Homemade patisserie is quite impressive, as we’ve seen on the Great British Baking Show. It takes lots of patience and lots of butter. We feel up for the challenge, even if some of us may or may not have used store-bought dough (GASP!).
The bake: Pastry, in all its flaky, buttery goodness.
I admit it. I went store-bought pastry. However, it’s totally allowed because I followed a Rachel Khoo recipe and she lived in Paris and taught patisserie and it was her direction. I feel like if she can, I certainly can. I love her London Kitchen Notebook series on Cooking Channel, and just happened to watch the “fast food” episode a week or so ago and saw her version of quick patisserie. Just a quick rolling of sugar, cutting the dough into spiralled squares, tucking them into muffin cups with parchment paper and dried beans to hold the shape, and baking. I believe I might not have had the oven up high enough, as the cups filled with melted butter (I’m not mad) and I had to bake for a bit longer than the prescribed time in order to get the cups fully cooked through.
From there, it was just a simple cream cheese frosting with softened butter, powdered sugar and cream cheese, whipped together. I spooned the mixture into the “cups” that were honestly mostly just buttery crust, topped with raspberries and sifted powdered sugar on top. I brought them to an MMA fight party on a Saturday night where they were a hit. (Pun intended.) I am forever remiss, however, that I failed to save Brooke a pastry. I assured her they weren’t THAT good, and honestly they weren’t spectacular, albeit quite tasty. I’m a sucker for raspberries, and the cream cheese filling went really well with the pastry and fruit. If I were to do these again, I’d adjust the size of the pastry cups so there wasn’t so much dough in each one, and probably turn up my oven.
Brooke & Kelsey
Emboldened by Annemarie’s embrace of store-bought puff pastry, Kelsey and I followed suit. We acquired some nice frozen sheets and decided on a peaches and cream recipe. This was laughably simple. Thaw the dough to the point that it is workable. Unfold said dough. Spoon in a glorious pile of mascarpone cheese. Add a layer of sugar and cinnamon over the cheese. Atop this add a layer of sliced peaches. Wrap the pastry around this bundle of joy, brush with butter and top with enough cinnamon and sugar to form a crust of sorts.
The only real hurdle we had here was bake time. We were told something like 20 minutes. All told, oven time was probably closer to an hour to get the dough where it needed to be. The end result was quite tasty, and the smell intoxicating enough that we didn’t manage to take a decent picture before we feasted. In fact, the best one we did get looks sort of like a strudel crab.
Oh well. In closing, here’s a fun bit of information. I do have a piece left, but I can’t decide if I should give it to Annemarie or not …
Cream Puffs were the first thing that came into mind this week, so I went with it. I consulted the Taste of Home Cookbook that my grandmother bestowed upon me when I moved out. (I seemed to have missed the memo about the store-bought puff pastry.) The dough was surprisingly simple and kind of fun to make. Boil some water, butter and salt, throw in flour and voila, a dough ball forms. It does take a lot of eggs, which I questioned, but apparently they are needed for the pastry action.
The puffs baked beautifully if I say so myself. They were all big, soft and golden brown. The key to an empty shell is to remove the excess dough, which did seem a little bit of a waste. I decided to add raspberries, so I crushed them into the whipped cream, and it made a nice addition. The more savory nature of the dough made sense when paired with the sweet whipped filling. Some drizzled chocolate probably would have brought the whole thing home, but that will have to be next time. They were quite large puffs as well. I didn’t mind as I consumed them, but it would be fun to try smaller ones.