Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Week 5: Eclairs, Paris-Brest, Pate a Choux & Gougeres

As you may have picked up on, I skipped over week four. I came from week 3 right into week 5. Truth be known, I missed week 4 due to a family vacation. I will be making it up next month with something else.

Last night we made Eclairs! This we used a basic pastry dough-
Making the dough was something I hadn't done before but also a process I hadn't done either! I've never boiled butter and water on top the stove, added flour and stirred vigorously until everything is Incorporated and piping hot. We then put it in the mixer and mixed it until it was almost cooled. Then added 10 eggs one at a time.
This dough was the base for the 3 pastries we made last night.
I piped out the pastry dough in mini finger sized lengths. Baked for a number of minutes at different temperatures. Then when cooled I piped into them either chocolate or vanilla creme! Because they were completely hallow, this was very easy... more so than I expected!

Cheese puffs (Gougeres) are identical to creme puffs except we put a sharp cheese in the dough. They are SO good. If we left out the cheese, we could have easily piped in creme.

Paris-Brest is one of the most amazing thing I've ever tried, apart from the chocolate gounache of course. :) Put they're totally different. So I guess I can say that. :)
This was very very light. The past in the inside is made of a praline and hazelnut vanilla creme. Then the top and bottom of the pastry is the pastry dough used for the other two stated above. So it was hallow in the inside so it made it great for piping in the filling.
There is some history to this also, which makes it even more rich.

I really, really loved week 5.
Next week is my last for the baking/pastry class! :(

Week 3: Popovers, Pate A Croissant, Pate A Brioche

I'm very sorry it's been a while since I have blogged! Yes, classes still have been going on, but Ive been more busy than I ever have been.

So week three of my baking/ pastry class consisted of Popovers, Croissants and Brioche.

The popovers were incredibly easy... I've made them at home before also. It's a family favorite for us at least.

We were able to use a popover pan which is displayed in the picture. It's almost perfectly cylinderical. Popovers, as is almost all pastry, leavened by stream. So they get really big in the over, but deflate a bit after taking them out.


It was so neat! I never realized 1) how much WORK was involved in those little things.... and 2) how much butter! People who are self conscience about butter, I'm warning you, forever stay away from the croissants!
The process fascinated me. You had to fold butter into it multiple times before you could actually roll it out a certain way and then cut it. The tool to cut the croissants was pretty cool.

Brioche (Pate A Brioche) is something I like to describe as a cross between a popover and a croissant. The consistency and texture resembles a little of both... especially when warm!
The process and making of the brioche was also neat. There is a certain way you had to form it into a ball to make it perfectly round. It was by making an 'o' with your hand and putting it pinky down on the table with dough inside and making a circular motion. Then you needed to form it a certain way in order to get the classic Brioche shape.

Then we made typical blueberry muffins as in a "quick bread". I've made lots of "quick breads" then. Stuff like that is a regular almost in my home.
They turned out great!

Week 3 was a complete success!