Tag Archives: Pastry Cream

A Friend and Vanilla Eclairs-Christophe Adam

25 Nov

This week has been a blur. I have been busy doing absolutely nothing :). Actually that is not true. Yesterday, I had went to a church group to record festive songs. It was fun. While there was laughter there is also sadness.

A member of our church community/friend will be heading back to her hometown to follow up on some preliminary results of a recent MRI scan. It’s tragic that within the few months I have known her, she has been through many trails and tribulations. All of which met with laughter and bravery. Despite the adversities she has faced, she always bounced back up to face the world again with renewed courage, tenacity and vivacity. This friend always looked toward the Lord for grace and support and as always the Lord never ceased to provide for her and to be her rock. It was very encouraging to witness it. She radiated energy and joie de vivre on our gatherings and won the hearts of many in our church community. You will be missed by many, SMJ Choi.

My friend had a knack for sweets and good company, not saying that I am good company ha ha. I hope to make some pastries (Christophe Adam) for her on our next meeting.

Christophe Adam’s Vanilla Eclair is comprised of a choux paste, Vanilla Cream, Caramelized Pecans and a Vanilla Glaze. I opted out the vanilla glaze and decided to do a white chocolate coating instead.

Vanilla Glaze
1 3/4 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
2 tbsp cold water
2 vanilla beans
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 1/2 tbsp glucose syrup (I will use honey)
300 g white chochocolate
1 1/2 tsp rice starch

Vanilla Cream
2 vanilla beans
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
7 tbsp butter

Choux Pastry
150 ml water
150 ml whole milk
8 ml pure vanilla extract
7 ml sugar
175 ml unsalted butter
3 ml salt
295 ml all purpose flour
5 large eggs

Caramelized Pecans
175 ml chopped pecans
90 ml icing sugar

Results: Christophe Adam is known for his eclairs. In fact this recipe was one of his top ten recipes. It so goes to say, the eclairs did not disappoint. Light, crispy, velvety, fragrant and rich in vanilla, it is a symphony on the taste buds. Another winner of a recipe.

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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.

Valentines-Raspberry Pistachio Frangipane Tart

18 Feb

It was Valentines this week. To make this week special, I decided to make something sweet for my friends and family. I recently bought 2 boxes of raspberries. Initially I was going to make a cheesecake but at the last minute I craved tart. Tart it is. I have not made frangipane for a while thus I decided to make a frangipane tart with pastry cream.

Tips:
1. For a stronger pistachio taste, toast the pistachios first
2. Pour the hot milk into the eggs not the other way around.

To make the tart, I first made the pate sucre. The frangipane came next. I wanted a roasted pistachio taste to the frangipane so I toasted some pistachios and gournd them till fine. A coffee grounder will do the trick. Butter was then measured and heated. Whipped cream, sugar and eggs where mixed in with the pistachios to form a semi paste and then the cooled butter was poured in. I baked the tart shell for approx 15 minutes first. When done, raspberry jam was spread over the bottom of the tart shell. The Pistachio frangipane was then poured into the tart shell and baked some more. ** I suppose I could blind bake the tart shell with the frangipane in it. But will leave it till next time I make it. Once the pistachio frangipane and tart shell is cooked. The pastry cream was next to come. Once the pastry cream was done. Set it to cool. Once cooled pour over the pistachio frangipane tart and garnish with raspberries. Voila!!!

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Pistachio Frangipane

1 stick butter unsalted
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 cup ground pistachios
2 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream

Creme Patiserrie
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
2 egg yolks
2 table cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean

Pate Sucre

1 stick butter
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 vanilla bean
3 tablespoon ground almonds
1 pinch salt
1 egg
1 2/3 cup flour

Bon Appetit!!! Happy Valentines Day.

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.

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

Hazelnut Praline Eclairs

24 Mar

Hello!!!! Another overcast day in Vancouver hopefully this Easter long weekend is good. Since it is a rainy day, I decided to make another eclair recipe again. I have always been intrigued about praline eclairs as it seems to be in about every pastry book I have. I have always loved hedgehogs as they have the praline paste in them but not in eclairs. Being adventurous that I am I decided to try.

