A couple of cake variations that we learned tonight in pastry techniques class: the Bisquit Roulade and the zebra cake. I will post all the details soon, but I’ll leave you with a couple of quick photos:
I’ve told you before that I’m an almond skeptic. It’s true that I was won over by the little frangipane tart. But when it comes to marzipan, I’m worse than Sam I Am: I do not like it. Not in a train, on a plane, or anywhere. But while I may not eat marzipan, making roses with it for cake decorations is really fun. Here’s how the best of them looked in pastry class last night: Yeah, it looks really good because Chef Claude made it. Here’s the pathetic one I ma
If, when you read that headline, you envisioned towering walls of silky buttercream, just waiting to tumble delightfully down on you, you are forgiven. Because if you fantasized lovingly about that for even one second, then you’re just like me. And that’s why I got seriously distracted when Chef Claude told us in pastry techniques class this week that we were going to build a buttercream dam. It didn’t turn out exactly like I imagined. It was more like this:
I promised I would show you how to shape those Danish pastries we made in class the other night, and I am here to keep my promise. First let’s do a quick bit on making the Danish dough, because, well, you can’t shape them if you haven’t made the dough, can you? I’ll keep it brief though (even though the process is anything but brief), so we can get right to the shaping.
From Crescent Springs, Kentucky I could not let National Pi(e) Day go by without doing my duty as a member of Pie Nation. Had I not been obliged to go to Kentucky (yes, again) for work, I would have been celebrating Pi(e) Day in D.C. with fellow pie makers Tarts by Tarts (blogging as Nothing-In-The-House), who are throwing a cool local-radio-station fundraiser tonight. I couldn’t help with the baking from Kentucky, but I felt I must do my part. And so, when my work was done for the day, I
I’m crying as I write this, late at night, with a pan full of warm Danish next to me. Tonight was the last night of the 8-week unit on batters & doughs in our pastry techniques class at L’Academie de Cuisine. I know I should be excited about the next 12 weeks of mousses, Bavarians, cakes, chocolate, ice cream, and small plated desserts. And I am. But I love dough. To paraphrase Woody Allen, I don’t just love it. I luffff it. I lurv it. I love it so much that it actually wor
The croissants are in the oven, and I have a terrible feeling about them. They hardly rose during proofing, even though I painstakingly tried to recreate the conditions Chef Claude taught us last week. So now they’re baking, and I confess that a lovely smell is starting to emanate from the oven. But my little croissants are scrawny and underdeveloped, and I fear they are going to be hard as rocks. What did I do wrong?
Puff pastry is so delicately lovely, and so miraculous, that it’s easy to forget how it can shorten your life. True, it’s made almost exclusively of stuff that will spike your blood sugar and your bad cholesterol. But some things in life are worth setting yourself back for. And in my humble view, this is one of them.
By any reasonable standard, I should have been pulled over and ticketed. Hand-held cell phones and texting are a menace? Sheesh, whoever made those rules never, ever had to brave a late-night drive home from pastry class with a pan full of warm, fresh croissants and pain au chocolat in the seat next to them. I dare any reasonable mortal to make it home under those conditions without swerving seriously at least once while reaching for sticky little almond croissants and scattering hundreds of fla
It seemed like such a good idea: lining the crust of a banana cream pie with white chocolate. And it came from an impeccable source: Rose Levy Beranbaum, one of the most revered baking goddesses of all time. So I adapted the idea to my own banana cream pie for a dinner party, only to find, to my embarrassment, that the hostess and her guests were silently yearning for sledgehammers to cut through their pie crusts.