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Archive for the ‘French Pastry’ Category

“Featured in this photograph is Paris Brest with a rich chocolate sauce, chocolate tart and chocolate macaroons. The ideas for chocolate are endless.”

There are certain days that I will not be satisfied until I have eaten chocolate. I’ve heard it gives the sensors in the brain a similar feeling of being in love. That is satisfying! I cannot be alone in this desire for chocolate that entices me when he beckons. Chocolate must be a male because it’s tall, grown on trees. Dark, the cocoa bean is deepest brown. And handsome … well, I’ll call any chocolate dessert or truffle that. Its delicious scent and flavor are other factors to consider. Sadly, all chocolate products are not the same. The ratios of cocoa bean, to oils and fats (that’s a gigantic story) but they are relevant to the finished product. The processing plus the quality of the ingredients makes for the taste you saver (if it is good), versus the inferior which leaves an unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth. I have only gone to that place as a child, back when I was mad for candy, or if I had chocolate cravings and had no other choice but to use the cheap variety. I do try to avoid being in this position.

Brownies are my favorite. Mousse is second and third, a rich chocolate syrup for my milk. The kid will never leave me and yes, I still pour spoonfuls of the chocolate milk into my mouth. This actually drove my late Father a little crazy, leaving him short-tempered by the persistent clanking of my spoon against the sides of the glass. I am ever so careful not to clank now that I am grown and enjoy my glassful using my learned techniques and dainty maneuvers.

I rather enjoy watching videos about the growing of chocolate, the harvesting and shipment to the factories, where it will undergo the transformation to become splendid things. A vacation to a chocolate factory would indeed be something I would love to do. I really should book myself one of these excursions and later explore the endless possibilities of this desirable food. There is a candy shop downtown in my city and I am going to phone them to see if I might pop-in soon and make truffles with them … just for the fun of it. I miss the professional kitchen.

History: This pastry was created in 1891 to commemorate the Paris–Brest–Paris bicycle race.

Made from two large, double rings of piped choux paste, with sliced almonds on top. It is baked and after about thirty minutes, the temperature of the oven is lowered to about 250 degrees in order to gently dry the inside of the pastry, completing the baking process. It is then cooled completely on a wire rack. Carefully sliced in-half, it is filled with decoratively piped hazelnut and praline pastry cream. The top is replaced and 10X sugar is sprinkled over the whole dessert. A rich ganache-based chocolate sauce is traditionally served in a compote, which is placed into the center of the ring. If you wish to impress at your next dinner party, bake this.

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This is what I would like to be doing this weekend.

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Take the time to read through recipes to better comprehend what you will be doing. Figure out the order in which you will begin preparing the recipes. Like most French desserts, many times they are complicated in that they take time, and there are usually many steps to take, in order to bring about results such as this specialty cake. If you want to impress them this is a great place to begin. Consider making three or four and freeze them. This way you can pull them out of your freezer, allow them to come to refrigerator temperature, and them finish them just prior to serving to your family or guests. You can also make mini royal cakes. Either way you’ll be applauded and the flavors are ooh-la-la tres bon!

Bavarian // Charlotte Royal

Use a traditional Charlotte Mold for this cake if possible, or a large dome-shaped bowl. Any cake lined with a roulade, jaconde or lady finger siding is called a royal. 

Grease mold and line with sheet of plastic wrap allowing it to extend past the edges.

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Bake the cake, spritz, fill and roll up, the day before you assemble the cake! (more…)

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Cuisine Connection

"The Real Deal"

The Real Deal is the quality of the freshest products and the precision of method used by the French in creating the finest displays of mini pastries. It literally takes hours to produce these results and are the quintessential beauty of using the tried-and-true French method of baking and decor. A mini pastry is one that is no more than three bites, this way you can try a few different ones.

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Today being National Raisin Day, I thought I would provide you with a delicious French recipe for this piped cookie. 

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On the left side (middle) we have a marjolaine and to the right side a roulade. the marjolaine is composed of wafers of … (I’ll write about it tomorrow) Ha!  Directly in the middle are baba savarins, then an assortment of cookies, macaroons, tartlets, mini Paris Brest, choux buns filled with pastry cream, and in the back-left, a frangipane tart. Down in the very center are coco-covered chocolate almonds. In the very back is a sugar showpiece, by World Renowned Pastry Chef Anil Rohira.

This is a is a roulade decorated to look like a log. It is called a Busche de Noel. Speciality Cakes are unique and very tempting. One of my favorites is called Frasier (not to be confused with the sit com). It looks complex from the outside, but one you understand the construction, it seems like an assembly even a good home baker could try.

* Remember the acetate liner is measured, cut and fitted inside the cake mold.

Photograph one:

Reveals the inside of the Frazier, just before the chilbouste cream is piped in. On the bottom is a round layer of rum syrup-soaked vanilla genoise cake. Large fresh strawberries have been lined up (middles pressed up against the sides of the acetate-lined cake mold) facing outward. Whole strawberries are positioned inside.

Photograph two:

Shows Chef Mark (Pastry Instructor @ L’Academie de Cuisine) has already piped Chilbouste Cream in between the strawberries, and then he uses a mini spatula to smooth the cream evenly. Another rum syrup-soaked vanilla genoise cake round is placed gently on top. This little masterpiece is moist and full of loveliness.

Photograph three:

After the cake round goes on, Marzipan is colored light green, rolled out pretty thinly and cut to fit over the top. The name Frasier is written by fine piping dark writing chocolate on top. One strawberry is sliced part way through and fanned out, then placed on top. The acetate is removed from the cake and Voila!

Here is the recipe for chocolate or vanilla genoise cake. This is fragile batter, so treat it with respect.

Here is the recipe for     (more…)

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This dessert is a speciality cake. I have the recipes and assembly instructions for you here. Hope you enjoy it!


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