Here we go! I plan to get photos of all individual tarts and pastries by the time I'm done here, so here are my first offerings...
tarte aux fraises
The strawberry tart has a sucree shell (sweet pastry dough), pastry cream, strawberries, a sprinkling of pistachio and enough nappage to sink a ship. Nappage is a jam-like glaze that is used on fruit tarts to help preserve the fruit's freshness. It's basically a sugar shellac. And boy do the French love it. I've been instructed to really lay it on thick---so thick that the strawberry tart has to be put in a special paper cup because it's too gooey to handle. Here's a closeup for you...
I think a small amount of nappage definitely gives a tart that finished, professionally-made look, but this much seems gross to me. Side note, the strawberries here are amazing. They are grown in the area and taste as fresh as they look. I picked these up at Les Halles, the central market in town.
le chocolat royal
The chocolate royal has almond succes, a thin, floursess cake, on the bottom, praline feuillantine, chocolate mousse, chocolate genoise and chocolate chiboust, a type of pastry cream lightened with Italian meringue. The top is bruleed with a sugar mixture that I haven't figured out yet. It's good, though I'm not a fan of the genoise. I generally think genoise is dry and tastless. The praline feuillantine and choco mousse combo is awesome, though.
...and in other news
I went with Chef Friday night to help with a charity dinner. Chef brought the dessert: small parfaits of mango sorbet, meringue crumble, passion fruit sorbet, passion fruit seeds, whipped cream and more meringue crumble on top. Plating them was an adventure because the event was for 300 people. Every one there, even the waiters, helped put the plates together. I also got to help plate the main meal which included a prosciutto-wrapped halibut and lamb with a cherry sauce, both of which were extremely rich-tasting.