Tag Archives: Custard

Apple Vanilla Custard Brioche-Bachour

25 May

Wow it’s May!!!! The days are longer and warmer. Been busy making chocolate. Just recently I had taken a brave step in participating in 2 craft fairs. The first being a fundraising one while the other was a school fair. Prior to both events, I was worried on whether I would sell anything as selling was not my strong suite. Furthermore I was worried about breaking even and connecting with people but with certain individuals encouragement I pushed on. In preparing for the craft fairs, there was late nights and panda eyes but it was well worth it. In the school fair, I noticed I did not need to do hard selling. If people are interested in your craft they will buy. I enjoyed it immensely as I got to promote how I made the chocolates and the process in which I made it and could see people’s reactions. At the end of the day, several boxes of chocolates were sold which was good to cover the supplies cost. Perhaps it is easy to please me but at the same time I was not aiming to make a huge profit as building, connecting and promoting my craft to people was what I was aiming for. Hopefully it will generate interest amongst individuals with sweet tooths. In terms of this experience it was a good one and one I would like to try again.

Aside from preparing for craft fairs, I spent the time honing in my skills on baking. Recently I had taken a 2 day weekend courses in laminating at Mon Paris Patisserie. In that class we made croissants, canneles and brioche. It was an excellent class as we covered the basics of lamination as well as got helpful tips

Brioche is a french style bread in which the key ingredients are eggs, flour and butter. The consistency is almost like a cake as it is very light and soft.

Vanilla Brioche

Brioche
780 g bread flour
70 g sugar
15 g salt
300 g eggs
150 g egg yolks
56 g invert sugar
30 g whole milk
40 g fresh yeast
350 g unsalted butter

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
480 g whole milk
2 vanilla beans
120 egg yolks
120 g sugar (I only used 90 g)
57 g cornstarch
56 g unsalted butter

Apples to place on top.

Voila-fresh baked Vanilla Brioche!!!!

Result: MMMMMMMMM…..

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The sweet scent of Canele de Bordeaux-Bachour

4 Feb

Wow it is February now! Can’t believe its almost Valentines. Over the course of the last few weeks, my chocolate making hobby started about again. It is also known as Adventures in chocolate making. In this adventure, I take courses at pastry school or patisseries in order to perfect the craft. It was only last week that I went to chocolate making class at a patisserie. The experience was fascinating as I got to work with chocolate, cast chocolate, decorate chocolate and lastly make the ganache filling. A joyous moment indeed when I finally got to use the airbrush to coat the chocolate molds with coloured cocoa butter. Amazingly it was not as horrific as I thought; there were no accidents. When the class was done, students were given chocolates to bring home. I think I shall play with the airbrush and experiment but that will be the next adventure.

As the title had indicated, I made caneles recently. They are one of my favorite desserts. The first words that come to mind when describing the canele are custardy, rich, sweet and fragrant. If not mistaken, the canele pastry comes from the French region of Bordeaux. They are baked custard cakes flavoured with rum and vanilla; they are caramelized on the outside and creamy on the inside.

Keys:
-for optimal results and flavour, rest the batter in the fridge for 24 hours
-to achieve the desired caramelization on the outside of the cakes, butter the sides of the fluted molds.
-they will rise out of the molds during baking and when they do, use a knife and insert it in them to release the steam
-rotate them during baking

While the caneles are time consuming to make, they are well worth the effort. Voila.

Caneles Recipe
500 g whole milk (I used 2 percent milk)
30 g unsalted butter, diced
1 vanilla pod
105 g all purpose flour
180 g sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs
75 g dark rum

Result: This was my first try at Antonio Bachour’s recipes. So far I am happy with the results.

~Bon Appetit!!!

Refreshing Ice Cream for Warm Wonderful Weather

28 May

Summer is around the corner as literally every beach is adorned with sunbathers, vball players, runners and strollers. The landscape was beautiful as flowers bloomed at every corner, as the water glistened like diamonds under the brilliant blue sky while birds playfully but gracefully glided like kites. What a majestic scenery it was as onlookers took photos that detailed every inch of Vancouver’s beauty. Even the buildings were sunkissed as their white siding reflected the sun’s rays. Soon the restaurant patios and ice cream parlors will be filled with Vancouverites lining up for a refreshing scoop of ice cream treat or a ice cold cup of juice to accompany a wonderful dinner in the summer sun.

