Tag Archives: Puff Pastry

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.

Mille-feuille-Raspberry and Chocolate

7 Sep

What weather we been getting. Just finished a trip up to Kraus Berry Farms and must I say it was always a treat to go to a farm as the experience will never change. Being in the countyside, rest and peace is always aparant as many families go there to either relax, re-energize and admire the environment. For me it was an absolutely stunning enviroment; nothing an beat natures bounty, beautiful cloudless sky, fragrant flowers and berries. There were also tables with covering for the customers to sit in and snack on waffles, shakes while relaxing and socializing away.

Our rewards for this trip was blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and corn. Too take advantage of this good weather and berries, I made a Mille-Feuille. Mille-Feuille had always been partnered with custard between layers but in the recent years, there seems to be some variation to the traditional dessert. I had made mille feuille with custard before but this time, I decided to be more adventurous and walk dowm the same road that chefs walked down. This time I made the puff pastry but instead I made a white chocolate mousse and combined it with raspberries.

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Since the internet was with recipes on mille-feuille, I opted to leave the recipe out. Same goes for mousses. The mousse I had hear was white chocolate mousse. As for individuals who like to get tips on the pastry you can see it here. . While puff pastry can be a challenge to make since the pastry was quite finicky, pure joy in seeing it raise and layers make up the difference. As for me, I would be looking out for more recipes to try. Until then, I can be spotted out at the farms and relaxing with a Strawberry Milkshake.

Puff Pastry with Caramelized Gianduja Mousse

18 Aug

Wow August so soon!!! It’s almost like July blazed through and I did not do anything. Well that’s a lie, I actually went to pick berries at its best.

With steady sunlight and warmth, it is always a joy visiting the farms and bask in the warm sun light while picking. The farms which I normally or Vancouverites visit are Emma Lea Farms or Krause Berry Farms. Though it can be tiring at times crouching under the hot sun but the reward will be all smiles, relaxation and a bucket full of round plump blue berries. They are huge in comparison with store bought berries. After a hard afternoon of berry picking, a delicious strawberry milkshake hit the spot. I will distributing my pick with family. Blue berry muffins will be coming shortly 🙂 but prior to that, I decided to make puff pastry.

Over the course of the summer, I bought a couple of books. As I sifted through the pages, I found a recipe on Caramelized Gianduja. Being low on gianduja, and being adventurous I decided to beat up some inverted puff pastry and use the gianduja as a basis to form a mousse.

Keys to Puff Pastry Inverted

-as the butter is hard, chop or dice it to a size from which one can handle

-French inverted puff pastry has the butter dough outside while the dough is inside.

-once ready, roll the dough into a rectangle.

-if the butter becomes to warm or unworkable, place it back to the fridge allowing the butter dough as hardened again.

-do not roll too thin

-do not over fold 3-5 folds is good enough

-for every turn and fold one takes make sure to allow the dough to rest in the fridge. It will prevent the softening of the dough

-when rolling and folding the turns, make sure to be gentle with the dough.

-As an extra step, place the finished dough in the freezer to allow it to rest and solidify the butter a bit.  Putting the pastry in the freezer to rest while waiting for the oven to reach 400 F is a plus.  Think warm air as it expands in the layers; as air expands, it will raise the pastry as well resulting in better volumes.  it will raise the pastry as well.
-Bake about 20-25 mins at 390-410 degrees F.

Puff Pastry Rolls

Once the pastry was cooked, the molds are be removed immediately. Through this way, the pastry was easier to be removed from the molds.

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Next came the caramelized praline.

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Caramelized Hazelnuts or Almonds (adapted from William Curly)

250 grams hazelnuts

100 sugar

40 ml water

Once the caramelized hazelnuts where done and cooled, they were ground in a processer until fine. Melted chocolate was then incorporated with the ground nuts until smooth and let cooled. With the gianduja cooling, I then whipped up some cream and folded in the gianduja and pipped into the cooled pastry rolls. When making the mousse, make sure the gianduja is cooled or it will melt the whipped cream. Place it in the fridge and allow the mousse to set.

Finish by pipping it inside the cone and decorate with pistachio and icing sugar.

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Result: When ones buy puff pastry, recommended ones come with a pastry or whipped cream in the middle. I experiemented with flavours and made a Gianduga Mousse instead. While different from a typical puff pastry cone, the gianduja for me made a hit. 

Bon Appetit.

Puff Pastry Spirals Revisited-French Invert

16 Jun

What a beautiful Sunday. Happy Father’s Day everyone. We have family visiting this week and as usual, I’ve baked up a storm. A recipe that has gained my curiosity was the puff pastry. While it was perfect at times, it proved to be disastrous recently . The pastries turned out like pimpled wrinkled pastries, a horror story for every pastry lover. As it turned out, the pastries were fried in the excess butter that leaked out. A inquisitive individual at heart, I researched what the problems were. Solution found there were two methods, traditional and french invert. During the Easter weekend we visited a pastry shop on Pike Street, Le Panier. They had amazing french pastries and the palmier tickled our taste buds. Light, crispy, airy with a touch of sugar best described the pastry’s qualities. Recreating that wonderful texture prompted me to try the french invert method.