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I fist made the choux paste then proceeded to make the pastry cream. In most recipes the pastry cream is similar except for the flavoring. In this case it was the gianduja. Once I made the pastry cream, I incorporated some gianduja I had freshly made. When the pastry cream had cooled I pipped it into the eclairs.

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Hazelnut Praline Cream

500 ml milk
100 g sugar
40 g corn starch
2 eggs
1/2 piece vanilla
150 g hazelnut paste

Result: OMG eclair was delicious. It was bitting into a little piece of heaven. The soft eclair casing complimented the smooth hazelnut filling superbly. This recipe is certainly a keeper. For all the hazelnut praline lovers a praline eclair will hit the spot everytime.

J’adore Eclairs

27 Feb

Booo another overcast weekend in Vancouver and no doubt with rain coming. I have been baking lots lately on an certain pastry. Continuously trying and retrying, researching and researching some more, I finally have some luck with this elusive pastry. Sssssshhhhhh what is this pastry? A pastry that is a welcomed addition to most pastry shops in Vancouver. When done properly they are wonderfully light as air on the outside and usually encased with a perfect creamy middle. What is this pastry? The eclair of course. That is right I love making and eating cream puffs.

Comprehensive Research and Tips:
Tips can be found here as well.
-bread flour is considered the better choice when making eclairs because it has more proteins in it allowing it to hold its from when baking.
-on a simmer at medium heat mix milk/water and butter until combined and melted. Remove from heat and then add the flour. To avoid lumps sift the flour, sugar and salt.
-cook the dough until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot and forms a ball
-you want to get as much moisture out of the flour dough so cook the dough and stir until you see a film at the bottom of the pot
Keller mentioned to further mix the dough for another 30 seconds to evaporate as much moisture once off the heat
-add eggs to the choux only when the dough has cooled as the heat will cook the eggs. When adding the eggs, in the beginning, it will look like scrambled eggs but the dough will come together
pastry school instructor instructed to fold the eggs into the mixture to create pockets of air
-the dough should be soft and paste like and not runny. If it is too wet, when baking, the eclair will not rise properly, spread out and remain flat thus at your discretion add the eggs one at a time and check the consistency of the dough. It may need more eggs or less eggs.
-the dough is ready when you wet a finger and run it through the dough and it forms a soft through that peaks but holds its shape

Pipping
-pipe at 45 degree angle and maintain pressure through out the pipping

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-Once pipped spray water on the choux pastry to create steam. Steam helps the choux to rise
Aoki suggested instead of putting egg wash on the choux paste, sift icing sugar on the eclair for an extra crunch
Baking
-depending on the caliber of your oven bake at a high temperature to puff them up and gradually lower the temperature to dry them out. Both Herme and Keller suggested around the 375 to 390 degree ranges.
-the choux must be thoroughly baked, if the sides of the walls are moist, when removed from oven, the steam will condense back into water and the still-wet walls will recoil. This will cause the choux pastry to collapse/ and flattened itself. To avoid this mishap use a toothpick or knife and make a incision in the eclairs so they can dry out properly.

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Filling
The eclair is quite versatile as it can take on all sorts of fillings but for me I was always fascinated by Sadaharu Aoki’s creations especially his matcha eclair. Matcha eclair it is.

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Voila

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Kellers Pate a Choux
All purpose flour ( I used bread flour) 175 g
Granulated sugar 33 g
Water 240 g ( I used combination of milk and water at 1/2 each)
Unsalted Butter 120 g
Salt 2.5 g
Eggs 250 g ( I used 6 eggs and half recipe at 3 eggs)

Matcha Pastry Cream
500 ml Milk
100 g sugar (increase sugar to your taste as the matcha is bitter)
40 g corn starch
3 g matcha
2 piece egg yolks
.5 piece vanilla bean

Result: The choux pastry was light and airy. They had risen quite nicely and made it able to pipe the pastry cream into it. My research and findings finally paid off. The Matcha had a strong taste and complimented the whipped cream. Thank You for all the tips from fellow bakers!!!!

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