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Year 10 Cook-Along Live

Today in Food Preparation and Nutrition, 10Y had their first Cook-Along Live making Paris-Breast. This is a French choux pastry circle with a crème-pâtissier filling. The circular shape represents a bicycle wheel to mark the Paris to Brest cycle race.

The cook a-long live idea came about as during practical lessons students often ask "what is it supposed to look like?" so I (Mrs Edwards) purchased a USB camera which I hooked up to the computer and cooked along with the students so they could follow my instructions and watch what I was doing at the same time. The students were fantastic and really engaged with what they could see on the screen and what was in front of them.

Choux pastry is a high skills dish and notoriously difficult to perfect. Here is the science part, if you're interested....

When water is a liquid, the molecules join together with hydrogen bonds. When water is heated to 100*c, the hydrogen bonds gradually break and the molecules H 2 O start to break free and go into the air as steam, (water vapour). This happens because the hydrogen bonds break and the water molecules move away from each other very fast and form steam. Water vapour expands to 1,600 times its original volume, therefore an effective raising agent. For steam to be an effective raising agent, two conditions are essential. A high proportion of liquid is needed in the mixture and a high baking temperature to bring the liquid quickly to boiling point. Once all of the moisture has evaporated, the starch in the risen choux pastry will set leaving it hollow, crispy and golden brown. Although it may seem the easiest raising agent to use, it is the most complex in technique.

Lastly, if you were wondering, the yellow apron, as seen in the photos, are awarded to 1-2 students in the previous lesson - like the yellow jersey wearer in the Tour de France...there seems to be a cycling theme going on here!