Baked Custard and Éclair Practical Exam

Day 15: Practical exam on Crème Brulée, Crème Caramel, and Éclairs filled with Pastry Cream with Fondant finish. Recipe for Chocolate Fondant.

Chocolate Fondant
1 lb Fondant
3 oz Dark Chocolate

Notes for Custard/ Éclair Practical
-The temperature of the fondant is important. It should be a max of 100 degrees; this will give it the best shine. If it is too thick, thin it out with simple syrup. Warm it over a water bath; you just want the fondant to get soft. The heat will soften it, the simple syrup will change the viscosity.
-Half recipe of Pâte à Choux, 12 mini éclairs to hand in. 3” long by 1” wide pre-baking length. You are looking for consistency of piping, texture and color of éclairs, and a smooth pastry cream.
-Half recipe of Pastry Cream, fill éclairs to hand in.
-Half recipe Crème Brulée, 6 to hand in, 2 bruléed.
-Half recipe Crème Caramel, 6 to hand in, 1 un-molded on a plate.

I was not pleased with the result of this practical. The Crème Caramel were undercooked and the caramel bottom lightened in baking; not staining the custard to a nice caramel color as it should. The Pâte à Choux was a nice dark color and was dry enough inside. I thought my pastry cream was ok, but apparently it could have been smoother. The fondant coating was too thick and not shiny enough. The Crème Brulée were nice and creamy but when torching the sugar on top, some of the custard burned. I was disappointed with the work I had to submit for grading but knew what areas I can improve on for next time.

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