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Danish

30 May

It has been a while which I posted. School is over and work is done. I am relaxing these days getting over a nasty cold. The weather was gorgeous over the past week that I went out to bask in the warmth of it. Now with some free time I decided to blog again.

I have been taking a baking course called Basics 8 at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. My intention was to home in my skills with tips from the instructors there. Indeed, I did get some tips. On the second week we made danishes. Danishes were quite similar to croissants in which it is a laminated yeast dough but richer as it contains eggs and sugar. They are time consuming to make but well worth the effort.

Keys to Laminating the dough:
-make sure the beurrage is pliable and at the same consistency with the detrempe
-3 turns is optimal
-Resting the dough for 1 hour in the fridge between turns or 30 minutes in the freezer. This allows the gluten to relax
-once shaped allow to relax again prior to proofing, 45-1 hour
-proof at 84F in the oven
-preheat the oven to the 400F to 425F this allows butter to melt creating steam and puff up the dough
-create steam when placing the danishes in the oven by spraying water on the bottom of the heated oven



Danish

Detrempe
650 g all purpose flour
80 g sugar
13 g salt
40 g fresh yeast
20 g butter
345 g milk, cold
70 g eggs

Beurrage
310 g butter soft
25 g flour

Pastry Cream
500 ml whole milk
120 g egg yolk
100 g sugar
2.5 g salt
30 g cornstarch
4 g vanilla extract

Result: When baked you do see layers in the danishes. Resting was crucial in laminating the dough. The baked product was nice, light and buttery and perfectly paired with pastry cream.

Caramel Eclairs-Christophe Adam

25 Apr

It’s Spring again….my time flies. Easter was just last week and I had made chocolate bunnies and eggs as gifts. There is something beautiful about Spring as the birds are chirping again and the trees and flowers are in full bloom. It is the time of year were signs of life is emerging again after a dreary winter. While it has been a month, I finally decided to add to my blog.

I have always been a fan of Parisian pastries in particular eclairs. I recently bought a beautiful book by Christophe Adam, L’Eclair Genie. He is known for his creative and beautiful eclairs. The book was quite well done as each page there photographs and step by step instructions. As I flip through the pages filled with gorgeous eclairs, I stopped at the caramel eclairs.

Caramel Cream
3/4 tsp unflavoured gelatin powder
2 1/2 tsp cold water
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
9 tbsp granulated sugar
8 oz marscapone cheese

Choux Pastry
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup whole milk
1 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp salt
295 ml flour
5 large eggs

Result: It was very creamy and the caramel was not over powering. I will surely do another one of his recipes.

Holiday Cake Project II: Gateau St. Honore

4 Jan

Nothing says winter quite like being snowed in and resting up wih a nice cup of milk tea while watching the snow come down. Yes it is New Years Eve. Ha ha you might wonder why it took longer to write this. I’ve got no answer except been busy baking. As the holidays are coming to an end, I decided to add in a couple of baking projects with the first being a Gateau St. Honore. With a batch of freshly made puff pastry dough in the fridge, I decided to revisit this classic.

To make the base I used inverted puff pastry. The dough was rolled out, circle and placed in the fridge to rest. By resting, the dough relaxes. While the dough is resting I made the choux paste. When that was done I piped it over the puff pastry. I also made smaller choux puffs to decorate the gateau with.

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I baked it at 385 for 30-35 minutes.

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Once the puff pastry/choux paste base had baked, I proceeded to make the pastry cream. When done, I cooled the pastry cream and spread it one the gateau. I made a dry caramel. The caramel was ready when it reached a golden amber colour. The little choux were then dipped into the hot caramel. Once the caramel has hardened, pastry cream was piped into the choux and then dipped into the caramel again to stick on the gateau. Lastly, I whipped up some whipped cream and pipped in on pastry cream.

Voila

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Recipes:
Pate a Choux

All purpose flour ( I used bread flour) 175 g
Granuated Sugar 33 g
Water 240 g
Unsalted Butter 120 g
Salt 2.5 g
Egg 250 g

Inverted Puff Pastry

340 g bread flour
220 ml Water
10 g butter

6 g Salt
450 g Butter
150 Bread Flour

Pastry Creme: Vanilla
500 ml Milk
100 g Sugar
40 g Corn Starch
2 piece Egg Yolks
.5 piece Vanilla.

Result: Stunning. This cake has the flakiness from the puff pastry as well as the softness from the cream puff. It is creamy and fragrant. While it is time consuming to make the results are well worth it.

Holiday Cake Project-Mont Blanc-Angelina (Paris) Version

27 Dec

Key in making the chestnut puree:
1. Boil in chestnuts in water (milk) till tender aprrox 30 minutes. Sometimes, it will require more liquid depending on the size of the chestnuts.
2. Food process until you can pipe it and it will maintain its shape. Add the sugar syrup while processing.

