Wednesday 28 January 2009

In which we deal with the puff pastry

Today we worked with the pâton of puff pastry we made yesterday, crafting half a dozen chaussons aux pommes (apple turnovers) and a pithiviers.

The pithiviers is a puff pastry case filled with almond cream. It's very similar to a galette des rois (a traditional Epiphany pudding) but not the same, despite the number of (often American) websites that will tell you otherwise. The pithiviers is filled with crème d'amandes (almond cream) while the galette des rois is filled with crème frangipane (a mixture of almond cream and crème patissière). The galette des rois also has the fève of which more anon.

The chaussons aux pommes were all right but I can't stick tinned purée. I'd sooner flambé some fresh diced apples with some cinnamon but that wasn't on the menu. My décor was a bit rustic. The pastry puffed though which was very satisfying for a first go.

And this is the pithiviers. I rolled my pastry a bit thin which is why it is not as puffed as it ought to be and the rayons should be closer together next time. Also, a bit more cooking would help differentiate the décor.

We also had our first mini-test to help organize the groups by proficiency. We had to pipe 8 rosaces which are circular décor thingamies and line 4 mini tart rings. Pretty simple stuff but really very hard to do well. And we only had 10 mins. Sweated like something else which was quite surprising. Fortunately pastry kitchens are air-conditioned. It went all right once I scrapped my first attempt at the rosaces without anyone noticing.

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