Keys French Invert Puff Pastry
-Proportion of flour and butter is better thus oil won’t leak out as much
-Lighter, flakier texture
-Better volume in finished product
-temperature sensitive-as butter layer is on the outside
– Prior to laminating make sure the flour mixture and the butter mixture of the same consistency
-when making the butter half of the dough, if the butter starts to melt stick back into fridge to solidify
-work in a cool environment
-brush off excess flour, the extra flour will prevent the dough from rising
-Handle the pastry dough delicately
***I did five folds-4 folds is sufficient
-Bake at high temperature-***I baked mine between 400F-410F and keep an eye on the pastries.

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With chestnut puree and coconut in my stash of goodies, incorporating these ingredients left no doubt. I rolled out the dough and spread the puree. The toasted coconut was then sprinkled on top prior to rolling up the dough like a cinnamon roll. A neat trick, use a string or floss to cut through the delicate pastry. Knives would ruin the circular shape. Sugar was the final addition and bake at 410F for about 20 minutes. I was delighted to see the rising pastry with no butter melting :). Nothing beats fresh puff pastry, pure goodness. For next time, egg wash could be applied on the top or sides of the pastries prior adding the sugar. It would help with caramelizing. Enjoy!!!

New Year Treats-Cinnamon Swirls

1 Jan

In light of New Year and holidays, I decided to make another treat. This was my third recipe from Kellars Book.  Unlike most puff pastry recipe I have seen, Kellar used alot more vinegar…supposedly because of the acidic properties, here we go chemistry again, of vinegar which prevents the gluten from forming long strands resulting in a lighter pastry.  In Kellers puff pastry recipe he suggested 5 turns but I decided on 6 turns and still had good results.  Perhaps I will stick to 5 next time.

Puff Pastry Recipe from Buchon Bakery

Butter 400 grams

Dough:

Water 225 grams

White wine vinegar 25 g ( I used plain vinegar)

All purpose flour plus more for dusting 500 g ( I used half bread flour and half all purpose)

Kosher Salt (I used plain table salt)

Unsalted butter, melted but not hot 50 g

Key:  Resting the dough. 15 mins in freezer or 1 hour in fridge prior to baking DSC_0113

Note:  I decided to do spirals this time.  I rolled out the chilled dough onto cinnamon and sugar then rolled it back up and cut the pastry into slices.  The effect was good and the end product was crisp, flaky and light.  The sugar did caramelize thus contributed to a hardened bottom when cooled but the taste was delicious.

Flakiness and creaminess of Mille Feuille

18 Sep

So I was looking around for things to throw together and what have we here?  I’ve have some remaining puff pastry frozen in my freezer.  A leftover piece from pastry class.  Well…I immediately knew what to do with this puff pastry.  Amazingly puff pastry freezes well.   All you need to do was to defrost the pastry roll it out into a rectangle and pretty much bake it.In this case I did.  I defrosted mine.  Rolled out the puff pastry to an even thickness and trimmed off the edges.  Once the dough was rolled out to a even thickness, I pricked the dough with a fork.  I then placed the dough in the fridge allowing the butter to firm up again and at the same time allowing for the dough to relax.  Baked it at high temperature.  It was cool to see the dough rise; a key for successful puff pastry making.  Once cooled I trimmed of the edges again and measured its width for cutting.

As seen here, I have divided it into 4 sections for alternating layers of custard and puff pastry.   Pastry cream was poured onto the first layer and second mille feuille layer was added on top.  The pastry cream recipe can be found here https://evasbakingpassion.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/magic-of-puff-pastry/.   Both cream and pastry were alternated until all was done.  The edges was then cleaned with a spatula for a refined clean look.

Next was the decorations.  Mille Feuille would often be seen at bakeries around town decorated with a fondant icing; however, I am not much of a icing person and preferred mine with fruits.  Hence I decided to use the vibrant colours of strawberries and pistachios to contrast the creamy colour of the custard and pastry.  I sliced up some strawberries and arranged them on the pastry and then sprinkled some pistachios on top as a garnish. 

Note:  I found that the puff pastry once filled with fresh custard does not last long. Meaning the pastry itself will loose its lightness and flakiness once the custard was added on.  Thus as a suggestion, eat it while fresh and don’t allow it to sit too long.  Nonetheless, both the strawberries and pistachios added a subtle sweetness and freshness to a light pastry while providing a beautiful colour contrast.

Butterflies

In order to make butterflies, use the remaining puff pastry cut which are left over and press together.

Key:

  • Do not knead the puff pastry or you will loose layers
  • Do not roll dough too thin
  • When rolling the dough to make butterflies roll out on sugar instead of flour.
  • Rest dough before baking.

Roll out the puff pastry again and then fold the dough in half.   You will get 2 halves and in the separate halves fold them again like a letter 1/3 until reaching the half way mark.  Repeat again on the other side.  Once done fold both halves together like a book and press together.  Slice out the butter flies, arrange them and allow dough to rest.
Here was how mine looked like when baked.   The browning was the sugar.  Overall taste was light and sweet with the added crunch of the sugar.

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