart and more importantly practice making:

THE CREAMS (CREMES)  or for cream preparations-

Pommade? Normally referred to a beurre pommade. It’s softened butter. Keep it out of the fridge for more than half an hour and then mixed with an electric beater or hand whisk.

Crème au beurre? Butter cream is sugar and water cooked to 121C and slowly poured over beating egg yolks (sometimes it’s eggs + egg yolks). Then a softened butter pommade is incorporated. You continue beating until you have a volume.

Sirop 1260? It’s sugar syrup that’s 50% sugar and 50% water melted together to make a clear syrup. Many times the recipe will just ask you to make a syrup and it’s not necessarily 50/50 ratio.

Syrup 1260, 120g (60g of sugar to 60g of water) melted over the stove. 

Pâte à Bombe? (also referred to as Sabayon) egg yolks and syrup. While beating eggs yolks in an electric mixer you pour the hot syrup in a thin stream onto the egg yolks (down the side of the bowl). Pouring down the side of the bowl prevents a thermic shock to the eggs. The eggs will become frothy (after 4-5 mins – touch the bowl it should have cooled down). A recipe may require you to add melted chocolate or a fruit puree. However, there is another way of doing Pâte à Bombe and that’s over the stove in a double boiler, syrup already made and you whisk the eggs together with the syrup, then you transfer to an electric mixer to cool down the mixture.

Crème Mousseline: Pastry cream (crème patissiere) and butter cream (crème au beurre ou beurre pommade).

Bavarois:  Crème anglaise and whipped cream.

Chiboust (crème Saint-Honoré): Crème pâtissière and meringue italieene. Traditionally used for the French dessert, Saint-Honoré and Soleil Indien.

Crémeux: Is a crème anglaise preparation with softened butter added when the preparation has cooled down to say around 45C. The recipe may ask you to make for example, Cremeux Citron for a lemon tart.

Crème Diplomate (mille-feuille cream): Crème pâtissière and crème fouettée (whipped cream).

Parfait: It’s made of a Pâte à Bombe plus whipped cream. Usually a parfum (an alcohol) is added, some examples Amaretto, Grand Marnier, limoncello.

Sabayon: egg yolks and sugar whisked at high speed to form a cream texture. Usually an alcohol is added. It’s also used for Tiramisu recipes.

Tant pour Tant? 50% almond and 50% icing sugar. It can even be 3 ingredients, again all in equal amounts.

BISCUIT SPONGES – the bases of cakes

Genoise: A sponge cake made of eggs, granulated sugar, sifted flour and butter is optional.

Joconde: Like a Genoise but with added almond powder and icing sugar. We remember it as an “almond based” sponge. We have joconde recipes with added pistachio paste or cocoa powder for entremets, and even adding colouring for our sorbet/ice-cream cakes.

Pain de Gene: It constitutes the ingredient Pate d’amande (almonde paste) (50%) or (70%)  – In Australia I know it as Marzipan. G.Detou in Paris sells 50% concentration, supermarkets sell it at 30% concentration and if you want 70% that’s just available to professionals. I’ve used 50% and my pain de gene turn out beautiful.

Dacquoise: It’s a sponge made of French meringue and almond powder.

Sable: Sable means sandy. A sandy biscuit. It can be the base of a tart or entrement.

Ganache: Consists of cream and/or butter.

Craquelin (or la pâte a crumble): It’s cassonade sugar, flour and butter. It’s translation is cracking. One use is to put over choux for crunchiness.

Imbibage: is a coating for the sponge cake (genoise, joconde, pain de gene) to make it moist and add taste. An imbibage can be made of syrup and an alcohol, or flavouring. For example, the Italian dessert Tiramisu, the biscuits are “imbibe” in coffee and a coffee alcohol. The biscuits soak these liquids up.


Now, let’s have a look at an example of how we would read a French recipe:

To make the famous French classic, Paris-Brest, you need to make the following recipes: La pate a choux, le craquelin (also known as la pate a crumble) et la creme mousseline. You’d think you are making 3 recipes but in fact we know for a creme mousseline we first need to make a creme patissiere and then a creme au beurre and together they make up our creme mousseline.

Graduation et Merci


Les comrades.

What a dynamic and talented group. I believe that every student graduate in this photo is going to have an amazing future because each one of them has strong desires, passions, love, energy, friendships, kindness, eagerness, willingness, and strength. I can’t wait to see where we all are in 10 years. Good luck to Group A, class of February – July 2013. You’re awesome!

The Chef and I.

Chef and I

I imagine it’s not easy to teach a class mixed with so many different nationalities, experiences, ages and personalities year after year. His humour I imagine keeps Chef somewhat sane for the most part (and perhaps some good French wine) and us students more calm. “Don’t take things so seriously Pirisi, its okay, CA VA” is about what he said to me on my first week when I cried over my pate feuilletee not able to work out what a bloody ‘TURN’ was or “TOUR”. So panicked by my lack of ability to perform perfection on my first week my Chef managed to calm me and put a little perspective with some humour.

