Hey how was your weekend? Cool, great, that sounds lovely. What did I do? Oh nothing much, I just spent the day at Patisse Cooking School learning the Art of French Pastry. You know, the usual. Then I spent the rest of the weekend eating the many amazing pastries we made and got to bring home.
Seriously though, I had the best day. The class is run by Vincent Gadan, pastry chef extraordinaire. He is such a generous, genuine, funny dude. The rest of the lovely staff also know their stuff and really looked after us through out the day.
We started off making quiches which we would later have for lunch. We then moved on to desserts by making brioche which was turned into Beignets for dessert. Then came the choux pastry, creme patissierre and chocolate glaze which of course became the eclairs. Pastries demystified! Who knew it is so easy to make a flaky, crispy, perfectly short pie cust? And eclairs! Oh how I love you eclairs...
They sent us home not just with our impressive new knowledge but all our pastries and best of all the raw pastry doughs. This could be frozen I suppose, but I decided to use my choux straight away for more eclairs. Life's short.
I can't reccommend Patisse enough and this is certainly not my last class. I already have my eye on the 'It's All About the Tart' class. Hello frangipane!
- 50g Butter
- 65g Water
- 2 pinches Caster Sugar
- 1 pinch Salt
- 75g Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Egg Yolk
- Combine butter, milk, water, sugar & salt into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Add flour and stir ('dessecher') with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. You want to use a non-teflon saucepan because a skin will form on the bottom of the saucepan which will indicate that it is ready to be taken off the heat.
- Place dough into the bowl of your stand mixer and beat until the steam has disappeared completely.
- Keep beating and add the eggs and yolk.
- When mixture is a glossy paste wrap up and refridgerate for at about 20 minutes until firm.
- Pipe 7cm straight lines on a greaseproof sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 175 degrees C then turn the oven down to 160 degrees C to dry out the pastry.
- Take out of the oven and cool completely.
- To prepare for piping use a sharp pen-like stick to make a hol on the side and break open the walls on the inside. Please be gentle - you don't want creme pat busting out.
- 250g Milk
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 30g Caster Sugar
- 10g Plain Flour
- 10g Corn Flour
- 1/4 Vanilla Bean, the seeds scraped out
- In a saucepan, combine milk and vanilla and bring to the boil.
- In the meantime, whisk the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until light, then add the flours. Mix well making sure there's no lumps.
- Pour 1/3 of the milk into the egg mix and mix well. Then pour this mixture back into the saucepan on the stove.
- Cook for 30 seconds while boiling, stirring quickly, then take off the heat and refridgerate until firm.
- When you're ready to start piping this into your pastries, use a whisk to whip the creme pat before scooping into your piping bag.