As a prequel in anticipation to the smoldering heat, I decided to undust my ice cream maker to make some refreshing ice cream to combat the warm weather.

Keys to Making Ice Cream:
1. Make sure the custard base when cooked does not exceed 82 degrees celsius. The eggs will curdle with the temperature goes higher.
2. A tip from, ” the Perfect Scoop,” if indeed the eggs curdle, beat with a egg beater and strain for a smoother consistency.
3. Liquors have a lower freezing temperature, so if one wants soft ice cream, add liquor into the ice cream base.
4. Add the whipping cream into the custard as the last step, preferably when the custard base has rested overnight.
5. For a richer and smoother ice cream consistency, leave overnight.

French Vanilla Ice Cream
720 ml milk
1 piece Vanilla Bean
150 ml milk
40 g glucose syrup (prevents crystalization) ( I used honey)
8 egg yolks
280 g sugar
450 ml whipping cream

DSC_0460

This was a wonderful recipe. Nothing tastes better than fresh ice cream. It was creamy, smooth and had a hint of bourbon vanilla. Definitely will hit the spot for some hot and sunny weather Vancouver has ahead. Happy Ice Cream Making!!!

Fruit Tart

25 Apr

Yesterday was a member of a teams birthday. Thus I decided to make a tart again. I first did the pate sable base. This time I opted for a sliced almond pistachio base. Next I did the custard. Then I organized the fruit. Since I did not have kiwis this time, but since I wanted some green colour, I opted for apples this time. I next arranged some mangoes and finally finished it off with some raspberries. The effect was like this. DSC_0316

Picturesque West Vancouver, Doughnuts, Caramel and Choux Paste 2

27 Aug

Went for a stroll this weekend on my never ending quest for fresh baked goods and beautiful nature.  First stop was doughnuts.  Yes…I know I have an obsession with doughnuts especially, when they are fresh, but I can’t help that right 🙂  A friend had posted some photos of a recent addition to the Vancouver scene for doughnuts, Lucky’s Doughnuts on 2902 Main St.  Here is their website for those doughnut lovers http://www.luckysdoughnuts.com/  No it’s not mini donuts nor your typical chain produced donuts places like….well I think you all know 🙂

This place sells fresh daily baked doughnuts.  Right off the bat when I walked into this joint, I saw a line formed by customers already all waiting to get their little paws on them.  As if the shelves filled will scrumptious doughnuts don’t tease one’s taste buds, they also have a in store production facility complete with a viewing area.  What a sight it was as I saw the staff decorating the doughnuts in front of my eyes.  It made me want to declare, “let me help as well.”

Next stop Ambleside Park in West Vancouver.  West Vancouver has developed much ever since I was young.   The streets were now littered with condos, which overlook the inlet, boutiques and restaurants.  It is the place  for folks who reside in North Vancouver and West Vancouver to go to but it also drew crowds from surrounding areas alike.   People congregated there, including me, for strolls around the beach, build sand castles, hang out with friends or walk along the 2 km seawall to the Dundadrave Pier. 

It is a good location for picnics, gatherings, sailing and fishing.   In terms of scenery, Ambleside is both peaceful and beautiful because you get the view of Stanley Park, Burrard Inlet, UBC and the mountains.   As an added bonus to attract locals to visit the beach, the Vancouver Metropolitan band played at Ambleside.  The band performs plays at Ambleside once very year and I could tell it was well appreciated by the crowd gathering to listen.  The serenity of it all when one pieces together the beach, sand, water, moutains and a band playing all at once; definitely takes one away from the city life.  Quite charming I would say.  I must remind myself more often to take strolls in West Vancouver.

I decided to make choux paste again since it well received by family members as a light dessert.  Taking in what I absorbed from class, I tried the recipe at home; using what materials I had at the time.

Choux Paste-Paris Brest and Eclairs

This was my first try attempting the Paris Brest at home ever since making at Pastry school.  The recipe for the Choux Paste could be found here https://evasbakingpassion.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/cream-puffs-and-cakes-on-a-summer-day/.   I wanted to try the recipe I learned from school and see if it is successful at home.  This time  I substituted water for milk.