Somehow I’ve retained all the info and techniques he’s taught me and I continue to practice them always trying to achieve that level of perfection. Simply the way of holding a palatte when doing glacage or keeping my workbench organised or even my posture as I work, these little things stay with you. So from the Aussie gal who’s going to make it as a French patissiere in France, Merci to you my Chef Didier Averty and of course to my comrades. Mwah! xxx

Miss Pirisi

Chocolate Egg Sculptures

The goal of this project is to use a chocolate egg in a sculpture but it not be an egg, it must have only the egg form. Showing off our chocolate tempering skills is also part of it.

Here are the chocolate egg sculptures created by Ferrandi Pastry students of class Anglo A, 2013.


My bird by Saba


My bird by Saba.


Pinocchio by Junella


Pinocchio by Junella


Pinocchio by Junella.


Princess Peacock by Elena


Princess Peacock by Elena.


Princess Peacock by Elena


The Golden Bee Hive by Emily


The Golden Bee Hive by Emily.


The Golden Bee Hive by Emily


Teacup & Poems by Christine


Teacup & Poems by Christine

Tea cup & Poems by Christine.

Tea cup & Poems by Christine.


The Arena by Arshiya


The Arena by Arshiya


The Arena by Arshiya.


Liberty by Debbie


Liberty by Debbie


Liberty by Debbie.


Nemo & friends by Tim


Nemo & friends by Tim


The Three Little Pigs by miss pirisi.


The Three Little Pigs by miss pirisi.

The Three Little Pigs by miss pirisi.

The Three Little Pigs by miss pirisi.


Mother & Child by Kabrina


Mother & Child by Kabrina


Mother & Child by Kabrina

The Emperor's Egg by Jacek.

The Emperor’s Egg by Jacek.

Rocky Mountain by Tao.

Rocky Mountain by Tao.


Pearls, Moon & Butterflies by Nicole.

after the rain

After The Rain by Nicole.

Congratulations to all students.

What’s in the final practical exam?

The International Pastry students of FERRANDI have been graded throughout the 5 months but on Monday, 17 June there is one more exam, the FINAL.

Contrôle examen – Vendredi 14 et Lundi 17 Juin 2013

Faire une pâte à foncer avec 250g de farine (link: recipe)
Faire une tarte aux pommes de 22cm de diamètre
Présenter la tarte et le fond sur un rond entremets
Présenter un fonçage vide 20cm de diamètre
Faire un quart de pâte à choux
Faire un demi-litre de crème pâtissière au café
Garnir 4 éclairs et 4 religieuses (link: eclair recipe)
Glacer au fondant présentation en caissette

Les cuissons sont assurées par le professeur sous contrôle du candidat
La crème au beurre est en mise en place
Temps imparti 4h15 presentation comprise

Progression examen – Lundi 17 Juin 2013
Group 1 :

Pâte à choux (link: recipe)
Cuisson pâte à choux
Crème pâtissière (link: recipe)
Fonçage tarte aux pommes
Garniture tarte aux pommes
Cuisson tarte aux pommes
Garniture pâte à choux
Glaçage pâte à choux
Nappage tarte aux pommes
Finition nettoyage

Progression examen – Lundi 17 Juin 2013
Group 2 :

Fonçage tarte aux pommes
Garniture tarte aux pommes
Pâte à choux (link: recipe)
Cuisson pâte à choux
Crème pâtissière (link: recipe)
Garniture pâte à choux
Glaçage pâte à choux
Nappage tarte aux pommes

Note: For all other French pastry techniques we have been marked throughout the course.


We’re plating desserts

Each student has their own plated dessert to make.


Aumonieres aux Pommes by Nicole & Debbie.


Crepes Soufflees by Debbie


Australian Pavlova by Elena


Fondant Chocolat Framboise by Tim


‘Ispahan’ Macaron Framboise Letchis a la rose by Arshiya.


Carpaccio d’ananas and Lime (or Citron) Sorbet by Jacek.


Marmites Lutees Exotiques by Saba.


Riz a l’imperatrice (family size)


Petits pots de creme


Ile Flottante


Creme Caramel (family size)


Creme Brulee


Mousse au Chocolat (3 versions)


Rice pudding with fruits




Sorbets & Ice-cream


Coccinelle (Ladybug)


Coccinelle (Ladybug)


Macaron rond et long glace/sorbet (Macarons round and long ice-cream/sorbet)


Macaron rond et long glace/sorbet (Macarons round and long ice-cream/sorbet)


Oranges et Citrons Givres (Oranges and Lemons iced)


Ananas givre royal (Pineapple iced royal)


Panier en Nougatine (Nougatine basket)




Le 26


Cassate Pistache


Fraicher d’ete (Fresh of summer)