Sunday, August 01, 2010

Our First Section on Cakes

Angel Food Cake:

Chocolate Ganache Cake with Pistachios:

Vanilla Genoise Cake with Raspberry Jam and Vanilla Buttercream:

Almond Meringue Layer Cake with Coffee Buttercream:

Marzipan Rose:

End of Breads I


Brioche Beehive:

Savoy Scones:

Plum Tart with Brioche as Tart Base:


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Here are more bread pictures: blueberry orange muffins, danishes, brioche, kuglehopf, and fruit cake. I promise I will write more descriptions when I get caught up, but for now I hope you enjoy pictures of what I'm making. We finished the first level of our course today and now are moving on to a new kitchen and new exciting things. Until then, I have more pictures of breads and cakes...

Thursday, July 08, 2010


We spent the last week on so making enriched breads -- meaning breads that contain sugar or eggs or butter or all of the above, as opposed to "lean" breads which contain only yeast, flour, water, and salt. Below are pictures from the first day -- we made challah, Sally Lunn rolls, orange swirl bread, and pecan sticky buns.

Monday, July 05, 2010

More puff pastry: an apple compote lattice tart, a classic napoleon, a banana tart on chocolate puff pastry with chocolate chip ice cream, a jalousie (filled with almond cream and raspberry jam), a pitivier (filled with frangipane), and an apple tart tatin.

Puff pastry continued

Here is an apple tartlette, a conversation (a classic french pastry made with almond cream, puff pastry and royal icing), and a pear in cage.

More creations with puff pastry

Below are pictures of some more puff pastry creations that I made last week: cheese sticks, a pineapple-pistachio tart, and a round napoleon (layers of puff pastry and vanilla cream).

Friday, June 25, 2010

Puff Pastry

This week we have been making different items with puff pastry, which I've really enjoyed. Puff pastry is considered the most expensive French pastry dough because of the amount of labor that goes into making it by hand and the cost of the ingredients (i.e. lots of butter!). It is really rewarding to make though, because there are so many things you can make with it. It is a very versatile dough. We made 4 different kinds; quick, classic, inverse, and chocolate. Quick puff pastry doesn't rise as high because you just mix in cubes of melted butter with the dough. Classic puff pastry you wrap a basic flour dough around a block of butter and roll it out and fold it like a letter six different times until you have many layers. Inverse and chocolate puff pastry are a bit harder to make and require a pretty cool kitchen because the butter is wrapped around the dough and then rolled out and folded six times.

Here are the products we made on our first day of puff pastry: apple tartlettes and a fresh fruit bar tart.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Sorry for not updating in a while! This past week was quite busy. Here are some pictures from last week showcasing our last day of making pate a choux. We capped the section by making a croquembouche--the traditional French celebratory cake. It is typically made with cream puffs (or choux) filled with some kind of cream, dipped in caramel or some other topping and stuck together with caramel. We dipped our choux in pistachios, pearl sugar, cocoa nibs, and caramel. We then decorated it with piped dough. It was fun to have some creative license and our cake was chosen by the class to be displayed in the hallway at school!

Here is my first "kitchen tattoo," as they jokingly refer to burns. I got this one on a sheetpan right out of the oven.

Below is a picture of the inside of the croquembouche mold as we layered choux balls on top of one another, glued with caramel. Also, here is a picture of the choux balls waiting on sheetpans to be layered and a picture of our final product.

And finally, I was able to attend one of the chef demonstrations that the school periodically offers. Jacques Pepin demonstrated proper knife skills, showing us how to break down and cut many different types of vegetables, a whole fish, 2 whole chickens, and fruit. It was awe-inspiring to see him work.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Choux

Yesterday and today, we continued making products with pate a choux. I was not able to take pictures of what we made today - grougeres (savory cheese puffs) and St. Honore Cake (a choux cake filled with pastry cream folded in with Italian meringue). I do have pictures from yesterday, though. The first picture is of a paris-brest - a classic french pastry commemorating an old bicycle race, hence the round shape. It is filled with a praline-flavored pastry cream.

The second picture is of a swan made with pate a choux and filled with pastry cream, pineapples, and creme chantilly. They were fun to make!

The third picture is of profiteroles, one of my favorite desserts. The puffs are cut in half, filled with a scoop of ice cream, and then topped with chocolate sauce.