After making the paste, I pipped out six Paris Brest and then placed some water in the middle of the pipped brest.  Water prevents the choux paste from closing during the baking process.   Almonds were then added on top.  They resembled like little bagels don’t they lol 🙂  As the our instructor preached during our baking session that our ovens may not be calibrated the same as his, I paid extra attention to the oven temperature and baking time.  Eclairs were the next thing on the list.  By referring to my notes, I then pipped my eclairs.  I found that good results come from pipping carefully and slowly as it was obviously visible in the quality of the end product.After baking the products at a high temperature first, I then lowered the oven temperature for the choux puffs to dry out.    As I found out on my first batch at home, the key really was  the oven temperature.   This is how mined looked when baked.  Not bad ehh?

Next came the decoration of the puffs and eclairs.  For me I like my desserts quite light hence I decided to make a light custard.   Once the custard was done, I pipped the custard on the bottom half of the Paris Brest.  Next came the  strawberries and pipped rosettes. Finishing touches was icing sugar on top of the Paris Brests.

The eclairs were filled with custard as well then coated with chocolate.  Making the caramel was the next step in decorating.   I made the caramel using the dry caramel method.  I stirred the sugar until golden brown colour was achieved.  Cream was then added to the caramelized sugar to stop the cooking process.  As mentioned the eclairs were dipped in chocolate and then sprinkled pistachio.  Cooled caramel was then drizzled over the eclairs and cooled in the fridge.    This was how it looked like….well,  only a bit caramel but enough to make it gooey looking.  I was also proud of the outcome of the Paris Brest as well and thus have included a photo of how it looked like when the Paris Brest was finished.  Not bad for at home experience 🙂 I guess success does come to those who wait and have patience. 🙂

Indulging in Cream Puffs

24 Aug

Ahhhh…another week in the baking room at Vancouver Pastry School.  On the cirriculum this week, we got to make a Paris Breast and Eclairs, New York Cheesecake and a cool Apple Strudel.  As usual it was non stop working on pastries but the outcome was…. well let our eyes be the judge and let our tummies do the talking.  Mmmmm…  Not bad for a week ehhh?  My favorite was the Paris Brest Pastry.  I have been dying to wonder how to make it too.  Now I know.

Paris Brest is made out of Choux paste but is piped out in a circle.  It actually has a neat history behind it.  Apparently it was created in 1891 in commemorate the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race.    The circular shaped is piped out in resemblance to a wheel.  The pastry is then filled with custard cream and whipped cream and then decorated with fruit.  Choux Paste is a light and airy pastry that is made of flour butter and water and relies on steam to make the pastry rise.  It is quite delicate in texture and mild in taste.  The actual flavour comes from the filling you make and pipe into the choux paste.  In class we used a combination of whipped cream and custard cream and topped it up with strawberries.  A light dusting of icing sugar finishes the job.  For dessert lovers who prefer a light and mildly sweet munchy, this would be the trick.

Keys In Making Choux Pastry

  • When beating the flour into the butter/water mixture-make sure to stir until the mixture is dry and pulls away from the pan forming a ball.  You will see a film develop at the bottom of the pan when stirring, when the film turn brownish, remove from heat.  Enough evaporation. This will allow for more eggs to be added.
  • Make sure that the mixture has cooled sufficiently prior to adding eggs.  If  the eggs are added too soon while mixture is hot, the eggs will cook.
  •  Bake the pastries first at a high temperature to ensure they puff up and lower the temperature in order to dry the pastries out.

Choux Paste Recipe (adapted from Le Cordon Bleu)

1 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp salt ( I used 1 pinch)

1 tsbp sugar ( I used less than a tbsp. sugar)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup water or 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup milk  (I used all milk, milk gives a richer flavour but found water gives more rise to the pastry)

4 eggs beaten

1.  Heat butter and water until flour melts.

2. Add flour then remove from heat and stir.  A paste will form and stir until the paste pulls away from the sides of the pan.

3. Return to heat, stir until the mixture is dry and forms a ball .

4.  Remove from heat to cool.  Once cooled beat in eggs gradually to incorporate as much air.

5.  Beat mixture into smooth and glossy.  Pipe out choux paste.

6.  Bake at a higher temperature first at 425 F for 10 minutes and reduce temperature to 375 F for another 15-20 minutes until pastry is golden in colour.

Decorate icing sugar on top and custard in the middle.  Enjoy!!

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