Ingredients:

1.4 kg chestnuts ( I used 700 g chestnuts)
175 ml water ( I used milk)
1 vanilla bean ( I used 2 vanilla beans)
65 ml sugar

Result: Excellent version of chestnut puree. It was subtle and sweet and had a vanilla flavour. As an option I would add rum into the mixture. This recipe is a keeper.

Pierre Herme-Truffles au Chocolat au Lait et The Vert Matcha

3 Dec

Christmas is around the corner. The city gets prettier and prettier each coming year with Christmas decorations around every corner and in every department store there is Christmas songs playing. Christmas would not be Christmas without snow and we are blessed as snow is on the mountains.

It has been almost 4 months without posting and now is the time as never to post as it is Christmas time!!! I have been busy with work and school and now that I have finished my final mid-term I am free till the final exam. I recently bought a book, “Chocolate,” from my favourite pastry chef Pierre Herme and flipping through its mouth watering pages I stopped at some of his chocolate recipes. I have always loved the taste of pistachio and matcha but am curious how they would work together. IMHO, Pierre Herme used the flavour combination so it can’t be so bad heheheh. Off I went to make the recipe.

To make the ganache, I first measured the ingredients. Herme mentioned to combine the chocolate together with the matcha and then pour the hot cream on it the mixture; however, how will that melt (for lack of better word) the matcha? You would get granules of matcha. Instead, I combined the cream together with the matcha and heated it up. Once heated up pour onto the chocolate and whisk out from the middle. Cool and set the mixture when it is homogenized.

Pierre Hermes truffles called for roasted pistachios thankfully I had some in the fridge. The ganache was quite soft hence after I scooped it out I froze them for a firmer texture to be rolled into chocolate. Once they were more firm, they were rolled in melted chocolate twice and on the third time coated with roasted pistachios.

Viola

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Ingredients:

200 g whole pistachios skinned

Milk Chocolate and Matcha Green Tea Ganache
95 g butter
610 g milk chocolate 45% cocoa ( I used Valhrona Jivara)
30 g matcha green tea power
600 g cream

Result: This is an interesting combination. The ganache is not that sweet and has a hint of bitterness. However when combined with the enrobbed chocolate it becomes sweet. To top it off one get the roasted pistachios flavouring with the matcha. I would suggest this recipe for matcha lovers.

Let the holiday baking begin.

Traveling to the Wine Country

22 Sep

I have not been writing in a while as I have been too busy with work and school; however recently we went on a mini excursion to the Okanagan during Labour day weekend. I have not traveled for a while so this was a treat for me.

When traveling I find that I am at peace with myself as it allows me to recuperate from any stressful events in my life. It enables me to grow, reflect,reminisce and find back myself which sometimes I loose in the city life. I can’t think of a better place to go and visit.

The Okanagan was very scenic and picturesque in its own right. In comparison to Vancouver, it was much less commercialized and has maintained much of its natural beauty. Surrounded by glistening lakes, one can enjoy a quiet stroll underneath the clear blue sky while admiring the serenity of the place.  There was less congestion, dirt and noise which was quite a stark contrast to city life. Instead of a concrete jungle,  beautiful orchards filled with ripening fruit and wineries occupy the valley. Life slows down to a crawl and people are much more pleasant there. During our 3 day stay there this was what we experienced and saw.

okanagan-1

okangan-21

Switching gears to baking, I have not baked for a while hence baked up a mousse cake.  This time I made a white chocolate mousse cake.

white-chocolate-mousse-cake

White Chocolate Mousse

200 g White Chocolate

2 Eggs

40 g  Sugar

4 g gelatin sheet

240 ml cream

Enjoy!!!

 

 

 

Fresh Strawberry Eclair

2 Jun

Summer is almost here. With that being said, the market is full of seasonal delicious fruit again. What are those beauties you may ask? Well none other than fresh succulent and sweet strawberries. Yes I am a strawberry fan as it livens up any dessert with a beautiful red colour.

Today I am making the eclair again. Nothing can go wrong with fresh strawberry eclairs. I am using Keller’s eclair recipe and pairing it up with fresh pastry cream and strawberries.

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Ingredients

Thomas Keller Eclair

All purpose flour 175 g
Granulated sugar 33 g
Water 240 g ( I used a combination of water and milk)
Unsalted butter 120 g
Kosher salt 2.5 g
Eggs 250 g (approx 5 eggs)

Pastry Cream
500 ml milk
100 g sugar
40 g corn starch
2 egg yolks
1/2 a vanilla bean

Rsaults: Yum!!!! Bon Appeptit

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